Sunday, September 4, 2011

Vermont on my mind

"Nightfall on Lake Champlain"
21" x 14" watercolor

A simple landscape as my thoughts turn to family in Vermont, where people continue to be affected by damage from widespread flooding from Hurricane Irene and promises of more flash flooding from Tropical Lulu. Today, my older son is picking corn for the farm stand at the Paquet Farm (take the link, below on the right, to see various paintings and musings about our heritage farm). He texted that a storm just passed through briefly. Most of our family made out fine, but one branch of the family has an unliveable home in Waterbury because the first floor flooded last weekend.

My son posted a few photos on Facebook of early evening over Lake Champlain looking toward the Adirondack Mountains of New York state. I believe the photos were taken near Burlington, VT. The painting above was inspired by the photos, with some artistic license taken, of course. (Ever since I received that license in an Arne Westerman workshop in 2004, I've been using it a lot.) Having just taken a landscape workshop in Provence from Maggie Siner, I was thinking simple with planes of recession.

Bob and I spent many days crossing the Adirondacks on our tandem bicycle in our cross country ride of 2008. We did a lot of climbing and descending, with a fair amount of rain falling on us. Lake Champlain is very special to our family. My Thibault grandparents built a two-story "camp" on Mallets Bay, near Burlington, in 1927. When I was growing up, each of their nine children were invited to select a week to bring the family and stay with them. With seven children, these almost free vacations were very precious to our family and are my fondest summer memories as a child and teen. Later, attending the University of Vermont, the lake was ever present in our daily life. Today, the waterfront has been redeveloped and is a great spot to hang out, ride bikes, walk, run, and be entertained. If you visit Burlington, be sure to hike yourself down to lakefront at the bottom of the hill for maximum enjoyment.


hw (hallie) farber said...

I don't know why, but this immediately reminded my of the paintings of Mt. Fuji. Nice work. Isn't it nice that we can paint and worry at the same time?

Artistic license is important and we don't need a test to get one. Years ago, during a painting session with my young grandchildren, they asked why my butterflower was larger than my pear--I explained artistic license (easier than explaining perspective).

Mary Paquet said...

Hallie, I love it!!Yes, artistic license covers so much. And I do appreciate that I can paint and worry simultaneously.

AutumnLeaves said...

I love your reminiscences, Mary. And the painting is truly a picture of tranquility. Your family is in my thoughts and I hope things get fixed and/or resolved swiftly.

Barbra Joan said...

What a peaceful and quiet place, and love your recollectios of your time spent there. hugs BJ..

PAMO ART said...

I hope your family can get back to some normalcy soon. Water can do such horrific damage.
I am always touched by how loving and close your family is Mary. Vermont is the perfect setting.
Your painting is superb as always. I love the colors and composition.

Mary Paquet said...

Sherry, thanks so much. You are a terrific writer and I appreciate your thoughts.

Barbra Joan, the lake is very special to our family. When I saw my son's photos, I had to grab the brush.

Pamo, the irony is that so much of my family is 3000 miles away. We stay close with the phone, e-mail, and now all the social networking.

hmuxo said...

This is a beautiful and peaceful painting. Wonderful reflections on the water and love the soft colors..excellent!!!

Mary Paquet said...

Hilda, I really had to think about the reflections and how I could get that night falling look. Thanks for mentioning them.

Watercolorist said...

Artistic license really frees one up. I used to be quite literal when painting my landscapes - trying to capture everything in the scene and matching the colors. Jerry Stitt taught me not to paint local color and to use artistic license by simplifying the subject. From then on my paintings started to improve. I like the atmosphere in your painting and you captured the reflections well.

Mary Paquet said...

Jean, thanks to someone who is superb at atmosphere. Jerry is quite the instructor and I love his work.