This pandemic has really brought attention to the fact that I miss Trapp Family Lodge, in Stowe Vermont, more than any other place. What do I do when I miss things and want to be around it more? I paint it! Then, I can spend as many hours in that place as I want, so I decided to create a giant diptych of the Trapp gardens, which is always my favorite place to chill, crack open a bottle of wine, nibble on some cheese, and just exhale and take it all in. Many nights I will come here and with my sister and just star-gaze, on top of Luce Hill Road, and some amazing conversations transgress among the dew-kissed Zinnias. I grew up coming to this place, so long ago this garden didn't even exist yet. Every year we come, the garden gets larger and more and more beautiful. This past year, I wanted to be there almost every single day, since it is the one place I truly relax. With the pandemic, it really wasn't possible, with quarantining, and my job, it just has made no sense. Next year, we are hoping to spend a few weeks in a row there, now that our vacation banks have accumulated so much!
I started this piece doing a few sketches, and with in mind that it will end up in my mothers living room, upgrading from a piece I made for her about 5 years ago. My work has progressed SO much since then, so I knew I needed to update it since I can barely stand to look at the old one anymore! Also, since the cold of winter has struck, all I want to do is paint the greenery I miss so much. I plan on keeping this in my studio over the winter, just since living alone has its disadvantages, especially in the dead of winter.
The before and after since practicing at least weekly, within the last five years, astonishes even me. I always say you can do anything if you practice it enough, and I think this is a good showcase of that. Five years ago I think I mostly thought of color and composition, but I never really took into much effect the atmosphere, and the emotion of the painting. I want the viewer to feel like they could walk right into it, and I feel like the stone pathway into the gardens helps greatly with that effect. Trying to also give a sense of depth, with layers and layers of flower clusters.
I think I finally am figuring it out, with the many day trips and painting sessions, painting from life. I've realized what helps give a sense of depth, a sense of atmosphere, and finally, a sense of evocation. This place immediately takes all of my anxiety away, so why would I sell this? This is going to my mother, since I know she will appreciate it as much as I do. I want to know I can visit this memory whenever I need to.
This is Oscar, a.k.a "Itty Bitty," "Squirrel," or "Halloween cat." He has a million toes, and a million problems, but we love him, just for his ability to be evil and then flip a switch to be disgustingly cute in an instant. How do they do that?? He decided to take my seat in the middle of one of my sessions, and I couldn't resist but have a little photo op.