The Vermont Experience

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Just arrived home after spending 10 days in New England, mainly Vermont. My wife and I were first there in 1986 and still cherish fond memories of that trip. It’s just hard to believe its been 25 years.
The foliage was not near as beautiful this time around with a confluence of less than ideal weather and our slightly late arrival being contributing factors.
My intention and hope on trips such as this is always to come home with several plein air studies…disappointment prevails once again. Didn’t do nearly as many as I had hoped and I’m not especially  satisfied with them. The partly sunny and rainy days presented their own set of problems, so I finally gave up trying to capture the brilliant sunlight and settled for the more prevalent cloudiness
This is the view from the entrance of the Deerhill Inn. It was cloudy and rainy. All studies were done on gessoed paper using a palette of titanium white, ultramarine blue, cadmium red, yellow ochre, cadmium yellow light, and oxide of chromium
Our first layover was in Lenox, MA located in the western part of the state. The Village Inn, in which we stayed, was built in 1767 and is the oldest surviving house in Lenox. The houses in this little town are magnificent and create a noteworthy contrast amid the trees. It was from Lenox that we drove just a few miles south to the Norman Rockwell Museum. In far northwest Massachusetts we also went to The Clark Museum…more about these museums in future blogs. After three-days in Massachusetts, it was on to West Dover, VT and the Deerhill Inn. West Dover is just north of Wilmington at the base of the Green Mountain National Forest in southern Vermont.
This is a portion of the Deerhill Inn in West Dover, VT. This was painted from inside the car. In  a one hour period there was rain, heavy clouds, rain, and sun. Here I made an attempt to capture the shadows created by a very brief appearance of the sun
The Inn was built in 1954 as a ski lodge and was called the Deerhill Lodge. Over the years additional rooms were added which transformed the lodge into a farmhouse. The vertical board and batten siding was replaced with horizontal clapboard…and wa-la…it is now a beautiful Inn.

There were pleasant vistas from the Inn so I took advantage and created three studies (shown here). Our room at the Deerhill was basically an attic cubbyhole, maybe 25′ long and 7′ wide at its narrowest. Bend over the bathroom sink and you’d rub your butt against the opposite wall. There was no TV, only a small radio/CD player with a selection of four CD’s…only one of which we enjoyed…Frank Sinatra’s “Nice ‘n’ Easy”…and enjoy it we did, over and over and over. Hey, it wasn’t the Inn’s fault. It was our choice…only $168.00 per night!! I better get some salable paintings out of this trip.

An enticing view from Inn Victoria in Chester, Vermont

We drove through many of the small villages in southern Vermont. The Vermonters have wasted no time in dealing with the recent devastating storm and flood damage. We were really impressed with how much they have accomplished in such a short time.
Two villages that I found especially attractive were Weston and Chester. There is an old grist mill in Weston, that for this artist, made the whole trip worthwhile. You will be seeing a few variations of that mill showing up on some of my canvases before too long. Oh, be sure to visit the famous Vermont Country Store. They sell anything and everything and offered a delectable assortment of enticing foods to sample. We wouldn’t have needed to go next door for lunch.
It was Chester, VT however, a place I haven’t heard of before, that was the highlight of our trip. Not only is the small town beautiful but our three-day stay at Inn Victoria was the icing on the cake, the creme de la creme of our visit to Vermont. Innkeepers and owners, Dan and Penelope (Penny) Cote (Coat-e), are a delightful Christian couple and are perfectly suited for their line of work. You would do well to stay in Chester at Inn Victoria whenever you are in Southern Vermont.

Another appealing view from the Deerhill Inn in West Dover, Vermont

Breakfast is a three-course gourmet treat that will last you most of the day. Additionally a typically British high tea was offered on the day we arrived…umm.
Stimulating conversation, interesting guests, excellent food, and plenty of photos capturing the beautiful landscape have all made this another trip to remember.

Next week: The Norman Rockwell Museum

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