Sunday, April 10, 2011

the old Chapman farm, a plein air-ish study

Our road is strictly a farm road. It goes nowhere, really, though I think that the few cars who drive along it on weekends are using it as a short-cut to get from Route 10 over to Route 23 and then on to Oneonta, where there is commerce - the inescapable Hannaford, Home Depot and Walmart - on the outskirts and at the center, a charming main street where several independently owned stores and restaurants struggle mightily to stay afloat in the face of the behemoths at the periphery. But our road is all about the farms - four of them, all dairy. Our farm is not exactly a working farm. We have no cows of our own and the only crops we raise come out of my yearly vegetable patch but the three other farmers from the road make use of our land - take its hay, pasture their heifers, store tractors in our barn and so we feel very much a part of this increasingly rare agricultural community. From my studio I can see the Chapman farm which has been in the same family for at least two generations. It is a little run down now but I have always loved the look of those old barns nestling into the valley as if they grew there as organically as the trees that surround them. The colors of the land right now, just before it turns spring upstate, are beautiful and subtle and a heartier woman than I would have bundled up against the chill and painted this scene outside. But I didn't. I positioned my easel next to the window and while listening to Schubert, painted quite comfortably and with only the faintest twinge of guilt.

4 comments:

Martin said...

Hi there Sarah and all Merediths - and the dog!

What a lovely painting; beautifully gentle tones and shades. P and I very much like the Rambouillet cafe story too - wish we were in such a place now, each with our glass of wine, hers white, mine red just like you and Greg.

We are having fabulous weather here which is specially nice in Spring when, as you say, everything is lovely a fresh and green

xx to you all from both of us

M & P

Martin said...

Now it's Penny, using Martin's laptop. I loved this painting, and the previous one of the pastis and the amazing glass - you are SO talented and I wondered when you are planning your next exhibition. When you talked about not wrapping up for the great outdoors to paint the Chapman farm, I was reminded of something I read at the "Glasgow Boys" exhibition last year where one of them, wanting to emulate the French Impressionists but without the benefit of S of France climate, built himself a rudimentary studio outdoors. Also, I hadn't realised that painting outdoors only became practicable with the invention of the tube for paints! But maybe everyone already knew that except me...Did we tell you that the little painting of pomegranates you did for Tom & Abi has gone with them to Mexico? Now there's a country with some vibrant colours waiting for you. Love Px

krista said...

This is really cool Sarah! I love old farms too, having a few of them in my family. It is sad that they are weathering away, with the old wooden barns disappearing after big windstorms or when they have outlived their usefulness.

You have been doing some gorgeous work lately. I can't wait to see what is next!

sarah meredith said...

Thank you Krista - a big compliment from you!