On a September morning, this painting was started “en plein air” (in the open air), and finished in the studio, but final tweaking was done on location. Dan loves when the colors of fall foliage begins-greens mixed in with shades of yellows, gold, orange and red.
The location, of the painting site, is on the grounds of the Pettipaug Yacht Club in Essex, Connecticut, and permission is required to go on the property-private club. It is also a Sailing Academy-where you can learn dinghy sailing and shell rowing on the Connecticut River. Years ago, we would take our lab, Sheba, for a walk on the property (it is such a beautiful spot)-we did this when the club was closed for the season. Sheba loved her walks there-plenty of fun things for a dog-things to chase, smells to smell, and places to explore. The website for the club is: www.pettipaug.com and you can see for yourself.
Little bit of history. At one time, Essex, Connecticut was originally called Saybrook, Connecticut. Another name for Essex, Connecticut was Pettipaug Point, which meant the spreading cove or inlet from the Connecticut River. (Where the Pettipaug Yacht Club happens to be).
During the war of 1812, Essex, Connecticut was known as Pettipaug Neck. The harbor was a safe place for American Privateers. This was the area that the British forces raided-the harbor in April of 1814, and completely destroyed the shipyard. This raid was the greatest American loss of ships of the entire war.
One of our favorite things to do (Dan and me) is to explore and research the history of his painting sites-a perk of living in New England. There is so much history here-history that I was not interested in as a kid, but now I cannot get enough of it. This must be a side effect of age-learning about the past and bringing it into the now.
“After Apple-Picking” by Robert Frost
My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,
And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn’t pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and disappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.
And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
The rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth.
One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it’s like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep
“September Shadows” is currently at the Killingworth Library, Killingworth, Connecticut and will be on exhibit throughout the rest of the month of September.
Dan is the “Featured Artist of the Month”.
Display case at the library and the HeadLibrarian, Tammy Eustis–very, very nice. We enjoy working with Tammy.
Wishing you a good one!