What happens when you gaze upon a piece of art? Let’s say a painting for example. Are you transported to another time or to another place? And what feelings do you find yourself having-happy, sad, angry, peaceful or wishing for a past experience? Would love to be in this time for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner…”I’m dreaming of a white Christmas.”
The inspiration for “Winter Shadows on Ingham Hill, 1800” came as a result of an old photograph collection that Dan inherited many years ago from his uncle, who was quite the history buff. We came across this old snow scene of Ingham Hill-the location is not too far away from our house.Dan wanted to capture that old timey feeling and the peace and tranquility of that era. Where does the painting “Winter Shadows on Ingham Hill” take you?
Can you hear the peace and quiet of this time in history? The landscape was a place of tranquility, and I’ll bet the only sounds you would hear are the bells jingling from the sleighs and perhaps a dog barking. The sleighs traveling, the road by the house, would be muffled by the snow-no snowplows in that day and age to wake you in the wee hours of the morning-perhaps just the sleigh bells and the soft thud of the the horses’ hoofs.
Looking at this painting, transports us to a mountain in Vermont-a place where we had a very romantic sleigh ride (with a bunch of other people) on a moon-lit winter’s night. The stars were so bright-you could almost reach up and touch them. “Winter Shadows on Ingham Hill” always make us think of this particular trip. This snow scene makes us feel as if we are in Vermont on a February week-end at Mount Snow.
Many years ago, we ventured to Vermont and Mount Snow for an annual ski trip, and we stayed in the same lodge-right on the slopes of Mount Snow. We took our son, who was into snowboarding, and Dan (the artist) was into skiing. They would spend the entire week-end enjoying the snow, scenery, and the exhilaration of the mountain.
I, on the other hand, stayed in the lodge, and enjoyed a good read and the staff-I enjoyed visiting with them. Our room, had a balcony, which overlooked the slopes, and I would head out (cup of tea in hand), and wait for them (father and son) to make their way down to a designated point on the mountain, at a designated time. At this point, I could see them (provided they had on very colorful head gear), and they would wave and I back. I would return to the warmth of the room, and they to the arms of the mountain.
Dan and I would always have one night to ourselves, and the “child” would enjoy many snacks and many movies in the room-everyone was in a land of bliss. One night, we decided to do the sleigh ride (it wasn’t that cold and there was no wind), and I have always wanted to do a sleigh ride at night. So off we went-it was so enjoyable, and so much fun!
On the top of the mountain, the driver stopped for a pit-stop. I never miss an opportunity to take a pit-stop-what a long walk to the outhouse, and our driver announced “watch out for any critters.” Dan asked, “Do you really want to do this?” I told him “Keep walking” and I shouted over my shoulder “Please don’t leave!” I was sure that we walked for miles, and the outhouse was very cold and a little windy in there-very drafty. The whole time, I kept thinking about mountain lions, bears, and any critters that go bump in the night. We laugh about this adventure, and reminisce about that week-end, whenever we view this painting-transporting us to a crystal clear, snow covered February night in Vermont.
The painting is a Connecticut scene around 1800, but it makes us think of Vermont-so art can bring you anywhere or make you feel anything. It does not have to be what the artist painted or envisioned to make you travel in your memory or to conjure up your feelings.
Do you have some piece of art that makes you think of a special day or event in your life?
Wishing you a good one and Happy Thanksgiving!
Us…Nancy, the blogger and Dan, the artist