Monday, February 23, 2009

Winter Morning

Today I'm taking a look at the second of my recent paintings.

"Winter Morning" is an unusual image. It depicts an empty in-ground pool that has some years on it. It is the centerpiece of a beautiful Gillette garden that is part of a farm currently owned and run by one of my patrons and his family. While I was there I took a ton of pics and made notes which I turned to for this painting. There is a tall serpentine brick wall that runs around the garden which is filled with some of the finest, healthiest boxwoods I've ever seen. Just beyond the wall is the smaller house that is depicted in this painting. It is now a rented duplex, but was probably at one time home to the hired help that was there to assist in running the farm. The whole image has a mysterious, Hitchcock kind of feel to it with the barren tree in the middle ground reaching across the house towards the horizon in the distance. Because the pool is empty, it becomes more sculpture than pool and I am fascinated by the oval steps that take on the appearance of a wedding cake. The cast shadow that surrounds the area of light in the foreground is the result of the winter morning light hitting the edge of the pool. The leaves that are left there create their own little shadows and give dimension to the pool floor beneath them. I added the garden gate from another part of the estate and drew it with the gate ajar in order to allow the eyes and the imaginations of the viewer to pass through the imposing dark shape of the brick and boxwood wall to the yard that lies beyond.

One of the most interesting things about this farm is that it lies adjacent to Shirley Plantation, one of the best known of the many historic estates along the Route 5 corridor. I spent some time at the plantation after I finished up at the Nordt farm and will share a photo of Shirley in a subsequent post.

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