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Stowe, Vermont ~ Mountains, Valleys and Farms

Bright colors are beginning to show up in the hills of Vermont.

I was in Stowe last week painting in a plein air event during Stowe’s Octoberfest.
 Autumn Mist, 6×8 oil on panel

I stayed in a lovely 200 year old house deep in the woods on the eastern slope of Mount Mansfield.

The house was moved in pieces from China, Maine….  to this present location in Stowe. The barn was moved here from a nearby Vermont town.

The trees in the yard were turning lovely colors.

The barn has a slate roof with moss growing all over it . It was built in 1837.
I set out to paint on my first day in gray weather. Vermont is still getting more than its fair share of rain.

The four days  I was there were rainy, sunny, cloudy, rainy.

Even on overcast days the barn roofs were a shiny silver color.

The meadows and cornfields had the golden tawny colors of early autumn. 
With dark skies the meadows and farms were bright spots in the landscape. 

The valley below Mount Mansfield still has a few working farms… 

…though it isn’t unusual to see huge barns unpainted and looking forlorn. 
My hosts Lyndall and Scott gave me a map of some great places to paint in Stowe.
The variety was endless… it reminded me of my painting trips in Idaho and Wyoming.
As the rain clouds cleared out I set up to work.
I sketched a view of barns and mountains.
The light changed constantly. Big puffy clouds swept across the brilliant blue sky.

Cloud shadows drifted across the hills and valleys. 
I sketched my design and started putting in colors…
while watching the light change…
…and painting the patterns of dark and light.

This one was a wrap and …

…there was still some sunshine…
…and time to get in one more painting before sunset.

 The clouds were building in the west.
It was looking like more gray weather.
Sure enough, early the next morning… 

It was raining steadily.
Stowe has lots of hiking and walking trails.  

I painted at an entrance to one that was named  “The Quiet Path”.
My painting stayed dry under the hatchback of my car. The temperature dropped. It got cold.  It was a perfect day for wool sweaters, hot coffee and hot chocolate. 
The sun never came back during the rest of my stay…but at least it stopped pouring. 
On my last day I wandered over to the property of the Von Trapps (of “Sound of Music” fame) to sketch and paint along the quiet dirt roads.
In the middle of their cow pasture a vivid red maple caught my eye.
These cattle are a long haired Scottish breed… and very feisty.
A bull actually jumped the fence into the road where I was painting. 
He ignored me, and I didn’t pay any attention to him and kept painting.
A friendly Vermonter stopped by to see what I was painting. He told me the bull had jumped the fence twice that morning. He did it all the time. 
Autumn Sonata,  9×12 oil on panel


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