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This is a very "atmospheric" painting in which the reds in the forest fade out into the blues of the distant mountains. This painting does not represent a particular place but is a compilation of various scenic elements that I remember from the hill tops surrounding the little village of East Topsham, Vermont where I resided for 24 years.
This painting represents the quintessential Vermont landscape of a bygone era. The stone walls are a practical way of disposing the stones that the frost would push up as well as serving as a permanent boundary marker that could not easily be moved. The maple trees growing along the ancient stone wall are called "witness trees" as they were planted generations ago by farmers who wanted a clear boundary between their land and that of their neighbors. The trees had practical uses as windbreaks and also served as good maple orchard for tapping in the spring for maple sap to be boiled down into maple syrup. Most every stone wall had built in gates so that farmers could move their cattle and sheep and haying wagons from one field to another. Very often the gates would fall into disrepair and be left open especially if there were no cattle to graze the high pastures.
September 15th, 2009
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