Sunday, July 29, 2012


My bedroom window at dawn

Dearest Readers,
I’ve been staring at walls and my window this week in Vermont. I have one long, skinny window in my bedroom. It’s the first welcome sign I see when I wake up, and the last glow of light when I retire. On certain days when the wind is right, the whiff of donuts from a nearby bakery wafts through the dawn’s early light. Twice weekly band concert music in the park, the ubiquitous argumentative crow family, and Rutland’s twice daily ten-of-nine curfew horn blast past my window sill. The curfew is a remnant from the turn of the last century when it was a morning reminder for kids that school was about to start at 9am. At night it signified that 9pm was approaching, and all minors had to be off the streets. There is no curfew now and school starts earlier than 9am. A few years back there was an effort to do away with the horn, but people protested in favor of retaining the nostalgia. The horn emanates from the main fire station near me, and is also used as a warning siren in emergencies. It is very loud and very close to my place.
I’ve been tweeting haiku-ish window poems the past few days. Here are a few of them:

*In bed, staring out at the summer sky–a moist white membrane above my head.-July 16

*Night. The window a black rectangle in the wall. Sounds of rain, and my frightened pup panting on the mattress. -July 17

*6am. threatening rain. a crow flaps on the porch roof outside my window. Faint car sounds in the distance. -July 18

*Riled and roiled by wind and rain. Makes 50 shades of green outside my window. -July 19

*White window. A red tailed hawk screeches behind the thin veil of morning. -July 21

*white sky. maple leaves blurry in front. This is the view outside my window without glasses.
-July 23

*The open window welcomes the wind. Drawings flutter on the wall. In flies a magic carpet that swirls me around the room. -July 23

*Johnny Cash sails through the window. means band concert night at Main Street Park.   
-July 25

*Raining buckets, splashing on the sill. Etta James is catatonic–scared of thunder, lightening and gobs of rain. –July 26

*Northwesterly wind at dawn. Dellveneri's bakery donuts waft through the bedroom window. –July 27

I’m inspired by my Decatur GA friend Ruth Schowalter’s recent blog in praise of six of the murals of the late Hale Woodruff commissioned by Talledega College in Alabama in 1939, and now on view at Atlanta’s High Museum of Art.

In response, I photographed the six murals on view at the main Rutland VT post office downtown, by the late Bellows Falls Vermont artist, Stephen J. Belaski (1909-1987). They were commissioned in 1937 by the WPA as part of the depression era effort to give work to artists. These colorful wall paintings tell some of the stories of the American Revolution as played out by events in Vermont.
"Ethan Allen and His Green Mountain Boys"

"The Call to Unite"-Assembly of Mountain Fighters

"The Beach Seal"-Flogging of a NY Landgrabber by landowners in Vermont

"Freeing the First Slave in the State of Vermont"

"Benedict Arnold Commanding the First Naval Battle on Lake Champlain"

"The First Stroke for Independence-The Attack on the James Breckenridge Farm in Dorset"
 I close, dear readers, with the latest installment of Vermont plants that I remember from childhood, plus this week’s self portrait entitled “Rushed”, a figure sketch from the weekly live model class, and the start of a painting in my studio based on my first of five “test drawings” that I did the first week I arrived in Vermont. 
Have a great week, y’all.

Fuzzy bush


Wild grape vine
common weed
Self-Portrait-"Rushed", 10"x19", charcoal and pastel on colored paper
"Nude Figure", 10"x19", pastel on colored paper
start of "Cradled in the Nest of Loving Kindness", 46"x41", acrylic on canvas  7.26.2012
Test drawing for "Cradled in the Nest of Loving Kindness", 35"x40", charcoal, pastel on kraft paper 6.11.2012

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