Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A Restorative Visit

I have been feeling the need to restore my creative juices. I was really looking forward to a quick change of scenery and so our trip to Lake Champlain was perfect. A vacation for me isn't complete without seeing some good art, architecture, antiques, and scenery.

For years I have heard about Shelburne Museum's great quilt collection (images here from their site). What I didn't realize is it's also quite a wild and wacky and fun place to visit for the entire family. Begun by the extremely wealthy and I must say eccentric Electra Havemeyer Webb (great article here), this museum is a collection of not only beautiful pieces of American art and textiles but also a collection of actual Vermont buildings moved to the site. The Museum covers 45 acres and you could literally spend weeks and months there. There is even a steamboat called the Ticonderoga which was moved from Lake Champlain over the ground two miles to the site it now rests on. It is restored incredibly and fun to walk around and think about how people lived way back when.

In one of the lovely homes there is an exhibit of about 25 paintings by Georgia O'Keeffe. It is so much fun to see the paintings in person close-up. There are several of her famous flowers (shown above), some early work and some work from her days in the desert. Although I don't aspire to paint like her, I love to look at her work and draw the artistic energy from the paintings that just oooooze it!

In another beautiful stone building, there is an exhibit of Tasha Tudor's work. Tasha lives not far from here in Marlboro, VT. She is something of a legend, locally and nationally and I can't help but be inspired by how she lives out of the past, besides the fact that she is 91 years old. She has illustrated over 90 books which is downright prolific. The exhibit featured many of her personal projects, lots of artwork from her books and a nice video about her life. The one thing I took from the exhibit is that she sold most of the artwork when it came back from the publisher to make ends meet. She still supports herself and family through her art which you can purchase here. Not an easy thing to do.

After visiting this great place, we returned to the cottage and Julia and I sat down and started painting. We had a great time together and she was really excited to be sharing in my gouache paints and brushes, paper, and making her own art. Here's what we did in our time away.


Robin said...

Your art is so inspiring and now we have Julia's to admire too! I had so much fun going to the paint store with your book and getting just the right green, pink, turquoise and pumpkin to paint some old wooden chairs; they bring me great pleasure in my surroundings. Thanks for the inspiration.

kat coyle said...

great post. thank you!

kirsty said...

Oh I am Sooooooooooooo jealous! I would love to go to the Shelburne - even more so having read your post! And thank you for reminding me of Tasha Tudor, who I know about (of course!) but had forgotten.

kate said...

so glad you are back, Kristin- missed your postings!!!! I want to order some of your pillow kits to work on, will soon. Started my reading to kids book blog- I don't know if you saw it yet- you can email me for the URL. Look forward to your postings!

Green Kitchen said...

Thanks for the Shelburne link. A cousin told me about it once and I could never remember the name. I like Tasha Tudor, too. I always go back to "Drawn From New England," the book by Tasha's daughter, Bethany, that describes their life. What a life!

PG said...

What an inspirational lady - I hope I'm still illustrating whe I'm in my nineties (if I'm lucky enough to get that far!)

Love those little paintings top, especially the decorative vase.