SLEEPY TOWN

SLEEPY TOWN

Local barn

Local red roof barn

Bennington, Brattleboro, Burlington, and then there’s Putney. You probably know what state these towns are in. The town we visited was Putney. Putney is anything but a sleepy town in Vermont. But, this town has no supermarket. I couldn’t believe it. What, where will we buy our food? How can I prepare our meals if there is no food, where’s the supermarket, or grocery store or something? No worries. Tucked away around a corner was their Co-op that calls itself a grocery store.

The popular Captain getting his garden ready to plant.

The popular Captain getting his garden ready to plant.

The Putney Co-op is a full service, community owned grocery store and deli. It’s been around for more than seventy years. You can buy all kinds of fresh food, grown locally, delicious baked good and hefty sandwiches. A little pricy, but everything is fresh. Then, of course, just in case you can’t get to the next town Brattleboro, with their supermarket, seven miles or so away, there are staples of all types. The General Store and Pharmacy has all kinds of necessaries and first aid items like peroxide and bandaids and tweezers to get out splinters. Here there’s a store called “Basketville,” and known, obviously, for it’s woven baskets. It also sells necessaries, and handmade rocking chairs. And candy. And rugs. And toothpaste. This is what the brochure says about Basketville. A landmark store . . . a browser’s paradise, vast and barnlike, full of handcrafted items for the home. You never know what you’ll find down the next aisle. Whatever you find, it’s probably a bargain. They pride themselves on outlet prices, workshop direct deals, and frequent specials. The international basket collection includes exotic new imports from Africa and Cambodia. The store is100% solar powered. We were amazed at the selections. Fun. The drugstore, within another store, the general store, and the co-op all think they are cafe’s. There are sit-down areas to eat, drink and socialize. It’s all very strange.

Local waterfall

Local waterfall

There’s even a waterfall in town. It’s mini, like everything else, but it is a waterfall. Makes noise like a waterfall, feels like a waterfall, smells like a waterfall. It’s even wonderful to stand nearby and feel the cool spray as it pours into the canal.

 

Private tennis court in the middle of nowhere. Sigh

Private tennis court in the middle of nowhere.

For those of you who know, tennis has been part of my life, and Tom’s. Upon exploration, we found a private tennis court. There is enough land to grow several tennis courts, but this one was right near that red roof barn in the first image above, in the middle of nowhere. No, we didn’t invite ourselves. Perhaps, if we had our tennis racquets . . .

This trip to Putney, Vermont, was for a painting workshop for me. Since flowers are not always my first choice to paint, I opted for this workshop because the emphasis was flowers. You can figure that one out, can’t you?

Putney barn studio

Putney barn studio

Set-up

Gail’s Pansy set-up

So here’s the interior of the Putney barn studio and flowers to select for our set-ups .

You are probably wondering where we hunkered down at the end of each intense workshop day. Our accommodations were right below this studio.

It was a busy week. There were seven of us, and our workshop leader standing in the middle of the studio, Stephanie Birdsall, an amazing artist and instructor. Google her if you want to know more about her work. We loved our workshop, and found new friends.

 

Gail's oil painting

Gail’s Pansy oil painting 9×12 using set-up above

 

 

 

 

 

 

Putney barn exterior

Putney barn exterior

In this barn, we had a lovely apartment on the first level just under the studio. It’s the first set of lower windows, We had a bedroom, full bathroom, sitting room, and full kitchen. Brand, spanking new, we were the first guests. It was comfortable, clean, lovely, and had full views of the vast landscape.

Here’s more images. Wonderful, not so sleepy town, Putney, Vermont. Do you have a favorite town in Vermont? putney 1200vt photo P1100007 P1090980 P1090871 P1090952

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gail’s Begonia set-up

Gail's unfinished Begonias

Gail’s in-process Begonias using set-up above

PLACE AND POLITICS

PLACE AND POLITICS

…History says it takes a village, an army, the world to save the planet. Devastation of the earth

Floating planet

is happening at an alarming rate. After lifetimes of disposing, denigrating and devastating our waterways, our parks, our forests, we, as a human race, are reviewing and working on mending our ways. Hopefully. Are we getting smarter? Are we learning about greening our planet? Oil spills into our ocean, rivers, lakes, wildlife kills in our parks, desecrating our rain forests.

Rain Forest

And what about air pollution? What formations do you see in the clouds, the sky, the flowers. Pollution affects cloud formation. In the case of aerosol pollutants, if the air pollutants reflect the sun’s light, the cloud cover increases. If they absorb it, cloud growth is stunted. Look at the cloud masses.

Typhoon clouds

In the 70’s we tried to get industries to stop filling the air with the end products of mass production. And for awhile, a short while, manufacturers stopped the smoke, the ground fill, the medical waste. Who is in control, the government, the people, commerce? It always seems to boil down to the who gets the mega money.

What do the once beautiful waterways, parks and forests look like to you?

Polar bear walking in water

The ice the polar bears walked on to find fish is melting. Now they have to swim for their dinner, or starve, or become vegan.

Mother of two cubs in snow

 

 

 

Oil around rig

Oil floats around a rig at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Photograph: Jae C. Hong/AP.

The White House says the BP oil spill is probably the greatest environmental disaster the US has faced, but the true impact on surrounding ecosystems could take years to emerge. Experts say the unprecedented depth of the spill, combined with the use of chemicals that broke the oil down before it reached the surface, pose an unknown threat.

Yosemite waterfall

How would you express your views on “Place and Politics” as an artist, a writer, a philosopher, from your life/your travels?

THE STORY OF A COUNTRY HOUSE

THE STORY OF A COUNTRY HOUSE

Fallingwater Falls

My history blog on chairs to be continued… I digress  to share this amazing country house with you.*

Most of you know I am an ardent lover of architecture and enjoy writing, viewing and speaking architecture.

Fallingwater Entrance

I would hope you might enjoy this story and perhaps experience the recently restored country retreat, two hours out from Pittsburgh, in Bear Run, PA. The retreat was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, (FLW), and built for his client Edgar J. Kaufmann between 1936 and 1939. Fallingwater instantly became famous, and today it is a National Historic Landmark.

The Kaufmann family summer camp home was a small cabin with no heat and no running water. They slept outdoors in screened porches. The cabin stood near a country road.  When traffic became noisy after the road was paved, the Kaufmanns decided it was time to build a more modern vacation house.

Frank Lloyd Wright

They turned to FLW to design it for them. At the time, their son was fascinated with Wright’s ideas and was  studying with  him at Wright’s school, the Taliesin Fellowship.

The Kaufmanns, who had recently become interested in modern art and design, also were intrigued by Wright’s ideas, and asked him to design a new vacation house. They knew that Wright loved nature, as they did, and Wright knew the Kaufmanns wanted something special at Bear Run, something only an innovative architect like himself could design.  He knew they loved the waterfall. He decided to make it part of the new house.

When the Kaufmanns first looked at Wright’s drawings, they were surprised! They thought their new house would have a wonderful view of the falls. But instead, with the house right on top of the falls, it was difficult to even see them. Frank Lloyd Wright told the family he wants them to live with the waterfall and not just to look at them now and then.**

Edgar J. Kaufmann Sr., the owner of the land, worked with Frank Lloyd Wright, and often had volatile synergy between them as they made their contributions to the creation of the most celebrated house in American History. The design and construction was challenging causing turbulence between the two.

Americans spend 90 percent of their time indoors, working, living, shopping. What do you think about shelter? Shelter that provides environments for your lifestyle?

To be continued…next week.

In the meantime…Fallingwater remains the residential treasure of our time, and it awaits and welcomes those who wish to see and enjoy its magnificence. It is the most complete work of Frank Lloyd Wright accessible for viewing. Fallingwater is available to the public today because of the excellent maintenance, preservation, and operation by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, (WPC) and it awaits your experience and enjoyment.  For information go to www.paconserve.org or call toll-free 1-866-564-6972.

*AIArchitects Online Magazine
**Wikipedia

 

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