FROM THE CHAPEL … FOR SEVERAL WEEKS I woke up a little after 6, fed the cats, made myself a cup of tea (Tea Guys Morning Americano), grabbed a Silken (a small, yellow, juicy, early season apple with lemon sherbet taste), and headed off to the chapel at Laurel Park to paint.
The upstairs of the slimly built, circa 1900 chapel in the middle of the former Methodist camp, now a community of about 100 year-round homes in Northampton, Massachusetts, became my studio this summer and fall. I loved everything about the place.
The chapel teems with atmosphere. To reach the studio I walk through a room filled with photographs, clothing, and other artifacts from the 145-year-old park. The upstairs is huge and open, with high ceilings and exposed rafters. It reeks of wood and history.
There is room to walk around and view work from a distance, and lots of wall space to display paintings. The windows next to my easel look out at a field of tree trunks scattered between the chapel, houses, and the outdoor tabernacle.
Early morning is an ideal time for me to paint, when I am fresh, as the light spreads, without distractions.
I held an open studio in the chapel last Saturday during Laurel Park Arts’ “2017 Chautauqua: A Celebration of Trees,” a two-day event at which I also made a presentation about New England apples.
Some of the chapel paintings explore the weekend’s theme.