this painting began to materialize in my mind at a very young age. as a child my family traveled to visit my grandparents in upstate new york every other weekend. by my college years it seemed i had traversed the same familiar sequence an infinite number of times; gazing out the window from the back seat of my parent’s minivan. despite this repetition, there was always something new to see – some discrete or unmemorable stretch of road yet to be discovered (or rediscovered).
en route, we traveled down your traditional rural vermont roads – long and winding through patches of woodland and then straight past large expanses of cornfields and cow pastures. in milton we would hook left toward the champlain ferry in south hero, traveling for several miles before getting to my favorite part.
sand bar beach.
roosevelt highway/rt.2 is the road that connects rural vermont to its largest island on lake champlain, south hero/grand isle. sand bar beach is part of a 1,000-acre wildlife refuge, which consists primarily of marshland and is a popular nesting area for a variety of migratory birds, turtles and other animals. all I new as a child was that it was beautiful.
after passing through the marshland we would traverse open water on a narrow road. i loved to stare at the reflection of the rippling water as distant fisherman and sail boats glided lazily across the surface. just before reaching the open water, clusters of trees provide a frame to capture the glorious green mountains beyond. over the years these vertical columns became engrained in my memory, equivalent to the beauty and strength of columns in classical greek temples. what make the trees unique are their structure, size, and positioning... or lack of positioning. and depending on the time of day and lighting, these pieces of living architecture could become objects of focus in the foreground, or mere silhouettes to frame the scenery behind.
i still visit my grandparents quite often, and have made a few bicycle trips out to the sand bar. this painting was formatted from a photograph I took several years ago, and evolved over the course of 18 months based upon a (half) lifetime of memories.