My Cousin, Rufus Porter

Detail of the Westwood Mural by Rufus Porter

When my genealogically-infatuated brother told me that I am a third cousin five times removed of the painter and inventor, Rufus Porter, I couldn't help but wonder if there was some genetic information causing my hand to create images in a somewhat similar style to his. I have always been drawn to his bucolic images and have admired as many original murals that he painted in the 19th century as possible.

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His work reminds us of a quieter, simpler time. Farms, horses, sailing ships and clusters of perfect colonial homes decorate his walls. All is peaceful and the big, leafy trees frame it all in and hold it there.

Each summer I journey over to Bridgton, Maine to teach a class at the Rufus Porter Museum. One of my favorite parts of the class is when we take a break and go look at one of Porter's original murals. We come back to our painting projects with a renewed sense of peace and we are inspired to put some of that peace in our paintings.

For more info on the Rufus Porter Museum and the class I'll be teaching there July 19 and 20 go to this link.

One of the projects students will be painting at the Rufus Porter Museum.


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