The Cornish Colony

"Like Parrish" ©LCM2018

Yesterday we were showing Bart's cousin around our area and we ended up over in Cornish, NH at Saint-Gaudens National Park. This was where the Cornish Colony began. Painters, sculptors, writers and musicians came from far afield to feed off one another's enthusiasm for artistic spirit. Wonderful works of art were created and shared. After soaking in as much of all that positive energy we could, we headed up the road to Plainfield, hoping that maybe we could take a peek at the Maxfield Parrish painted stage. Parrish and his father Stephen were also active members of the Colony and Maxfield Parrish became well known for his fantastical illustrations which decorated the covers of magazines and books throughout the mid 1900s. He also painted murals and he has long been one of my sources for inspiration. As luck would have it there was someone just outside the Plainfield Town Hall who had a key and was happy to let us in for a private viewing!

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Our house is tucked in at the south west side of Mount Ascutney's base. Parrish featured Ascutney in countless paintings, so I often feel he was painting the place I love best. The stage scenery features Ascutney in a sunset. Lit from behind with the Connecticut River flowing towards it.

So today I attempted my version of this scene. Parrish's use of light is extraordinary. At times you think, "Nah. It couldn't possibly look like that!" But yesterday as we sat in the backyard watching the sun go down, we had a "Parrish sky" appear before us and I knew what my morning painting was going to be.

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