Bishosps Orchards Painting #1


Today is November 4, 2009.   I finally made it over to Bishops Orchards in the town of Guilford.  This is my third stop on the Connecticut Wine Trail.  They make all their wine from the fruit orchards and do not have any grape vineyards.  I was excited to get back over there after last months apple picking.  I was impressed with the rows and rows of apple trees and was eager to capture them with my paint. 

My contact person is a woman named Heather.  She asked that I call her and tell her which field I’d be painting in so they could alert the staff.  The apple orchards are now closed but other areas are open like the Farm market and some of the surrounding grounds.  As with the other two wineries, there are several fields at different locations. 

When I arrived at the apple picking field on New England Road, the gate was open and it was empty of any vehicles except for a large truck that drove in after me.  I said a quick hello to the driver Russel and then drove down the dirt road, up past the empty check out stand and into the orchards.  It was a cool day but the sky was clear and the sun was shining.  I immediately felt at home.  I was happy to be there and happy to see all those after season trees as I slowly drove up a slightly sloping meandering road.  As if in a salutation of greetings back to me, the rows of trees were all gently waving their branches. 

I stopped my car at two separate locations that caught my eye and walked around for a few minutes to find interesting viewpoints.  I had a hard time picking one out because there were several interesting scenes.  I settled on this one with the curve in the road.  These trees seem to be older ones and have thick trunks.  I like how my vantage point was below the horizon line.  The horizon line is where sky meets land.  As you can see from this picture the sky peeks out from below some of the low-lying branches tipping the viewer off to the fact that the painter is sitting low at the bottom of the hill. 

The colors in the trees are fading.  The peak of fall foliage has passed but a few brilliant yellows are vying for attention as the burnt sienna and van dyke browns take over.  Not surprisingly, the summer greens are still pretty strong like in the grassy areas, but hints of faded grass are evident. 

An hour or so into my painting a large tractor with this huge pitch fork thing connected to the front of it came clambering up the hill.  Not far from me were several rows of trees that were cut down and lots of dead branches were lying on the ground.  The tractor would come along, scooped them up and haul them away.  After about an hour he was finished.  There’s always some kind of work that needs to be done on a farm. 

I painted for over 3 hours.  It was just enough time to completely cover and compose my canvas and then head back home.  Bishops Orchards is only about half an hour drive from Shelton.  This was an easy commute.  Tomorrow the weather forecast is rain.  So I plan to go back on friday.


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