Memories of the Vly
In the town of Saugerties, where I live, there is a magical place called the Vly, 184 acres of state land set aside for wildlife. Almost all of it is a freshwater marsh which makes it an important stopping place for migrating birds.
It is hard to describe the sensations I feel when I’m at the Vly which is why I had to paint this picture. It is very other worldly there and this world I’m usually present in falls away. One time we were paddling around the Vly in our rubber blow up boat, not near any trees and suddenly a spider, apparently attached to nothing but sky, spun down very close to our boat, as if it came to observe us. But the most amazing visual I remember from a day at the Vly was when we heard a rush of wings overhead and looked up to see a sky full of blue heron. I was used to viewing these big birds one at a time and it was very thrilling to see so many at once. I didn’t go home and paint the image as I did when I saw a flock of red-wing blackbirds. Instead I painted the feelings of wonder that I experience at the Vly, the reverie and enchantment that each visit there has brought me. The painting is titled Memories of the Vly. It is one of two pieces in the Mid-Hudson Arts Inspired by Plein Air Show that is closing on Sunday June 26, 1 to 3 PM, with a Brunch and informal talk by exhibiting artists, that is free and open to the public. The gallery is at 696 Dutchess Turnpike in Poughkeepsie.