Mount Pleasant: Notes from the Field

Mt. Pleasant RoadThese were notes I wrote as I made my most recent work. Match the title to the work in the gallery. If you are in or near Ithaca, NY in the month of August, check out the exhibit in the Upstairs Gallery. Online is convenient, however, it’s better to see the work in person!

1. Cornell Observatory I. Mt. Pleasant Road is hilly, lots of ups and downs. My eye was first drawn to the dip in the road. Seeing the observatory perched on the hill was a sweet surprise.

2. The Top of the World. Driving from Mineah Road, and turning left onto Mt. Pleasant, there is a moment when it feels like you are on top of the world. Today, there was a giant cloud bank there.

3. Distant Blue Hills I & II. On certain days, the marvelous vista from the observatory includes hazy blue hills fading into the sky.

4. Orange Field I, II & III. The hills look like thick, deep pile carpet. This view spilled onto three sheets of paper. I could have kept going…

5. Rows and flows of angel hair and ice cream castles in the air and feather castles everywhere I’ve looked at clouds that way. Joni Mitchell sums this one up for me. (The title comes from her song Both Sides Now.)

6. Cloud Shadow on Field. It’s hard to stop. You don’t want to stop. I have ruined pastels by overworking them. All of my completed ones are teetering on the edge of failure. I knew this one was finished when I put in the cloud shadow. Whew.

7. Pink Clouds. The colors are there. At first they are subtle. You have to sit still for a long time to see them. You are seeing what I saw.

8. Pink Streak in Field. Yes, those are the Ithaca College towers. Two white strokes that are instantly recognizable to Ithacan-Americans.

9. Cornell Observatory II. This exhibit begins and ends with the observatory. I first came here in 1982.  I remember being disappointed. I expected the observatory to be bigger, more majestic. Years later, it is the small size of this modest building that pleases me most. It is just right.

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