The painting workshops at Wethersfield are my favorite, not only because they scheduled for when fall colors start touching the leaves, but also for their unfailingly breath-taking locations. This time, we were enchanted by the charms of the Wethersfield Amenia, a stunning Stillman family country estate. http://www.wethersfieldgarden.org
Chauncey Stillman (1907-1989) was a grandson of James Stillman, the Head of the First National City Bank (now CityGroup), reputed to be the 12th richest man in America in his time. Rather unsurprinsgly then, his two uncles were married to Rockefeller sisters. http://www.leadersmag.com/issues/2013.2_Apr/Homeland/LEADERS-Homeland-Chauncey-Devereux-Stillman-Wethersfield.html
His beautiful estate is surrounded by rolling hills and features 20 miles of pathways that are decorated with life size limestone statues. The majority of them are either by the Polish born Josef Stachura (1923-2001) or by the English sculptor Peter Watts (1916-2002). The gardens and shrubs surrounding the property are beautifully maintained, and visitors can even enjoy seeing peacocks on the property. In the house itself, the avid collector and art lover Stillman has amassed a variety of impressive artworks, from centennial Chippendale furniture to paintings by the regarded Impressionist artist Mary Cassatt.
Thus, this stunning estate has many views to choose from where an artist would be inspired to set down his or her easel and start painting. One of the most interesting features that really caught my eye, however, were the Pietro Annigoni frescos. My guest writer Mr. Andrew Lattimore is preparing next blog on Annigoni work.
One of the paintings I started at Wethersfield was this landscape, which instantly caught my eye because of its magnificent pond view, which leads on to a lovely rustic barn. As I was painting, I enjoyed the views, the sky pierced by geese families, and the wonderful sounds and smells of Wethersfield autumn. It was such a great workshop, and I hope to return to Wethersfield next year!