Monday, April 23, 2018

"Miller Road Springhouse", 11x14, oil on panel, Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, springhouse, forsythia, Chester County Pennsylvania, Miller Road, Foxhunt country, Dr. Don Rosato, antique carriages, red fox, plein air paintings, Maryanne JAcobsen art, country roads

"Miller Road Springhouse", plein air, 11x14, oil on panel

For many years I took ballet class on a daily basis. It wasn't a chore, it was something I absolutely loved to do. It refreshed and challenged and nourished  me. It conditioned my body and brought joy to that spiritual part of me that just wanted to soar. My favorite part of ballet class was of course the grande allegro. This is where I could soar through the air in leaps called grande jetes and attempt to move the way a bird travels across the sky!

At any rate, those days are well over, but I still recall when I would stop taking class for a week or two or even a month due to unpredictable circumstances- injury, vacation, family obligations.... whatever.

There was a saying amongst dancers that when you stopped taking class for three weeks, it would take you six weeks to get back into shape. So for example, if I were to try to go back to ballet class now, it would take me 30 years to get back to the condition I was in when I quit.

Lol. At 66, it's probably not worth it!

Anyhow, I experienced a little bit of the same thing recently, when I went back to plein air painting after taking about 6 months off.

It could have been a total disaster as I contemplated giving up over and over again in that first half hour as I struggled with paint mixtures and finding the right brushes.

But luckily, I happened to be in my happy place- Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, just a short mile or so from where I once lived, and I was not about to let the opportunity go to waste.

You see, I live in Florida now, and it's not often that I get to paint Spring expressing herself in bright golden forsythia bushes along a winding road with a stream and springhouse plopped along the way.

So I scraped the painting down and started again. The long afternoon tree shadows kept showing up on my canvas as I tried to paint and I had to keep turning my easel to get out of their way, which meant I had to look backwards at my scene.

As my neck got stiff from looking backwards, I finally gave up trying to avoid tree shadows and just turned the easel into the scene.

You truly never know what kind of treasures you'll see when you happen to be painting along Miller Road.

At one point, a red fox came strutting up the road, right past me, with a mouse or something tucked in his mouth. He was not in any hurry, so I had a chance to grab the camera and catch a quick shot as he headed up the hill.

Next, the storied Dr. Don Rosato and his friends came by in one of  the doctor's handsome carriages.

Dr. Rosato  is well known and respected in the fox hunt community. He lives nearby on St. Matthews Rd. and his colorful history and beautiful carriages are a permanent fixture in this tiny bucolic community. He waved as he passed my easel and I managed to get another quick shot in.

Jeez. Was I having good day or what? Imagine if I had given up, thrown my gear in the car and drove away?

So even though I was out of practice and discouraged at the outset I persevered and had an absolutely marvelous afternoon!

If you would like to purchase, "Miller Road Springhouse", just send me an email at

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