Friday, October 21, 2011

Clouds in the Berkshires

Cummington is a beautiful old town in The Berkshires of western Massachusetts.  
In these rolling hills you find two hundred year old farms and maple trees .  

The Berkshires are part of Appalachians that run up the east coast of the United States.  

I scouted the back roads choosing my favorite spots to paint during my short visit.

The foliage was spectacular. It was at peak in some areas and starting to move a little beyond peak in others.

I was so lucky in timing my trip. Four days before I arrived the trees were drab and boring.  A day before I arrived the trees lit up !

I choose a favorite spot of mine that I have never had the time to paint during past trips.

When I was five I used to pick blueberries here with my mother. 

 A couple of years ago I stumbled upon this place again while looking for a short cut across the hills.

Its the William Cullen Bryant property and the Bryant Farm. Part of the property is in the Trustee of Reservations. Bryant's childhood home is now a museum. 

The land in this part of the Berkshires is high and hilly with open pastures and criss-crossing narrow roads. 

There are still a few working farms left, but not as many as there used to be. 

It is heavenly up there. The views are sublime. 

I could have chosen a hundred places to set up to paint.

In the morning the sun was out down in the nearby Pioneer Valley, while up in the hills the clouds were scraping across the meadows.

I set up to paint along the roadside to Bryant Farm.

It is so quiet in this area that you hear every car that drives up the road to the five corners.

It didn't rain... painting in the clouds was a soft, thick moist experience !

One cow , Two cows... 
Three cows...
Four !   Curious creatures these guys...

 One of them came down to check me out and the rest to followed at a stampede pace. They literally ran straight at me until they reached the electric fence! 

On my second day of painting I wasn't so lucky with the weather...

Rain poured in torrents out of the clouds.

I started painting under the hatchback of my station wagon.

When I found myself standing in a flash flood up to my ankles, I decided that was enough.  I removed my wet clothes and moved into the car.

 Comfortable and cozy in the front seat,  I started to drawing and painting in my sketchbooks with watercolors.

I moved the car along the road to each new view I was painted.

From every spot there was a gorgeous view.

As the afternoon wore on and the time neared for me to start my drive back home, the clouds broke up and the sun pierced through the gloom.

I could again see the farms on the nearby hills.

The puddles and brooks running down the road disappeared.

The colors of the wet leaves lit up the landscape.

I love this place ! It was really hard to leave...I wish I lived nearby and could paint up here in every season.


  1. WOW!! Thanks for sharing all those lovely colors. I too wished I lived nearby... looks like heaven on earth.

  2. Capt Elaine ! Nice to hear from you ! I remembered how beautiful this place was when I was a child. But I had no idea it had changed so little and still had the old trees, old farms and open fields. Many of the same families still live there in the original houses and have for a few hundred years.(a local told me)