Saturday, January 10, 2009

This way the first week of classes, so I've been immersed in that down here in Cambridge and Andover, but this morning I am reading recent postings and reentering the Art of Action project. I  heard a quote from Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations" this week, referring to the current downturn in the economy as the inevitable result of the kind of commerce that our culture has become engaged with: Non-essential goods production as opposed to a more fundamental needs-based economy founded on, for instance, cultivation. Perhaps this has been taken out of context, but a return to agriculture and cultivation would restore and enrich  the Vermont landscape. Its hard to farm in this climate, but there may be an increasing regional market for locally grown food, and with incentives it could become profitable again. I've heard that there's a very limited market for Vermont wool and that some sheep farms end up burning it...

Friday, January 2, 2009

In thinking about the future I have also thought about the past. Here is another aspect to my relationship to Vermont: The painter Winthrop Chandler is a forebear. He was an early American painter-self-taught- and I feel a kinship with his work. He painted the Crafts family that's in the Craftsbury Common Library. Mahitable Crafts was his sister.

Mostly he painted portraits, but there are a few landscapes-"The Battle of Bunker Hill" is in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
This painting has a futuristic and/or apocalyptic quality which I admire.