This is the last week to visit the exhibition, “The Painted Sketch: Crawford Notch,” by artist, Michael E. Vermette, which is on display through October 29, in the Mt. Willard Dining Room at the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Highland Center at Crawford Notch. The exhibit is free and open to the public when the space is not otherwise in use.
The exhibit features Vermette’s contemporary painted sketches created in the “plein air” style, outdoors in the White Mountain National Forest and Crawford Notch State Park, and at the Highland Center site.
Vermette served as artist in residence at the Highland Center for a week last fall and a week last winter. During those residencies, he created 11 painted oil sketches and 11 watercolor sketches that were made completely outdoors (en plein air) within the region. Sometimes working near the lodge, other times snowshoeing to a site with his studio on his back, he painted in cold weather amid challenging conditions. Each painting was rendered within a two- to three-hour block of time on location to capture the light. “Each painting was an adventure that tells a story,” he says.
Crawford Notch has long been an inspiration for artists drawn by the majesty of the surrounding peaks and crags. White Mountain School of Art painters frequented the area in the 19th and early 20th centuries to practice plein air outdoor landscape painting. One of the school’s more famous members, Frank Shapleigh, worked from his art studio in what is now the Shapleigh Bunkhouse on the Highland Center site.
Vermette’s expressive paintings show a love of color and light. In his evocative oils, watercolors, and pastels, he emboldens color by putting into practice traditional methods of the masters to cause the pigment to be brighter, richer, and more translucent.
For more information on the exhibit, call the Highland Center at (603) 278-4453, or email [email protected].