The Hermitage

A few weeks back I was able to spend a few days up at the Hermitage, an authentic recreation or rebuilding of a rural 18th century Pennsylvania Dutch homestead. Frederick had been asked to homestead-sit and put out a call. I’d been wanting to visit, and this was the perfect opportunity.

Frederick and Zippy

The rain kept me inside painting, which was my goal all along. I took up several canvases but ended up working on just one. With no electricity, it was tough to work at night. I had a nice little studio just steps from the brand new shed I claimed.

Sneak peek of a piece for my upcoming show at La Luz.

A large flock of turkeys wander around, as do the occasional ducks, chickens, and geese. I may have been bad luck, because it seemed like every time we turned around something with feathers was dead on the road. Either road kill or a casualty of something more sinister, a coyote or the local feral dog, aka “Riley”.

I collected fresh eggs from the chicken coop—quite an experience—but they were great. I introduced Frederick to “eggies in the basket”, a breakfast my dad used to cook for me and made famous more recently in the movie “V for Vendetta”.

It was creepy at night. I was in a small brand new shed, but the very first night I didn’t have the door latched. When the winds kicked up, it blew wide open and scared the shit out of me. I’ve camped all my life, in some very remote places, but this place was so old it seemed that the ghosts were out in full force. I’m spoiled by the luxuries and security of living on the sixth floor, behind numerous doors and locks.

I won’t go into more detail. It was a great experience, and I’m looking forward to going back. Here are a few more pics I took.

The owners have a large collection of doors in the barn, as well as printing presses and looms.

I slept in the new shed is on the left and used the building on the right for my studio.

A country road runs through the middle of the property with the duck pond just across the road.

More info about the Hermitage is here.

2 thoughts on “The Hermitage”

  1. Hey nice overview of your short visit. Sad that you only got to be there during that rainy week and with so many fowl falling prey to something. Seems like it must have been a fox says the owners. They often kill things just for the sport of it and leave them lay. Looking forward to setting up a week or two for next summer’s artists residency when we can have a bunch of us up there to work as a team on all the chores and have time set aside to work and relax from the work. It was a pleasure having you up there with me. I know in the rain and solitute I would have lost my nerve and been too scared to enjoy it but your company really helped. Thanks for coming all that way.

  2. Sorry our paths didn’t cross, I would have enjoyed seeing you. I claimed the cabin you abandoned. I loved waking up early, opening up the double-doors at the end of the bed and watching the sunrise from bed as I dozed in and out. It certainly is a time and place removed. I took Bob and a friend up for the Men’s Gathering the following weekend. It was nice but not quite the same. I think part of the magic was having the place to just Frederick and I. I look forward to an artist retreat there next summer! Hope to see you soon.

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