Monday, July 13, 2015

Farm Dover's First Artist in Residence: Dudley Zopp

My paintings reflect my interest in geological processes and cultural histories of place.
Earth as a material substance has always captivated me and I have learned that each location
has its particular geological significance that determines the way its inhabitants live their lives.
Dudley Zopp

Something exciting happened at Farm Dover last month and I have not yet told you about it. Ed and I hosted our first Artist in Residence. Our friend – and acclaimed artist – Dudley Zopp came for a week of study, sketching and watercolor blocking of landscape perspectives here at Farm Dover. (For those of you who are long-time readers of this blog,  you may recall that Ed, Jack and I went to New York City back in 2011 to see Dudley's exhibit at Coleman Burke Gallery.)

Dudley slept in the cottage and worked long hours on her art each day. She'd come up to the house for meals and small breaks – but most of the time, I'd see her sitting on a five-gallon plastic bucket out in the middle of a field, sketching or painting away.

Dudley currently lives in Maine, but is originally from Kentucky. Her goal for this residency was "to look at my native landscape through the lens of twenty years in New England."

She did a similar residency in Farnese, Italy, which provided inspiration for a series of paintings she calls Sight Lines. She is hoping to produce a companion body of work based on her sketches of Farm Dover.

Here are a couple of her Sight Lines paintings, inspired from her Italian residency.

I left a small stack of books in the cottage and Dudley was taken with a line from Wendell Berry's: Fidelity. Hannah is talking about Nathan (her husband) and says: "You never felt, looking at him, that he had left something somewhere beyond the cleared fields that he would be bound to go back and get." Says Dudley: "It's that feeling of something either left behind or waiting ahead for me, that defines both the paintings and a lot of the places I've chosen to dig into."

I was fascinated to hear her talk about her work. The last day that she was here, she shared pages from her sketchbooks with us and talked about her process for collecting the information that she needs to go back to her studio and create works in oil on paper or linen. She took photos, made sketches with notes, and captured scenes in small watercolors.

I can't wait to see the paintings from her time here. It pleases me to no end to think that Farm Dover provided inspiration to such a talented artist. I'm hoping she will discover that she needs to come back for more material. If so, a residency is waiting for her...


  1. What a wonderful thing for all!

  2. Dudley is an artist's artist. What a great collaboration you achieved.