There are many doors here at the Vermont Studio Center - residence door, writing studio, library/conference room, dining hall, even a meditation room door. None tops the humble simplicity of Christina's door in the Olson House in Cushing, Maine. The subject of Andrew Wyeth's famous painting, Christina's World, was paralyzed from an illness. Yet she pulled herself through the fields, reveling in the outdoors she had known as a child.
In the kitchen of that house, there are two doors flanking the old cookstove. Both lead to the shed. One door is unpainted, nicked and rough. Christina's brother Alvero visited the woodpile through this door to keep the cookstove cranking out heat.
The other door is also worn and scratched, but it is painted blue, on both sides. This was Christina's door. Her washboard hangs on the shed side. Living in a three story ark of a house on the Atlantic, she must have spent long winters in that warm kitchen. I like to think that the blue door was her piece of the sky and sea, a reminder of what she loved.
Beginning this residency feels like walking through a door. Everyday concerns, chores, schedules, the phone on one side, and the blue promise of possibilty on the other. I feel like I've walked into Virginia Wolf's, A Room of One's Own.