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Across from the Abbey, Weston, VT

The first IAP tour had finished -- eleven weeks on the road had worn me out -- before I reached New England. Although I hadn't envisioned the Project extending beyond one tour, there were several interested, prospective hosts in the northeast. Some of these were acquaintances who had contributed to the Project's development, providing useful information or inspiration. I wanted to include them in the Project. So a New England tour was added-on later that year, as a sort of postscript to the main tour.

Also, while I did not consider myself a natural traveler, it was no longer so easy simply to stay at home. I found touring to be very demanding, often a strain, largely outside my "comfort zone," yet I was drawn to the sense of possibility and the productivity that I'd experienced on the first tour. I could connect with people in a way that didn't happen enough at home, where routine expectations or familiarity tended to dull the edge of interaction. So, curiously, despite being at best a reluctant vagabond, I began looking to the road, not so much for escape as for fulfillment. The road was where I could come closest to operating at my highest level, as an artist, as an individual, and as a member of society.

The first stop of what turned out to be the first of several New England tours was in Weston, Vermont. It was early November, gray and chilly. But the company was as warm and supportive as I've found in all my years of touring. I responded with 9 painting in 3 days and got to do a lot of hiking, too.

I don't usually watch TV much on tour, or anytime, but it may be worth noting, for context, that election night 2000 took place during this stop. We followed the news coverage for hours (while I worked away at a painting or two). I recall considerable excitement in the household as, late in the evening, the newscasters told the world that polls and projections confirmed Al Gore the winner. The next morning we learned that apparently something had changed in Florida, and, with that, the outcome.