Leave Inspired: How One Art Gallery in Torrington Plays a Big Role

What is it about art that seemingly takes us to a world away? Art is funny like that. We stare at it. Admire it. Laugh at it. Think about it. In the end, we get lost in it, and as we do we find ourselves almost in a parallel universe. Why, you could almost find yourself taking a mini vacation. Okay, but without the sound effects.

There’s one artist I really admire, even to this day. He’s the Norman Rockwell of Litchdield County, Connecticut. He’s an inspiration to my dreams and he’s very much an inspiration to all. Joe Kopler, based right in the rural city of Torrington, Connecticut is a small town man with a big heart, and his work reflects it.

Joe has an art gallery located right in his home, a bit unique, but once you spend time there you will suddenly find yourself getting motivated to go out and do the things you inspire to do. Quotes such as “Time is a river, you can choose to ride the positive river flowing through life or you can choose to fight the current struggle to stay in place.” blanket his art gallery.

Joe is a positive vibe for Torrington, as well as Litchfield County. His art inspires. He even inspires me to continue writing this blog, and to keep doing the things I love! (Wow, art does all that?)

You’ll notice something a little different about Joe’s work, however. He isn’t your everyday artist. His art is sculptured, almost three dimensional so it’s as if you’re really there in the painting! I have a few hanging up on the walls at home, and after a long day at work, it’s great to come back home and get lost in his paintings. I love to just sit back on the couch and let my imagination run wild.

More recently, Joe’s artwork has been helping me to recover. I was in an accident back in December and I’ve been spending a lot of time at home. Glancing up at his paintings and dreaming about far distant places has been very theraputic. I can’t say that about many artists.

So Joe, thank-you. Thank-you for creating the wonderful works of art that you do. Thank-you for continuing to inspire me, and many others, to become better people. I couldn’t have done it without you and your art. Thank-you, for being you.

For more information, check out his website!

20130110-193540.jpg

20130110-193607.jpg

20130110-193618.jpg

Snowshoeing in Northwestern Connecticut

What is it about snow that brings out the kid in you? It seems for me, each time it snows, a bit of childhood comes back with it. Maybe that’s why I enjoy it so much, then again, I could just be wildly insane. Either way, when there’s a snow day to be had, you can be rest assured I’m out there enjoying every minute of it.

While most days I’m up in Vermont out on the slopes, this past Sunday morning I got to finally test out my snowshoes I had received for Christmas from my mother. Here in northwestern Connecticut, there’s plenty of places to explore, but considering it was 10AM and I had just got home from a long 12 hour overnight shift, I wasn’t looking to travel any further than right in my own backyard.

I decided to hit up the Still River Greenway in Torrington. While it’s a great place to walk and bike during the summer, it’s also the perfect place to snowshoe and cross country ski during the winter. Not too many people would think of a greenway to be a year round place of refuge, but indeed it is.

Parking my car at the entrance by Winsted, I strapped on my snowshoes and away I went. The trail isn’t maintained during the winter so snow is a guarantee after any snow storm we get. The surroundings were actually quite peaceful as not a soul was in sight, except for the random passing of vehicles on Winsted Road, of course, which isn’t exactly the harmonic sounds of nature, but none the less, a relaxing experience away from any hustle and bustle.

The best part about snowshoeing the greenway is that it’s flat. No need to try and manage your way around boulders or occasional tree roots that will have you falling flat on your face! As an inexperienced snowshoer, it’s probably not best that I attempt any of that just yet. I do need my legs to ski for the rest of the winter, otherwise I might just suffer winter depression like the majority of folks! Then again, that may stop me from doing anymore snow dances for the rest of the winter.