"...the pastel works - they're just fantastic. And I'm afraid that they photograph very well but you don't really appreciate the difficulty of making them until you see them up close. That as you know with pastel, you have to be very very good to make it work, because it hard to correct a mistake. With oil paint it's much easier to cover over the error. But these are really really spectacular."
In one of the Woodward notebooks, dated Sat. July 15, 1950, is the following quote: "Clear, brilliant 'June Sky' day. Everything against it but decided to go to Manchester today with Mark to try to begin a chalk drawing for the coming exhibition. Mark packed the car with the chalk things (alone and forgetting nothing) and we started in the Packard about 10 over the trail to N. Adams. Stopped there for stationary errand. On through Bennington. Sandwich lunch with much trouble over my teeth. Quite a little this side of Arlington where Equinox, Aeolus, etc. first show plainly, suddenly decided to make my drawing. Finally got located in the middle of an open field and set up work about 12:30. Mark went across the field into the shade with his typewriter doing over my address book. I worked til 5 feeling I was making a good thing. Since through so early and so comparatively near home decided (in order to give Mark his evening with Barbara) to come right home and not go to Manchester or the Grandahls or go in to formal supper as planned. Tried to find a clean sandwich place from Bennington on even in N. A. but failed until we reached the first of the trail. From Mohawk Park over the back way by 8:15, the sun still up."
AEOLUS was the father of the winds in Greek mythology. The winds lived with their father on the Aeolian Islands. Aeolus kept them in bags and set them free according to his whims. The term "windbag" had its origin in the legend. For more see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeolus
AEOLUS is also a mountain in Vermont and the subject of this work.
Locally RSW was nearly as famous for his 1936 Parkard Phaeton V-8 as he was as an acclaimed artist. Worth noting is that the hood ornament for the Phaeton was none other than AEOLUS himself. Please click on the following link to see Robert Strong Woodward's Packard Scrapbook Page with more photos and tidbits including the original manual!
A chalk by the same name was discovered to precede this 1950 drawing because of it's mention in articles being exhibited at the Pynchon Galleries, 1929 "crayon" exhibition. We do not know if the content is the same contextually as the 1950 drawing, however, given the descriptions by reviewers of the exhibition(below) we can assume they have very similar qualities though, drawn 20 years apart. Oddly enough, RSW makes no mention of this earlier piece in his diary or to 'Mark' who accompanied him on his 1950 excursion.