LITCHFIELD — Topsmead State Forest is a 618- acre property with open meadows, horse trails, bluebird houses, woods trails and a charming Tudor Revival country estate house that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The property is the legacy of Edith Morton Chase, daughter of Henry Sabin Chase, first president of the Chase Brass and Copper Company. She left the house and its grounds to the state of Connecticut on her death in 1972.
On Sept. 21, inside the rustic garage that once housed the former owner’s beloved Packard, Friends of Topsmead Board of Directors member Carol Gould welcomed speaker Judith Bird, an artist and trained expressive arts facilitator who would present a two-hour workshop on drawing and journaling in nature to ten participants.
Following an explanation and warm-up exercises on sketching by Judith Bird, the workshop participants were sent out to “find a seat” to observe and chronicle whatever they viewed and experienced. At the appointed time, the group returned to the garage to pair up in groups of two to show and discuss their drawings and impressions, and how they found peace within.
Carol Gould said there are plans to hold more lectures on the side lawn of the house, including a talk about the butterfly garden, and hopefully a visit by Gerri Griswold of White Memorial.
For more information about Topsmead State Forest events, contact www.friendsoftopsmead.org. To visit the former summer residence of Edith Morton Chase, the address is 29 Chase Road, off Buell Road in Litchfield. The property is open early and closes at sunset each day.