If there is a road between fact and fiction, between the harsh realities of life and the figments of paradise, it is the third-mile dirt driveway that leads to Lazy Goose, the secluded upstate New York, forty-acre enclave of author and potter Gail Fraser and her husband, artist Art Poulin. But potholes in their natural state, their gate that is open to friends and scheduled visitors, and wayward wildlife seemingly determined to challenge the best of brakes, are only minor obstacles to what awaits a visitor at the top of the hill; a gentleman's farm and artist retreat of architecturally stunning buildings, crimson red barns, cozy cottages, numerous ponds and a babbling stream that adorn rolling green hills.
And if life does imitate art, it is at Lazy Goose, where real world angst and intrusions give way to humor and gentleness, where any soul brave enough to risk life and limb on "the driveway" will escape into the fictional provinces created by Fraser and Poulin. The orchard, the multi-colored beehives, even the heirloom tomatoes at their homestead are mere visual references to a deeper solace found here, a serenity grounded in the belief that one can maneuver past the potholes of life and come out for the better by living with simple tenets and finding purpose and synergy through one's passions.
Beginning in 2006, the couple crafted the buildings at Lazy Goose's pastoral campus, and at the heart of Lazy Goose is the first building you come to on the right: the studio. On the upper level is an 1,800 sq foot painters laird where oils and acyclics are applied to canvas under vaulting ceiling behind massive windows. Inside Poulin's studio, visitors are surrounded with vibrantly colored canvases - folk art that reflects the timeless spirit of America, and the explosive hues of the impressionist landscapes of Adrien Colt. On the lower level, in a studio almost as large, is where hands sculpt clay, kilns burn round the clock and bowls reflect the richness and balance of form and color.
The calm of Lazy Goose exerts a powerful influence on visitors and art collectors alike, most of whom develop a passionate loyalty to the property as well as to the individual artists here, and return year after year for private showings, open studio tours or garden excursions. It is, indeed, a small haven that creates and protects a tranquil environment that is in stark contrast to today's times.