This was a village that was set up by one Ray Schmitt. My family visited there, and we enjoyed seeing the antiques and and period accoutrements. I hope that it can be restored and find a new life, now that it has a new owner.
In 1967, she attended a party of her old Yale classmates in New Haven, and met up with Ed Paier, proprietor of the Paier School of Art in neighboring Hamden. He kindly asked her to come and teach. At this time, many of the old Yale crowd were there: Ken Davies, Jean and Rudolph Zallinger, Leonard Everett Fisher, and even Charlotte’s drawing teacher, Deane Keller. Other good Paier friends would be part of our world as well. In 1970, my family decided to move to Cheshire, closer to Charlotte’s old home base. Charlotte would teach at Paier until 1984, primarily rendering and perspective in the Interior Design department, but later perspective, creative painting, and egg tempera in the Illustration and Fine Art sector.
Charlotte enjoyed her “kids” tremendously, often becoming a confidante of theirs.It was her custom, for many years, to have a tea party for the Interior Design students. This was a delightful event, featuring tea sandwiches, cakes, etc. A very large bouquet graced the coffee table. All these years later, I still correspond with some of her students.
Charlotte also did some china design work for Design Point Decal, prints with Greenwich Workshop, and licensing with Applejack Art Partners. She showed several paintings at the Ferguson Gallery in Hartford and the Greenwich Workshop gallery in Fairfield. She became more and more known for her large village scenes and interest in the antique. Meanwhile, she explored New England, particularly Connecticut. My explorations also were inspired by a library of art books that my parents both collected. I too would grow up to draw and paint. She passed away at age 83 in 2003.
It was in Charlotte’s case as Robert Frost had said of his own life:
My object in living is to unite
My avocation and vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.
She had a speech which she used to give to her students as inspiration, which summarizes her philosophy of art, and life:
As a general rule, resist what is fashionable. Your work will be “modern” simply because you are alive. To try to work in a fashionable “style,” or in an admired artist’s “technique” is a certain way to lose sight of your Self—the biggest mistake you could ever make! The only thing that would ever make your paintings desirable to others, or even great, is the fact that it is yours, and no one else could possibly have done it. Some say we are all as ants in this universe—what we say, do, or feel amounts to nothing, and makes no difference one way or another. I feel strongly that this is not true. Everything we say or do affects someone else, whether we, or they, know it or not: and it’s up to each of us, as individuals, to be conscious of this fact and arrange our efforts towards the benefit of every other person and of the world in general. To proliferate evil or ugliness in any form is to drag down the dignity of mankind. Many say mankind is foolish, lazy, ill-tempered and brutal, so why bother? Yes, he is all of these things, but he is also genial, loving, patient, and heroic in the troubles he must bear. Does he not deserve the best you can give him? Can he not use the encouragement? Can he fail to respond to beauty and not be the better forit? He cannot fail to respond—even the dullest brute is calmed by beauty.You will find that when looking into the depths of your Self, you have an inexhaustible supply of fascinating pictures, unlike any that any other person can produce. The older youare, the more pictures there are. Your own experiences in living, or simply in fantasizing,brought through your brain and fingers into picture form, is certain to appeal to other people, who will recognize the content of these pictures as common to all human beings, and will be delighted by them.