Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Behind the Scenes!

This is Lyme, New Hampshire, a town along the Connecticut River—which is the border with Vermont. In the background is one end of a building of 27 stalls for horses and carriages. It continues on for a long way! The stalls are no longer used, but a remnant of past times when the church goers arrived in this fashion. On the right is a church of the early Victorian era, and on the left of the curve sits a home built in the late Victorian era. And on the roadway is a car of my own style, indeterminate era.

This is part of our DRAW-NH!series. We drove along the Connecticut River, and stopped to draw at Bath, Woodsville, Haverhill, Orford, and Lyme. It was a great day.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Behind the Scenes!

This is the view of Mount Ascutney, which is across the border in Vermont. We are in Cornish, New Hampshire. And we are enjoying the breeze under the grape arbor at the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site. The sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens was enormously talented, and this building was his summer studio. I especially like his bas-relief sculptures, in clay, of young children.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Behind the Scenes!

I guess this could be called a mountain of cards. A few months ago, someone suggested that I make cards out of my drawings. I had done that before when we lived in England, a long time ago. At that time, I had a choice of two designs. Now we have more than I can count.

These cards are drying overnight after having been sprayed with anti-UV spray. It protects against fading. As a word of caution, refrain from hanging any art, original or reproductions, in bright sunlight.

The cards are printed by my technical associate on an ink jet printer.
We’ve been selling them through local retail locations and at recent outdoor summer markets.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

New Hampshire!

A late posting for June, as can be seen by the first image. It’s been a busy month.

This is the Independence Day fireworks over Pleasant Lake, with Mount Kearsarge in the background. Drawn on my iPad from memory.

I drew this town as part of my DRAW-NH! project. I added 22 towns to my total last month (I said I’d been busy!), but I’ll space out their appearance here on the blog. This is Washington, NH, the first town in the US named for George Washington. There were, of course, many more to follow. In the foreground is the band stand decorated with cloth bunting for Memorial Day, at the end of May. Most towns keep the decorations up through Independence Day on July 4. In the background are the church, a school, and the town hall. They are painted wooden frame buildings. The town halls of New England are where the annual town meetings take place. Every citizen has one vote, on important topics that need to be resolved, mostly having to do with the annual budget.

I thought I would include a drawing of a bandstand that has a band playing in it. This is the Green, some times called the Common, in our town of New London, NH. The jazz group playing is the Granite State Stompers. (New Hampshire’s nickname is the Granite State, for its local quarried stone.) It was a fine occasion with good music and perfect weather. Kids and dogs and picnic suppers abounded. I like the fact that only the dog is posing for me. I don’t believe the people are recognizable, as portraiture is not my strong point. But the yellow lab might be.

The Town Green is the scene of lots of action in the summer. I’ll be there every Wednesday from 3 to 6 selling note cards featuring pictures from the blog, paintings, and other art work at the artists’ and farmers’ Market on the Green.

I drove to the nearby town of Newbury, NH to draw their recently renovated meeting house. It was a cold, rainy day, so I stopped here for coffee and a peanut butter cookie. This is one of the counters at Marzelli Deli, in Newbury. They have all manner of Italian imported food. And freshly prepared goodies including gelati. Small towns (villages really) often have great treasures. Yum!

These are hop poles behind our local brew pub, the Flying Goose, in New London. Hops are part of the brewing process. I love the blue misty mountains in the background. I don’t know their names, as I need to consult a map. What a view the houses in the center must have. This pub is at a cross roads near our house. I often drive past to catch a view of the mountains. It is only slightly out of the way. If I ever write an autobiography it will be entitled “Taking the Long Way Home.”

The home of Samuel Morse, Esq. in Croydon. He was a judge—not the more famous inventor of the same name. This house was built in 1815 as his home, law offices, and court room on the second floor. The home and museum is open on Sundays in the summer. I would like to view the interior. I was attracted to the house by its frontier grandness, the color, the doorway, and of course the white picket fence. All of wood. Since it was raining, I drew this from the car. I got a few stares as my car was parked at an odd angle, to maximize my drawing viewpoint. I apologized to one person. He seemed even more mystified after my explanation.

This is Main Street in Antrim, NH. I know that this is the name of a city in Northern Ireland. It is likely that the settlers of this place came from there originally. It’s very common for New England towns to bear the name of the Old Country origin of their settlers, with the same name frequently appearing in many of the six New England states as the settlers spread out. These buildings, early to mid 1800’s, are painted wood except for the brick mill on the far left. New Hampshire was founded on water power and mills. My sister and I have often remarked how attractive the displays are in front of this hardware store. I think the eye likes patterns, and it doesn’t seem to matter too much if the design is fine art, or carefully stacked plastic chairs.

This display case is in the town of Weare, NH, in the Stone Memorial Building. The architect was Manchester based William Butterfield. I was wandering around a cross roads of this town, not sure what to draw. And then a woman asked if she could help me. She had the keys to the building I was admiring, and she let me in. She told me the rules ..“We discourage photography.” “How about drawing?”, I asked as I was pulling out my paper and pencil.

These statues are in Tilton, NH, along the Main Street, donated by Charles Tilton in the late 1800’s. On the far left, “Miss Tilton, 1882”, in marble. Her hand is resting on a horse’s head. She is in a small park at one end of town. Draped in linen-like folds, she wears a crown. In the center, is a bronze figure, named Squantum Chief. It is beautifully designed and cast. He is wearing buckskins and carries a bow and arrows. This sculpture was moved to the side of the main street from its original location in the middle of the street. On the right, in carved marble stone, is a figure titled Indian Queen. She stands on a pedestal in the middle of the street, with the traffic circling around her. I find her to be amazing. She has a lion’s head draped over her shoulder. And she has some sort of giant lizard at her feet, gazing up at her. And a strange headdress, and odd skirt, and no shirt at all. I would like to track down the meaning and intent of the sculptor some day. And remember, she stands in the center of the busiest street.

Henniker is a small nearby town. The signs heading into town proclaim “The Only Henniker On Earth”. It is home to New England College. I stopped into a small shop called the Vintage Sparrow to buy some wine glasses I saw in the window. The owner suggested I would enjoy drawing a scene down by the Contoocook River. So I did. This is the back view of Daniel’s Restaurant. I just liked the shape of it, plus the color and the array of solar panels on the roof. My parents were married along the banks of the Contoocook River a few miles down stream in Davisville.

Here is the line up in Salisbury, NH on Old Turnpike Road, the main street. It looks like a toy village. From left to right, the buildings are the library, the town hall, the hearse house and museum, and the Baptist Meeting House (now used by the Historical Society). Sometimes I choose to draw a row of buildings all from a straight on view. This is an example. Maybe another day I will return and redraw them from one standing location so that you will see the sides of the the buildings. That would be an interesting comparison. I find it hard to believe at times that these wooden structures are still standing. Still cared for and repaired by the small populace of the settlements. I call them all towns, but many places I draw have only a population of one to two thousand people.