Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Wisconsin, Maryland, and New Hampshire

This could be a contest:  what is going on here?  What is in the paper bags, and what fills the four plastic children’s swimming pools?

The Prairie Enthusiasts of Southwestern Wisconsin are re-establishing some small areas of the native habitat of the prairies, as they were before European settlers arrived. The wading pools are collection containers for dried plants.  The square white sheets of paper list the plants’ names.  The bags store the seeds that are removed from the plants. For you gardeners, the seeds shown are:  shooting star, prairie cinqefoil, wild quinine, and flowering spurge.

Through controlled burns, the land is readied for replanting. On a scorching hot day, I (and my sister and her husband) rode in a wagon pulled by a tractor to view the restored prairies. It is quite a remarkable achievement.

We took a ride out to the Hauge Log Church in Perry, Wisconsin during my last trip to the midwest. The log structure was constructed in 1852 by Norwegian pioneers.

The southwestern corner of Wisconsin has a high population of people who descend from these transplants from Norway.  At least the cold winters were not a shock.

 The logs are plastered over both on the outside and inside, so the visual effect isn’t quite as I had expected. The towns people work hard to maintain it, and many weddings take place here.

  Visitors come for the serenity, simplicity, and the views over the rolling farmland. I think I captured the weather: a mist burning off to late summer warmth.

I love brick buildings, no matter the color.  Here in Wisconsin, the brick buildings seem to be yellow.  On my drawing, the yellow is sort of a buttery tone.  Once scanned and put online, it looks a little lemony.  And who knows how you are seeing it at this very moment

Anyway, one night at sundown I rushed out to draw the 1889 District #1 school house in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin. Amazingly enough, this rather substantial and heavy looking edifice was recently moved here from a few blocks down the street.

On the bench, I carefully included the decorative folk art paint style called rosemaling.  It is big in Norway, and here in Wisconsin too.

I have included an encore drawing of the main intersection of streets in downtown Mount Horeb, Wisconsin.  The building with the leaning turret is the former opera house.  Many of the buildings are constructed of local limestone.

The building in the middle with the false front and ornate shingles is the town museum.

A major social center in Mount Horeb is the Grumpy Troll Brew Pub.  (Ha, ha, I just mis-typed the word and it came out the ‘frumpy troll’.  That too.)  The yellow brick former creamery building is a brewery, pub, and restaurant.

Mount Horeb is full of troll-themed places.  All of the trolls sculptures that line Main Street are grumpy. That is the essence of trollery.  I made that word up.

Another yellow-ish building!

Last week, we were in Baltimore, Maryland.  Our airbnb rented apartment was about a six block walk from the famed Baltimore Museum of Art.  I believe the scaffolding was going up as part of a cleaning project.  The next day, a screening covered the entire front of the classic, marble building.

The best part of drawing, really, is the seeing.  I never noticed the two winged angels flying over the facade, each sharing a wreath. Their clothing and their wings were hard to make out from a distance, but I did love the flowing hair and their feet. Do angels really need feet?

Our rented apartment in Baltimore was in Charles Village, a nice, walkable part of town near the Baltimore Museum of Art and the campus of Johns Hopkins University.  As we stepped out the door of the basement apartment, this was the view from across the street.  My favorite kind of elaborate brick rowhouses.

The architects dreamed up a fantastic asymmetrical facade. The elements repeat throughout the block of about thirty units.  And the whole street, St. Paul,  goes downhill toward the harbor.

Time for a few water images.

  On a crisp fall day with a pleasant breeze I sketched  the harbor in Annapolis, Maryland. The boats were shifting all around as I drew them. That is the sort of thing you don’t notice unless you are attempting to draw them.

The small numbered sailboat on the right was the only boat progressing through the waterway. Annapolis has a very active sailing education program, including school children.  Sort of like driver’s ed.

The newly shingled former boat house in the center is the Chart House Restaurant.  Our younger daughter was married there in 2002.

And a quick drawing of Fells Point in Baltimore.  The large natural harbor is in the background.

I bought some lemonade from a small stand just to the left of the scene.  On the bench on the left, a family of recent arrivals enjoy the day.  They were speaking Spanish to the lemonade seller.  Baltimore has many immigrants from Central America.

The local garden club in Holderness, New Hampshire has devised a way to beautify the bridge with flower boxes.  Geraniums and snapdragons are part of the composition.

We are looking out over the bridge onto Little Squam Lake.  The bass boats paraded out of sight and into secret fishing coves.

The small town of Holderness (population under 2,200) is part agricultural, and part summer resort. The more industrial southwestern end of town broke away to form the town of Ashland.

 The movie On Golden Pond was filmed here.

As well, the town is known for its Squam Lake Natural Science Center, and the Holderness School. a co-ed college preparatory boarding school.

The edge of a church graveyard in Tuftonboro, New Hampshire provides a panoramic view of Lake Winnipesaukee.  This largest lake in the state covers 71 square miles (184 km2).

In the summer time the many small boats zipping around resemble water bugs. And see the biplane?

On the last day of the market this summer, I saw my chance to draw the ‘Climbing Tree’. The birch tree on the New London town green is often full of little children attracted to the low branches.

When I was a child, way back in the 1950s, kids spent a lot of time climbing their local, favorite trees.  My special tree was an oak.  I could see the world from up high, but no one saw me.

This tree inspires a more communal event.

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