Monday, November 23, 2009

Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts

Hello. I usually post this blog once a month. With an enormous amount of dedicated help from my husband. This one is a bit early, and January’s will be slightly delayed. It will happen when I return from snowy Canada, with lots of new drawings I’m sure!

Ogunquit, Maine. Late Autumn colors along the Marginal Way, a gorgeous mile-long walk along the cliffs. Perkins Cove and the breaking waves are in the background. I used to come here for a painting class when at the University of New Hampshire in Durham. The plants are juniper with their beautiful blue berries, beach roses, bittersweet vine on the far right and sumac in the middle. So much loveliness in one place.

A November view of Mount Kearsarge, New London. The trees are odd shapes from old ice storm damage. The high hay meadow is on protected farmland.

The reading room at Tracy Memorial Library, New London. The piles of magazines are actually neat. Somehow they look untidy in my drawing. I love the portraits looking down on us. On the left Josiah Brown, first librarian, 1801, and on the right Micajeh Morgan, former owner of the private home that became this library. There is very little need in New Hampshire for a change of decor.

The small carpet is a hooked rug made by my mother. On this, a wool afghan designed and made by my grandmother. In the plant pot is a paper flower made by our granddaughter. Including me drawing all this, that puts the work of four generations of art loving females in the picture. And more to come I’m sure.

Supermarket flowers. Grown, packaged, shipped, repackaged, by hands unknown.

I love this pitcher, initialed ‘K.N.’ on the bottom. I bought in Maryland and it makes me want to travel to Estonia where it was painted. The turkey feathers were found in our woods. There is at least one wild flock around here. I have never seen a male. Just the ladies and lots of children, looking like a day care center field trip.

A little wooden shelf, from the 1940’s. Our younger daughter, the one who loves folk art, painted these bright colors when she was a college student. The shot glass has a Vancouver Olympics logo. The mugs are from Bennington Pottery in Vermont.

Our window seat overlooks the tool shed and our woods in the back. I sometimes paint here in the sunshine.

On the left is a child’s Adirondack packbasket, labeled ’46 and Bruce. On the right, jumping ahead one generation, is the straw boater worn by our children (they shared it) 1980-83 in England. It was part of the summer term uniform at Berkhampstead School.

The corner of Newbury and Clarendon Streets, Boston, Massachusetts. This section of the city is called Back Bay, as it was once water. A fun place to stroll on a warm November Saturday. All this urban activity is about 90 minutes from our woods in New London.

Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts. We lived only a couple of miles from Harvard Square when I was 14 and 15. I took a bus here to buy foreign newspapers and magazines, mostly from France. This very news stand was my window on the world. Behind it are the buildings that form part of the famed Harvard Yard. Five years later I would be living in Dijon, the capital of Burgundy.

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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Autumn in New Hampshire and Maryland

For any new viewers to my site...welcome! I draw on site, not from photographs. Either sitting or standing to sketch, I draw on small paper. Sometimes I start immediately with pen, other times for a more complex subject, I start the basic composition in pencil.

How do I choose my subjects? Each scene must challenge my head, and tug at my heart. After those two criteria are met and I start my work, it is all a kind of dance between my eye, brain, heart, hand, and drawing tool. Just the act of carrying pencil and paper with me improves my observational skills! I feel engaged with the world when I am looking for beauty.

A farmhouse in Bradford, New Hampshire. If you keep adding on to your house, you eventually get to the barn. Then you don’t have to go outside to feed the animals.

The apple pie baking contest at Spring Ledge Farm in New London. There were 33 pies submitted, and I chose three to draw. Number ten did tie for first place, so I guess it tasted as good as it looked.

The Fall selection at Spring Ledge Farm. I included the yellow house across the street, as it fit in so well with the color scheme. It is a New England style Greek Revival built around 1830.

October is a big month for yellow and orange. This is the Autumn view from our top story window-wall. On the Northeast end of the house our windows go floor to ceiling. It is like living in a tree house.

The same view, as seen from the deck about three weeks later. We live in a beech forest, and those leaves stay on in a russet color until Spring. The white bark of the birch trees is lovely all year. The ridge in the background disappears when the leaves return in springtime.

I drew this in 2008, a year ago. I called this tree the ‘show off’ tree, as it glowed long after the other leaves were gone.

The boats at rest on Pleasant Lake. Mount Kearsarge is in the background.

Main Street, Ellicott City, Maryland. I think that this old building near the rail road station was once a hotel. It is built into the granite hillside. Yes, that is a large teddy bear on the porch roof. It is now a toy store.

The Wilkins-Rogers flour mills, a block from the hotel in the last drawing. This company makes Washington brand cake and muffin mixes. The Ellicott brothers settled here in Maryland to grow wheat and mill it. So I feel this building is a direct link to the past.

The Thomas Isaac cabin, on upper Main Street. Another link to the town’s beginnings.

Again, Main Street. Actually, almost all the commercial buildings are on this one street. The yellow brick store is from the 1920’s. The other two far earlier. I never knew why the windows and door are off-center in the middle building. It is of locally quarried granite.

And here is a large chunk of that granite. In some parts of town the granite stone flows right down to the brick sidewalk. This is rush hour (probably rush 15 minutes). ‘Sweet’ is the name of a bakery new to me since my last visit.

A window in Baltimore. I found this scene so charming, with toddler toys stored so neatly on the window sill, and crayon scribble marks to complete the décor. This rowhouse is next door to our daughter and son-in-law’s house. The two year old boy has a new sister.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Canadian Rockies and Baltimore

The view of the Colin Range in Jasper Township, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.
This is our fourth trip to the beautiful town of Jasper.
This view is from my favorite restaurant, Earl’s.

Whistlers Mountain above the village of Jasper, with the tramway building at the near top. You can see six mountain ranges from the top. The elevation is 7,472 feet or 2,277 meters. We hiked from the building to the top of the mountain in 40 minutes of hard work, to see the 360 degree view. In the very foreground is the clear and aqua Lake Beauvert.

I often draw from wherever I find a comfy seat. This is the view of Jasper from inside the tramway restaurant. Jasper is a lovely, crescent shaped town that cannot grow larger because of the National Park rules. You see many lakes, Jasper Park Lodge on the far right, and the very busy train tracks. Two rivers meet here. The glacial one is aqua colored. They flow into the Arctic Sea.

A typical view in Jasper, from our Greek Restaurant, the Palisades. The grey rocks are limestone. The one with the brown stone top is called Old Man Mountain. Some say it looks like a sleeping Indian complete with feathers aside his face.

The view from the Alberta Rocky Mountain High B&B (great place!) in Canmore, a town just outside Banff National Park (about 200 miles south of Jasper via the gorgeous Icefields Parkway). The mountains are called the Three Sisters. Funny how the three peaked roof lines echo the mountain profiles. I didn't notice this until done drawing. The morning sun was just catching the mountaintops.

Canmore’s pictographs at Grassi Lakes. We hiked here.
It was steep, but less than an hour’s effort.
Experts say these drawings are 10,000 to 14,000 years old. What do you think they mean?

Back to the East Coast, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. This is Greektown as is plain to see. The buildings as I drew them all have an odd slant. Must have been holding my paper at an angle.

The view of Lakewood and Fairmount Avenues, Baltimore. From the rooftop of our daughter’s house. The big black object in the foreground is the tar-papered covered roof where I was standing. I was locked out on the roof at the time, so I had plenty of time to draw.

Snikle, the official cat of the Elkins Post Office, where we collect our mail.
A VERY friendly and soft cat.

The centerpiece of my birthday meal in Edmonton.
My sister and our granddaughters designed this unusual decoration for the table.

Friday, September 4, 2009

New Hampshire, New Orleans

A bucket of blueberries, picked by me. I sat down in the field to draw them.
I loved the red color as well.

The old mills at Claremont, NH. They are now being renovated.
Mt. Ascutney, in Vermont, is in the background.

An old house in Newport, NH.
I never saw a house that looked like this. The double veranda looks very Southern to me.
Perhaps the builder's family moved to New Hampshire from the South.
And the medallion is very oversized and boastful-looking

Sunapee Harbor, NH. Two tourists are taking time out for a game of checkers.
My husband and I are sitting under the canopy, having a picnic.

The Ryder Corner School, 1810–1938. Croyden NH.
Moved to the
Muster Field Farm Museum in North Sutton, NH in 1991

End of the summer corn. Inexpensive and delicious.

A view from our hotel in the French Quarter, New Orleans. A family trip in 1987.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

New Hampshire, New York, and Ontario

New Hampshire

One room schoolhouse, 1868, Sutton. No longer in use.
Note bell at the right.

Schoolhouse, Route 11, New London.
I think the two doors separated the girls from the boys. A private residence now.

A one room schoolhouse, moved on site to the New London Historical Society Village.

The Inn at Pleasant Lake, New London.
I sat on the grass across the road to draw this long building in order to highlight
the late summer perennial flowers.

Western New York

The home of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Seneca Falls.
Part of the Women’s Rights National Historical Park.
That’s Elizabeth and her seven children taking a walk. I tried to feel her presence when I was there.

A four foot (no pun intended) high set of boots covered with velvet maple leaves.
These were in the window display of the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto.

The view across the street from our rental vacation house in Toronto.
The trouble with duplexes.

Corner of Danforth and Gillard Avenues, Greektown, Toronto.
This says Toronto to me....Asian, Middle Eastern, Greek, and Ethiopian store front businesses in one building.
The two guys in front of the Greek Social Club invited me for coffee.

Kingston, Ontario, at the eastern end of Lake Erie.
The defense towers were built in 1845 to protect the strategic Rideau Canal
during a dispute with the U.S. over claims for Oregon and Washington.
Though that crisis is long past, the wind farm on the right is a response to the current energy concerns.
The pleasure boats have their colorful summer canvas roofs.

Strawberries from Spring Ledge Farm, New London.