Saturday, March 26, 2011

New Hampshire and Maryland

This is another view out of our front door. The beech leaves which cling on the branches until spring add a note of color in the winter. The color is quite a warm copper, with golden touches. The wooden bird is our doorknocker. The next day I saw a real woodpecker.

It has been a very snowy and cold winter. You see the massive piles of snow in Elkins, a part of our town of New London. Mount Kearsarge is in the background. Every day that I drove past here, I loved the looks of the red house against the purple mountain. One day, at 2:58 PM I pulled over and drew it.

One day, while we drove past our Pleasant Lake on the way to the Post Office, we saw a beautiful and mysterious aqua glow on the ice. For a day and a half, we had glacial type ice on a small patch in the middle of the lake. This dense, heavy ice absorbs all the other colors of light except this one. We have seen it before in the west, in the ice caves of Mount Rainier in Washington State and also in the glaciers of the Canadian Rockies. But I have never seen it here in New Hampshire. I drew this from memory.

Main Street, New London, New Hampshire. In the background, buildings on the campus of Colby-Sawyer College. In the foreground, a row of very old and weather-scarred sugar maple trees, being tapped for spring sap. A sharp, hollow spike is driven into the bark; then the sap drips into the buckets. The mildly sweet sap is collected, and boiled down into maple syrup. The little peaked roof just keeps out the rain. This an encore drawing from last year.

This drawing was used as an illustration in the publication Kearsarge Magazine. The article is about a hotel in nearby Bradford known for its healing medicinal waters. This is my first magazine illustration in color. I had to do a little bit of research on fashionable clothing for the country, in the 1880’s. New Hampshire had many large hotels in this era. Families from the cities of Boston and New York would take a train, and then a steamship across a lake in some cases. And spend the summer. Most of the hotels are gone now, lost to fires and changes in travel trends. But this hotel still exists, I read, although it has been moved to Antrim, New Hampshire. I should go there and draw it in its present form. Maybe next month. I am waiting for the snow to melt.

This large brick building is in Baltimore, Maryland at the corner of North Patterson Park Avenue and Baltimore Street.

When our daughter and her husband first moved into the city to this street, a few years ago, the corner building was missing its turret. But the new owner replaced it! That is unusual and commendable.

The umbrella on the roof deck is just waiting for a summer day. To the far right on the blue slate mansard style roof is an object that looks a little like a clock. Actually, the L-shape is a design in the slate tiles. It must have been the original owner’s initial. When I was a child, (and my last name was Lapierre), I was always looking for Ls in architecture as well as nature. I guess I haven’t changed much.

Across the street from the above building is this unusually large brick edifice. Buildings near parks tend to be showy. The architect did a great job with theme and variation. I love the roof lines.

A class of school children came along while I was drawing. They were singing their way up the street, with a teacher at the front and another at the rear.

I did this drawing in a huge hurry as my husband was packing the car for the trip home to New Hampshire. This white painted brick row house is across the street from our daughter’s house. This is the side view. Built about 1900, it has the common flat, step down roof, covered in tar paper. The dentile molding is a design in the brickwork itself.

A lot of the ornamentation you see is wooden trim edging the cornice. The corner door near the sign has more wooden trim. The owners run the building as a small home day care business. I drew an Easter egg, and made an attempt at the rabbit window decoration.

Spring comes early in Maryland, and in the few days we were there the little newly planted cherry tree popped out into lovely blossoms. The color is quite an intense shade of pink.

I believe this is the original gate to Patterson Park, in Baltimore. We are looking down Lombard Street to the downtown. I like to picture fancy carriages coming between the white marble columns. (There are poles there now to prevent this.)

Notice the children’s drawing. Some one was playing hop-scotch. It was drawn in white chalk, but I had to interpret it as black lines so it would be visible.