Sunday, September 4, 2011

New Hampshire and Vermont

I wanted to do a theme of ‘End of Summer, Beginning of the School Year’ and also a nod to Hurricane Irene. At the market every Wednesday, people kept asking me if I had drawn Twin Lakes Villa (or Village) yet. Finally one Sunday I drove to this area in New London, where we live. It is a one hundred year old resort that is thriving. And owned and run that whole time by the same family, the Kidders. That is unusual nowadays. Families have been coming to stay there for generation after generation. I was glad I got there and walked around and got a sense of why so many folks love it to bits.

I drew the main original building, but there are numerous large and small cottages surrounding this old hotel. And tennis courts and a nine hole golf course too. Don’t you love the colorfully painted rocking chairs on the porch? There is a bell above the door that rings for meals. (Or used to.)

We are looking across the golf course to Little Lake Sunapee, sometimes called Twin Lakes. There is a peninsula in the middle that nearly divides it in two. The chipmunk was eating a cracker right in front of me. So he/she got a portrait. The mountain is Mount Sunapee, a ski resort.

This is the Bucklin Beach boat house on Little Lake Sunapee. It is in New London, where we live. The sail boat arrived just as I was finishing the picture. Thank you for completing the scene.

I have many drawings from my Draw-NH! series which I haven’t posted yet. This is one of them....Hancock NH. I do love to draw band stands, and this one is of unusual construction. The brick Hancock Meeting House is on the left with its twin front doors. A meeting house means a building where any group of any denomination can gather.

Right in the center of the state is the town of Belmont. The former mill in the background is now a community center and preschool. And in the foreground is a very intricate bandstand, with lace-like white wooden trim and fancy patterns in the shingled roof. New Hampshire is full of brick mills that have been repurposed into new uses. The little children ran inside before I could draw any, but you can see their red climbing frame, or geodesic dome.

On Main Street in New London is the four year institution, Colby-Sawyer College. The most typical age range for students is 18-21. This enormous building is Colgate Hall. There is a small bookstore in the basement where I buy some art supplies. Town residents are welcome to use the gym and library as well as attend concerts and special events. Which we do. The trees are sugar maples which are tapped in the early spring for sap. It is boiled down into syrup.

About five miles away is the town of Andover. This building, Maxwell Savage Hall, is a part of Proctor Academy. It is a very well regarded private high school. Besides a fine academic program, it is well known for its ski teams.

Our town is on a mountain ridge. This town is in a sheltered valley. We go to a Fourth of July parade there. A fun but sweltering event.

The next four drawings all relate to water. Most residents of New Hampshire and Vermont do live near water...brooks, streams, lakes and rivers, and the 17 miles of New Hampshire’s shore line on the Atlantic coast. Some parts of New Hampshire and Vermont got off easy with the recent hurricane Irene of last week. And other places suffered terrible losses, of roads, bridges, private property and life.

This is my rendition of the Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge. Its 450 foot span crosses the Connecticut River, connecting New Hampshire with Vermont. Even though it is a narrow, old wooden bridge, it is a very busy one as there are few bridges crossing this wide river. Some of these bridges are one lane and you just take your turn passing through them. This one has two lanes. It was not damaged during this recent flood, but has been washed away three times in its 215-year history. There is no longer a toll taker to enforce the two dollar fine. It is just kept up there for history’s sake. Mount Ascutney is in the background on the left.

Here is an old postcard view showing one of the earlier versions and more of the length.

This is a drawing I did in the car, in the rain, of the Historical Society on the left and the library on the right in Cornish Flat. The town borders the Connecticut River. The land along both sides of the river has wide flat fields of fertile soil. These fields show where the river bed has been over the eons of time...changing course and leaving rich layers of sediment. These fields are now growing corn, or maize as some parts of the world call it.

I am very fond of brick buildings and all the fancy trimmings that talented masons can accomplish. I so missed seeing brick when we lived in England. We lived in the beautiful Cotswolds where honey colored limestone is used for the building material. I learned that there was a brick town too far away to the north named Pershore. I liked to go there.

And another water drawing, this one of the Blackwater River, in Webster, New Hampshire. It starts at Pleasant Lake, where we live in New London. I tried to capture the corner where the quiet dark water meets the drop off, and flows over the granite rocks. The water is ale colored from the tannins in the water from oak leaves.

These two large impressive 19th century buildings are on Main Street in Windsor, Vermont. This town is just on the other side of the river from Cornish. The tree in front of the brick building is much larger and prevents a proper view of the facade. I do a lot of pruning in my art. We took the train from this town down to New York City when our family members were running in the marathon last fall. It was far better than driving or taking the bus.

Residents of the towns in New Hampshire and Vermont are either starting a new academic year, or trying to rebuild roads and bridges and houses. Or an uneasy mix of the two. We wish them all well.