Friday, January 1, 2016

New Hampshire, Connecticut, and California

Pleasant Lake is beautiful in the winter too. We live at the far end of the lake, but we pick up our mail here at a small post office.

A tiny salmon colored sunset is just beginning. The picnic table patiently waits for spring, and fun family events.

A few days before Christmas we drove to Exeter, New Hampshire on the coast. It was still warmish with no snow cover. Our usual restaurant was too crowded, so we wandered on and found another called 11 Water Street. Which we liked even better. It has a better view too. I am all about views as you can imagine.

 And here we have the view of the mill pond from my chair. These wooden clapboarded homes were probably once boarding houses for the mill workers. The mills used the water power to produce cotton textiles in the 1800s

Water Street Bookstore in Exeter is one of the delightful local bookstores that carries my book with drawings of every town in New Hampshire.

 Thanksgiving Day we enjoyed a wonderful meal prepared mostly by my brother’s mother-in-law, Elma May

After the meal, as a sort of dessert for myself, I got permission to draw our host’s enormous HO gauge model train layout. I liked the station building in the foreground as it has enough detail to look real.

 I drew a few tracks but soon just focused on the trains and buildings that appealed to me. Jon, the man in charge of this mini world, told me it is meant to be the rail yards in southern New Jersey in the 1950s. He liked my efforts.

This is the fourth time I have drawn the Tuba Christmas concert here in New London. As you can see, it is an all tuba/euphonium event—although they have been known to allow the occasional interloper, most recently a double bass (AKA a ‘wooden tuba’). I only drew four of the musicians in the front row. There were many more.

 The players show up in seasonally silly hats, and this characterizes the general tenor of the event. Fun all around! I found it humorous that I couldn’t see the faces of the musicians, but just their head gear and their hands.

The rich sound made by all fifty or so musicians on their beloved brass instruments was lovely. The conductor/organizer has no idea who is going to show up from one year to the next. They come from all around. But it always works out.

This morning I watched the Rose Bowl Parade on television, coming from Pasadena, California. I don’t watch the football game, just the parade. I watched this parade on New Year’s Day my entire childhood on our black and white TV with the announcers describing the multicolored floats.

This float represents the city of Los Angeles. The vertical shape in the front is an iconic building having something to do with music and records. Floats in the parade all get their colors and textures from flowers, painstakingly inserted by dedicated groups of volunteers the night before. The rules are pretty strict.

It was a clear day, and the Santa Monica mountains were in sharp relief. Other notes: I love to draw palm trees, and the round lumps are the bleachers of crowds.

We will next be in Los Angeles in March.


And in other news, there was a wonderful article about me and my book in the Concord Monitor, the daily newspaper in New Hampshire’s capital city, written by their staff writer Sarah Kinney. She made mention of the book’s availability at the well respected Gibson’s Bookstore on Main Street, and by noon of the day the article came out we got a call from Gibson’s asking for refills. Two customers were patiently awaiting my arrival, having been assured by the clerk that the artist was due to show up any second now. It was fun to meet with them.

Then Gibson’s called back the next day, asking for more!

You can read the article here, and the link will remain posted in the sidebar over on the right side of the blog along with links to other great pieces of commentary.