Winters in New Hampshire are beautiful. A bit too long, but beautiful. Spring in the Granite State is also beautiful. A bit too short, but beautiful. While it’s white and monochromatic outside the studio, with last night’s snowfall, inside…Spring is here. “Springtime” 36 x 24 oil on canvas.
Beyond the farm across the road from our house, there’s a small pond, the last remaining water of an Ice Age lake that once covered this entire area. This small kettle pond is surrounded by marsh and wetlands. An old railroad bed runs along and through the treeline in the background, part of the old Boston & Maine line, which now serves as a hiking and horse trail. It’s a beautiful spot…stark and monochromatic in winter, and alive with color in fall. “Wetland” 48 x 36
I came across this scene on Long Island, I think in Bridgehampton, years ago. The barn and meadow were part of a huge farm, that occupied a vast flat piece of land. The whole place looked like a still-functioning farm, but appeared worn out, as if it could soon cease being a farm. Valuable land for sure, with likely a lot of pressure on the owners to develop. No idea if that barn is still there, or the farm for that matter, but when I came across it, these structures appeared still ready to serve, to be useful, despite signs of neglect. “Sense of Grace” 48 x 30 o/c.
I love snow for about 3 weeks a year…week before Christmas and then two weeks after. By then, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed winter, and my mind and body are ready for a change of seasons. While walking the other day, I passed this often-painted scene, with the December-dormant Forsythia looking stalky, gray and lifeless. Imagining warmer days ahead, I opted to bring spring color to it, and make it the central element of the composition. “May Day” 24 x 20
New Year’s resolution to expand my walking route, which winds up and over Walnut Hill, will include addressing the varied landscape found there. This section of town has old farms, horse properties, sloped meadows, and an old railroad bed that runs alongside a large marsh and kettle pond. Beautiful spot. The other day I passed this meadow, on which the owner has dutifully maintained a patch of tall bush blueberries. It was a warm, but bleak, gray day, but in painting the piece, I imagined it as it looks earlier in the Fall. “Blueberry Meadow” 20 x 24 o/c.
This setting is about a mile from the studio, painted several times before from different angles. The barn and shed are part of an old farm that sits on hundreds of acres soon to be developed. I drove past it the other day, and though I’ve seen this place hundreds of times, each time something catches my attention. The light on the bare forsythia bushes cast a pinkish hue, which seemed to glow against the grayish light that day, which made them the focal point. “Pink Hedge” 24 x 20 oil on canvas.
Farms, and farming, seems to me an idyllic life. If you’ve spent any time working in an office, or cubicle, thoughts of escaping to a freer way of life have likely crossed your mind. Anyone who actually does live this life will set you straight…it’s not as easy, or idyllic (I’ve been told) as it appears. So for me, escaping the office/bad boss/politics of my earlier-in-life day jobs, happened by painting these places. It was the closest I’d come to living that life. Fresh air, wide open acreage, quiet and peaceful. Seems the perfect life. “Farmland” 40 x 30 oil on canvas.
I love the barren, windswept coastal areas of the New England coast. On the Cape, there’s no shortage of these rugged places. This stretch of sandy land, with it’s stubborn cedars standing amongst patches of heather, moss and ther groundcovers, separates the Bass River (an estuary into Nantucket Sound) from the Atlantic. It’s a simple landscape, but when you look closely at it, it’s more complex. When painting it, I try to balance the simplicity of the scene, with the complexity of colors and textures of the landscape. “Estuary” 48 x 36 oil on canvas.
Our town is fairly rural. Not like the more northern towns of New Hampshire, where farms with hundreds of undeveloped acres are found, but rural enough that many roads are still dirt, and the land is open enough to accommodate a good number of horse properties. It’s not uncommon to pass horses and their riders on the main roads through town, but more so on the back roads, many of which began as paths, decades ago, where the main means of transportation was horseback. “Bridle Path” 16 x 12 o/c.
Most trees are known for their foliage. Maples are famous for their brilliant autumn colors. Pines for their ability to stay green year round. Others for their flowers or fruit. Birches are somewhat unique, as they’re known for their bark. This place is out by the New Hampshire Seacoast, in Newmarket. It was that thin spindly tree that captured my attention with the stark white limbs cutting through the barn’s shaded facade. “Birch” 40 x 30 o/c