Monday, June 5, 2017

SCENES FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE: DISCOVERING OIL PASTELS

DISCOVERING OIL PASTELS: Waterfalls
The flume in Franconia Notch  (9X12)

Although I'd used oil pastels before, my first choice had become pastels or oil. Over the winter my studio situation had changed and my main easel, with  my Artist Air machine, remained at my former studio. Since I would never consider doing an indoor pastel or oil painting without Artist Air, if I wanted to paint at my home, I needed another solution. Pencil, watercolor, acrylics or oil pastels?


Diana's Bath (9x12)
Pulling out my photo files (Mac cites over 14,000! photos!) I skimmed over some of my favorite hike files and chose  several waterfall photos. In real life waterfalls  and streams are soothing.   I breath with the pulsing of the waters falling into the waiting pools, and sliding over and around boulders. I merge myself in the splatters and spray as they dance to their own rhythms, and delight at the changing rainbows. Its calming and other worldly. 

My own life at the time was needing calm and my fingers were itching to move onto paper, push around colors, and create a few sprays of my own. I needed the art therapy and chose the oil pastels because they were the quickest. No setting up a palette, no fooling with mediums, mineral spirits, brush cleaning. Just open the box, pick up a stick and start! 


Could Be Anywhere! (9X12)
Painting can be even better than real life because it makes the artist the creator.
Diana's Bath (9x12)


Glen Ellis Falls
 It's not only mind and eye following the water, but also the hand itself creating the ripples, rainbows and spray on paper, immersing itself in the waters of calm!

I chose black paper to emphasize the water, the spray, the subtle colors of stream and ponds.  One painting led to another and another and then Eureka!  I was doing a series, and, like a soap opera fiend, wondering about the next installment!, before I had finished one I was working on. I had heard about doing series in art school but never put it to real practice until now.  Doing a series forces us to greater creativity! It's fun. Familiarity with similar color choices pushes to new techniques and new visions, then new color combinations, further technique exploration. Waterfalls in NH are everywhere, and different, not only from season to season, but from week to week. Even day to day if there has been a major storm, or an errant beaver at work. They are a never-ending supply of subject matter.

These five are among the 12 now completed, with two more sitting on my drafting table in various stages of production. I presently have an exhibit at the M&D Theater in North Conway, NH, there until July 5. Stop by if you are near.

Meanwhile, I'll be doing more Oil Pastels of Waterfalls. 

Check out other blog entries and my website for other Scenes of New Hampshire  and my blog, THE GREAT WHITE BARN to check the progress on my gallery.

Oil Pastels on black paper, 9X12.  $90 unframed, $130 framed in black frame.
E-mail me at barbaramcevoy@me.com if interested.








Tuesday, May 2, 2017

MOVING to TOWN: GALAXIES

GALAXIES:  We don't KNOW what we don't know

The night sky has always fascinated me. Many of us living in more populated areas never see the Milky Way. Too much ambient light. But, when we get to a dark place and see it, it IS truly breathtaking.  Moving to New Hampshire, and even moving to town, I'm on the look out for our "Milky Way Nights," clear skies with those lights twinkling away.  

Having never seen the Milky Way, if you get yourself away from cities and crowded suburbs, Look Up! You will recognize the Milky Way.

A natural outcome of being a landscape painter is to realize that the night is part of the world we live in. More appropriately called a skyscape, the night sky deserves representation.
Galaxy Paintings, Acrylics  on canvas with black light.  36 x24 ($300) and 10x10 ($75).


Thanks to two major sources of inspiration, my galaxy series has been evolving.  First influence: the Hubble Telescope. Those photos are incredibly beautiful, reminding us that we really don't know what we don't know. With literally trillions of stars and accompanying planets, whatever else is out there, beyond our own little blue marble, is unfathomable. Star Trek, Star Wars and science fiction can only guess. Hubble has given us real life examples of the beauty and immensity.

Thanks also to the art student/sales person at the Allentown PA Dick Blicks (art supply store), who, hearing me say I was painting galaxies, said, "Do you know about phosphorescent paint?" "No," I replied, "hook me up." She hooked me up to the most fun painting series I've ever done!  Thank you Dick Blick for hiring great sales people.

Galaxy Paintings with regular light.



Added Note: Neither photo is accurate relating to the colors, but the effect is captured. Black light and regular light versions are like two separate paintings. If anyone knows a trick to accurately photographing paintings with phosphorescent paint, please e-mail me.

Addendum 2: How do these relate to "Moving to town"? My old house/studio is still for sale, and my "new" barn is not quite open for business or full scale painting yet. I moved my acrylics to town with me because acrylics dry fast and can't freeze. My pastels and oils, which I use for long range projects, remain at my old studio until I have the "new" studio ready for on-going projects. Having two separate spaces is surprisingly convenient.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

SCENES FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE: MOVING TO TOWN

Oops! Did it again!  Seems when life gets busy, blogging gets lost. 
The trick, I'm told, is to have a reason for blogging and a routine for getting it done. And this time I'm determined to get it done on a reasonable (pun, pun) basis. I am conquering both REASON and ROUTINE.  Really!
REASON 
YOU, you the reader, you the viewer, you the artist, are the reason for both my blog AND my website.My Reason for wanting to blog (and invite you to my website,) is that I want to share my visions. That's what we do when we create....whether it's art in any of its numerous forms, or blogs, or websites.  Sharing our vision is what we do and why we do it all!

My big move last year was actually Moving to Town. I've stated before: Art, Nature and Yoga are INTRICATELY INTERTWINED in all I do. They make my dreams come true!  They took me to art school, they moved me to NH, and now they have MOVED ME TO TOWN! 

The intertwining process is actually quite simple. I became an artist because I loved nature, but I came to love nature more as I painted it because I saw more, which then made me want to see even more...mountain tops, panoramas, up close bugs, leaves, moss and lichens., etc. Breathing, then mindful breathing, stretching and meditating became a natural part of hiking, climbing mountains, paddling kayaks. And these inevitably moved me into deeper yogic concepts of non-violence, contentment, moderation..all of it!
Mt Madison and Madison Spring Hut  (as seen from Airline Trail)  Pastel  12' X 18'
The very act of painting becomes a way to further appreciate what  you are painting because you have to look more closely, notice more. When I paint the trees, I am the trees, when I paint the trails I am hiking them again. My quest? How to share this?
Three on the Ridge     (Crawford Trail between Mitzpah and Lakes Huts)


Hiking with others, introducing my kids and Grandkids to the AMC Huts, (an annual trip now), volunteering for AMC 

Gallery sign at 8 Elm St., Freedom, NH

(Appalachian Mountain Club). We share what we  love, so I definitely have a reason for blogging, for websites, for showing and telling.  

Routine 
Routine is the second trick to "getting it done." I should know about routines...It's how you keep up a yoga practice, become a good runner, lose weight. Set a time and/or an intention, make a plan, and just do it. Sometimes you can skip the plan, or make it up as you go. If I had a routine that was working, moving to town messed with it big time. But MOVING TO TOWN was big time...big time dream come true. 

EXPLANATION: On my first trip to find a NH home, before my official house hunting trip, I drove into the little Village of Freedom, parked in front of the Village Store and walked across the street to admire a big white barn with a gallery sign at the corner of the driveway, and an old cape house, circa  1822. Dream come true, but it wasn't for sale, nor did I have the money. 

Art, nature and yoga all played their part in the next few years. Nature drew me into the mountains, my art became good enough to gain me an invitation to join a co-op gallery where I took my turn sitting and finding out how many people wanted to be artists but didn't have the nerve or the confidence  to try!  and a few people in Freedom were looking for a yoga teacher to teach in Town Hall. I started two yoga classes. Then the property went up for sale, Sept 2015. It took almost a year before "things worked out" but the move-in took place June 7, 2016.

Old houses can have a lot that needs doing, and the Gallery had been a summer only operation. Rehabbing to include a proper studio and winterizing will probably take another 6 months from now, but the plan is evolving into more than a gallery for local artists. I'm seeing it as a busy place for "ART and SPIRIT." For the local artists, but also for yoga classes and yogic exploration! maybe even yoga dance and definitely for art classes and workshops. PLUS I'll finally teach those classes I've been wanting to teach:  "Explore your creativity." "You ARE an artist!" "Find your artistic Roots"! I'm even thinking of a one week "New Horizons: Art Camp for Adults"! Maybe several sessions.
E-mail me if you are interested! Seriously, let me know! barbaramcevoy@me.com
Freedom Gallery
for Art and Spirit

Do I have a routine yet? Not exactly...next week I will start a diet I've been considering, and begin semi-regular blogging. I changed the home page on my website. Check it out, especially if you love the White Mountains. Expect a new home page every two weeks! 

Since MOVING TO TOWN, I have been painting almost regularly, teaching 3 yoga classes a week,  catching up with the gardening (snow shoveling during the winter) and walking Harry the Dog fairly regularly, getting my 10,000 steps in daily, so I'm closer to routine than any time since I moved to New Hampshire. 

Excuse the overlong blog, but it's my promise to me and for those interested it's a glimpse of what's to come, why and a peek into the how!  (remember? art, nature, yoga!)
If you are visiting the eastern side of our state, stop in for a visit, 8 Elm Street, Freedom, "Next to the Church." Give me a chance to share my vision in person.  

Friday, February 19, 2016

NEW HAMPSHIRE SCENES: OFF ROAD STONE WALLS

OFF ROAD STONE WALLS

Stone Walls: They should be New Hampshire's symbol…they are iconic. You won't travel far, outside of the main cities, without seeing several…We know the story…too many rocks, stones, boulders in the fields to farm. And animals had to be contained.
Roadside Wall at Dusk   Pastel   9X12   $150
Stones were an anathema and a blessing. Move them from field to the edge! Stone walls! Everywhere in NH. Too low now to contain sheep, but, now one rarely sees sheep in the fields of NH. When the sheep were here, the fences were higher, wider, functional.

Robert Frost tells all about it in "Mending Wall." "Something there is that doesn't love a wall/ That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,/ and spills the upper boulders in the sun."


"Something there is that doesn't love a wall!"  Oil on canvas 30x40
"Off-road" and "had-been-road" explorations reveal different versions of the stone walls. Look for an opening in the woods, perhaps ruts from a road that used to be, and follow the ruts as they turn to an overgrown brush path of uneven footing, a New England jungle with vines, bushes, ferns, rocks and arching trees. After a fair distance you are quite likely to find remnants of a stone wall or two. "Something there is that doesn't love a wall"  and "Golden Afternoon" are paintings of such places. 
Golden Afternoon   Pastel  19x19

Both of these paintings are thanks to the Upper Saco Valley Land Trust. Each spring they host the event entitled "Celebration of Art and Place." 

As a true celebration of nature in its glory,  their mission to preserve, they invite several local artists to do their interpretations of   scenes from the USVLT's new acquisitions, and then showcase the paintings with an evening of good food, readings, songs, and general camaraderie. (Paintings and notecards are for sale as well.)

It was my pleasure to be one of the invited artists and to visit the Leita Monroe Lucas Preserve, where I  discovered these two scenes.

The jumble of boulders are obvious remnants of past residents, but nature is slowly moving in to claim its space, and thanks to USVLT and other land trust organizations, these are places where we know there will be no condos, no strip malls, no parking lots (except at the edge to provide access to the interior).
But there will be off road hiking and plenty of natural beauty.
Thanks to all Conservation and Land Trust Organizations.

Visit my website for more paintings of New Hampshire Scenes.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

NEW HAMPSHIRE SCENES: Mountains to Climb

Mountains to Climb (and much to see)
Most paintngs, at least for me, take on symbolic meanings as I work on them if they aren’t already meaningful when I initially begin them.  Mountains to Climb has been particularly symbolic since it is based on a photo I took soon after moving to NH, when I rode a SKI LIFT to the top of Wildcat and was just beginning to use oils. The distant mountain is Kearsarge North, with Double Head slightly to the left. The "path" that starts in the foreground is the x-country trail the drops down into Jackson.
I have not yet skied that trail, but in the process of painting and repainting this vista as a practice piece, I learned much about using oils.
Mountains to Climb and Much to See    Oil on wood panel, 24 x 48  $900.
ALSO, in the process of revisiting this particular vista and many others, ON FOOT, I have found myself learning about the mountains. Inspiring to look at, challenging to climb physically, they also represent the ups and downs of life. By climbing and learning about the Whites in New Hampshire,  I’ve come to realize that summiting is not always necessary. The intricacies, in the case of mountains--the flora, fauna, geology and weather-- enhance the climb, just as the intricacies (and difficulties!) of our lives broaden our perspectives. 

Too much philosophy? Than just enjoy the mountains and what they bring. The paintings are Autumn, but I think we all know what comes next.

From the Top (of Champney Falls)
Oil  24 x 36   $550
Autumn Blaze
(Path off Bear Notch Road)
Oil 9X12 $250











On Three Caps Trail
In fact, 
the snow scene was yesterday's surprise. 
I left home planning to do a final photo shoot of fall
 from a mountain top, 
and found snow north of Crawford Notch!
Dreaming of future hikes, 
I checked out the Three Caps Trail up Jefferson,
planning a snow shoe revisit, maybe soon!

Check out my Website here for more Scenes of the White Mountains, including both autumn and winter scenes.


Thursday, August 13, 2015

NEW HAMPSHIRE SCENES: EXCITEMENT

EXCITEMENT (a week ago) (and now)

Excitement is not exactly a "scene," as in "New Hampshire Scenes," but it is what my family (kids, grandkids and self included) are actually feeling at this point. In only three days we will be heading up Lonesome Lake Trail to Lonesome Lake hut, and onward, weather cooperating, to Kinsman Ridge. 

Mitzpah Spring Hut    Pastel    9x12
Anticipation is mounting. We've done our pre-hut hikes to test our gear…Kids grow, old gear, like rain gear, may not be working as well as it should, and of course there is always something we want to change or upgrade from the previous year's experiences. Piles are growing, backpacks at the ready. Memories of previous hikes and huts flash through our minds, as well as thoughts of what's to come. 





Mists on the Maine Cliffs   Pastel  9X12   $150


Excitement, then, is not a single scene, but a
kaleidoscope of scenes.  Mitzpah Spring Hut and Lake of the Clouds, each unique in its own way, leaving memories of the physical setting, the bunk set ups, the dining hall, the hike to reach it, the scenes visible from the windows or the immediate surroundings. And the question, the anticipation of, what will it be this year. What will the weather be? 

One of my own personal artist excitements is the morning mist, particularly if it includes trees (an obvious obsession I have). 



Morning Mists: Colorado Rockies
Pastel 9X12  $150

CONFESSION and SPOILER  At this point in my entry writing, excitement took precedence over writing. 

Now, a week later I can say, the Lonesome Lake Hut trip, with hikes to Cannon and the Kinsmen, was a family success. Lonesome Lake Hut afforded a variety of hikes to suit the varying abilities of ages 6 upward!  Trail work on Fishing Jimmy Trail was exceptional and impressive (Be sure to thank trail builders if you happen to pass them.) Hikes, views, meals, presentations, "cru," were all part of an exceptional adventure.

Morning Swim in Sunrise Reflections
Morning Mists: Lonesome Lake




Trees against morning pearl sky


AND, artist that I am, I found many scenes for future painting, including morning mist,  intriguing trees and multiple trail scenes.  (Thanks again to the Trail Maintenance Crew for ladders, wooden steps on rocks, strategically placed rocks, stone carved foot and hand holds, and multiple plank sections to let us view the bogs without disturbing them.

If you haven't been to a hut, just visit one…Lonesome Lake and Zealand Falls are both easy to visit. 

Hut trips are much more than the two or three days of adventure. They are a great way to get kids started in outdoor adventure, (or yourself if you've always wanted to get outdoors). The huts are a way of getting deeper into the woods or higher onto the mountain, WITHOUT carrying food, (except for snacks), sleeping bags, tents...
They give memories that last far beyond the days spent on the mountain, or even planning, anticipating and packing for it.  They build lasting memories, they build bonds between the participants.
Already my family is talking about next year with reference to the last three!  Give it a try!





(Check my website for more White Mountain Scenes.)



Tuesday, June 9, 2015

NEW HAMPSHIRE SCENES: Lonesome Lake Spring? and Spring



Micro spikes needed here.
Following through on my January resolutions to finish my painting series of the AMC (Appalachian Mountain Club) huts in their settings, I decided to hike up to Lonesome Lake, and beyond to Kinsman Ridge to get photo's of LL in its setting.
Franconian Ridge as seen from the porch of the hut.

Trail to Lonesome Lake Hut
Pastel    7 x 12
It was April 27 and Spring every where else. I expected to find patches of snow and ice, but not what I found. Trees were starting to win their jousts with the snow, though it was still three feet deep in many places, and occasional rocks were poking through the icy trail. The lake was still frozen, and Franconian Ridge, the spectacular view from the porches of the hut and bunk rooms, melted into the clouds, looking very much like winter.

Micro-spikes were required almost from the parking lot near the Lafayette Camp Grounds, but the woods were lovely and birds seemed to know it was spring. 

As with most of the other huts, the setting did not disappoint. Where the trail split to go around the lake, there was a predictable winter path that went straight through the woods and across the lake where it joined the Fishin Jimmy Trail, up past the hut and upward to the Mount Kinsman Trail, only .4 miles from North Kinsman. Although it looked like winter, on April 27 I decided NOT to cross the lake.

In the painting, follow the path as it goes up, then dips down to the frozen lake edge (two small trees poking up there). Then look across the lake. There is a hint of path going vertically up to the hut, and the horizontal bits of snow are the snow covered roofs of the hut and the row of bunk rooms. Lonesome Lake is open as a caretaker hut during the winter, so the path is well worn. Kinsman Ridge is that ridge behind the hut, another mile up. 

Curious to see the changes to the path, and collect more photos, I hiked to the hut again June 5, reconnaissance for when my "kids," and grandkids (ages 6-14) and myself return to stay over night in the hut and bag a peak or two in August. The Spring panorama of the hut will likely become another painting, or perhaps an August version when I'll have time for sketches and photos. 

Spring? or Spring, it's a good hike for kids and anyone else. I've heard there is a resident Moose that visits the lake early in the morning, and the spacious dock, just down the slope from the cabin,  is a great place to grab sun when it isn't covered with snow. 

Looking east from the hut porch
to the Franconian Ridge peaks of
Lafayette, Lincoln and Little Haystack.
Spring scene, looking across LL to Kinsman Ridge.
LLHut is between the first and second row of pines.
Be sure to check my website where I have numerous paintings of White Mountain trails and paths.