Monday, May 13, 2013

SCENES FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE: Waterfalls and Boulders

Spring and snow melt are synonymous in New Hampshire, along with 
Golden Grotto Pastel 18X24  
Mud Season (Very muddy, it can  render driveways and dirt roads unusable.)
followed by Black Fly Season (Gnat sized huge with the jaws of a barracuda. )

I tip my hat to these seasons. They exist. But as a hiker and painter I'd like to introduce a new name for Spring. To me, as the snow is melting on the peaks, the streams are rushing and rippling.
 Welcome Season of the Waterfalls. 
Last week, warm enough for plain air painting, I visited two waterfalls for plein air experience (one at the framers, one still on the studio easel) and visited "Golden Grotto," scene of a studio painting I'd finished over the winter from photos.

Mountain stream staircase
Pastel 9x12
Since I don't have a packhorse, I often depend on memory and photos for the paintings done higher on the mountains, from the tops or in difficult places to access. Stream crossings are tricky enough without 10 pounds of painting equipment and the necessary safety items (water, first aid kit, extra layers of clothes and rain gear). I do like to check my scenes though, particularly if they've produced paintings I like. 

Snow on Imp Trail last week: 
What I love about many of our NH mountain streams is the way the streams, often eight to ten feet wide or wider, riffle down the mountain through enormous boulders, often forming pools below some of the steeper drops.  

"Golden Grotto" is such a place located on Imp Trail, a loop hike with two trailheads on Route 16, a mile or so north of Pinkham Notch. There was still snow on the trail, but we did get to the grotto I had painted. This time I took a picture of my hiking friend and her dog, standing behind the tree which was actually growing ON the large boulder in the painting.The other photo was taken from upstream looking down towards the boulder. My grotto wasn't quite as golden on this day without the sun shining, but  it had its own beauty, surrounded by the large boulder, to the left, the boulders and fallen trees further downstream and the stony beach to the right.
The "Grotto" as seen from upstream.
Carol and Perry standing behind the tree
 at the top of the boulder in
"Golden Grotto."

Check my website  for more paintings of streams and boulders.

Contact me at Barbaramcevoyartist@me .com with questions ad comments.

Friday, May 10, 2013


Lily, Cathy and Margaret!
My March 29 post had flower photo's of Spring in Bethlehem, PA, Including a clump of bluets, with a promise of paintings of bluets when they arrived in my New Hampshire neighborhood.
Here they are, finally...

Bluets have arrived, in my own 
New Hampshire neighborhood.

And they've come 
in their own New Hampshire fashion. 

Notice the bluets' surroundings, 
and what I love about living here!
Lichens and mosses 
 in myriad shapes and colors
festoon everything.
Notice the twig in the lower left corner.
The lighter patches, barely visible,
are small patches of lichen.
And next to the twig, 
the silver green bit of lichen,
part of what is sometimes called
Grandfather's beard. 
Last year's oak leaf 
and the grouping 
of three distinguishable pine needles,
and other grasses...
All this is part of the complexity 
of patches of forest 
and "lawn" floors...

Stepping back for a larger view of this particular "lawn,"

notice the flatness, the stones and sand intermixed with the patches of bluets, and the pine and birch trunks in the background. 

A little about my neighborhood to explain the bluets 
and their surroundings. 
A bit of geology helps as well.
South of where I live, the highway signs on route 16, also called the White Mountain Highway, welcome travelers to the Lakes and Mountain region. 
"Notches to the North"  

When the great ice sheets came from the north, covering the Presidential Range (the Whites) and creating the notches, they transported rocks and stones, grinding as they came over and through the mountains, digging out the basins that make up the lakes regions, south of the mountains. As the ice sheets retreated, the southern half of NH was left with lakes and outwash regions.

It is true that Freedom, a nearby town has "more civilized lawns" that include grass and the more "typical" flowers we associate with Spring. But it's the more natural parts that attract my painterly nature... my friends (Lily the 8 story pitch pine, Cathy and Margaret, the 4 story red maples) and their undergrowth. 
Check my website for other paintings and under  "writing painting" projects to read about "First Friends."
"Lily, Cathy and Margaret"
Pastel 9x12