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


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.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

NEW HAMPSHIRE SCENES: Landscapes--More than the land?

Landscapes--More than the land?

Three Bears   Pastel    9 x 12
Dictionary definitions suggest a landscape is "a picture representing a section of natural, inland scenery, as in prairie, woodland, mountains,"  or "an expanse of natural scenery seen by the eye in one view."  Technical, yes, but accurate?

As an artist, hiker and out-of-doors type person, "landscapes" have been my obvious subject matter, but art is mostly a solo endeavor providing lots of thinking time, and so, time to question that dictionary definition.
Should landscapes only be of sweeping vistas?
Should landscapes include animals? 
Should landscapes include figures? 
What about buildings? 
What of the up-close aspects of those vistas…the plants, rocks and animals? 

I've included four recent paintings in this posting, which probably don't meet the dictionary definition of landscape, but I have my reasons for considering them part of the landscape genre. 

 "Three Bears" was an actual scene, but not a plein air painting. Driving down Ossipee Lake Road, I saw three dark forms in the middle of the road. Suspecting, I stopped at a distance to get my camera ready and approached slowly. Mama and two cubs left the road into the woods, before I got too close, but I looked into the woods and shot a photo that showed one cub peaking around the trunk of a tree he had climbed, and two indecipherable dark forms a bit back in the woods. 

Three on Crawford Path ridge trail is certainly a vista, but does include figures. Crawford Path actually goes from Highland Center to Mount Washington. This particular ridge section  is a wonderful hike that goes between Mt. Monroe and Mt Pierce, two of the 48 4K mountains in the Presidential Range. In fact, the three figures are my son and two of my grandchildren. We were on a family trip hiking between Lake of the Clouds and Mitzaph Springs, two huts in the AMC (Appalachian Mountain Club) huts system. In the distance is the Franconian Ridge, yet another great ridge to hike. (Go to my website for other ridge paintings.) To me, the figures are crucial to the painting because they emphasize the immensity and expanse of the scene. 
Being there in person is, quite literally, breath taking. 

Three on Crawford Path ridge trail  Pastel  5 X 14

Dad and Daughter On The Trail.  Pastel   9X12

 Dad and Daughter On the Trail  has two figures, and it is not a vista…

This is a woodland scene, based on a photo taken on the lower woodland section of the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail.

The actual figures are my son-in-law and my granddaughter. Again, I think they are crucial to the scene because they emphasize the immensity of the trees. Birch rarely grow this tall or this thick on people's lawns, the natural growth is dense, lush and haphazard, but, quite negotiable for a youngster (she was six)  
with a little help from Dad. 

My purpose is to remind myself (as I paint) and other hikers who view the paintings what they have seen or could see, and to let non-hikers see the beauty and wonder of what they too could see and experience with a little effort.  And, starting children early is to everyone's benefit.

Be sure to check my website for more "Scenes from New Hampshire." You can contact me through my website with questions relating to my blog, hiking the Whites, my paintings.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

NEW HAMPSHIRE SCENES: From the Rock Pile: Lakes of Clouds!

Lakes of the Clouds Hut and LAKES of CLOUDS

Continuing with my resolution to paint each of the Appalachian Mountain Club Huts within its panoramic setting, Lakes of the Clouds Hut may lay  claim to the most spectacular setting. 
Climbing the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail, the hut isn't visible until you mount the last two hundred yards or so up and over a boulder strewn ledge.  

Suddenly, there it is…Sitting in the saddle between Mt. Washington and Mt. Monroe,  where the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail junctions with Crawford Path. It's only .3 miles and 300 feet elevation gain from Mt. Monroe summit and 1.4 miles from Mt. Washington summit. 
What more could one ask for a setting? 
"From the Rock Pile: Lakes of Clouds"   Pastel,      20X 24

I found out. At an elevation of 5,012 feet, Lakes of the Clouds Hut is often in the clouds or above them. That first night I spent in the hut, looking at the shifting clouds and lines of mountains forming valleys to the West, I came to think of the clouds themselves as lakes. Next morning, ascending Crawford Path towards Mt. Washington summit, only a few hundred yards up the trail II saw the two very small "lakes"  that give the hut its name, and then I went on to experience the "Rock Pile" first hand. 

You don't have to live in the White Mountain region long, or visit often, to know that "The Rock Pile" is an affectionate and appropriate nick name for Mount Washington. Crawford Path winds upwards through fields and slopes of rocks and you know you are on a very large and extensive "rock pile," the result of more than one ice sheet covering and crumbling the peak in geologic eons. This peak claims the record for the highest wind velocity recorded by man, and is said to have the worst weather in the world. 

But herein lies the beauty of the trail and the hut. Gaining height towards the summit, those two small lakes disappear from view, but 6 foot cairns, rock piles in their own right, usually topped by a white quartz rock, give direction to the trail. 

"From the Rock Pile"  the roof of the hut is sometimes and sometimes not visible, but the clouds are usually present as wisps and veils across the trail, and clouds of substance,
looking very much like LAKES of CLOUDS, giving this most popular of huts another reason for its descriptive name. How many times I've been above the hut, above the clouds thinking that down in Conway people aren't seeing Mount Washington, but I am...

Whether you're hiking the trails or reaching the Rock Pile Summit, via the cog railway or the auto road, look for the hut and see if you don't agree that from above Lake of the Clouds hut seems to be set in Lakes of Clouds. Better yet, put on your hiking boots, climb the Ammonoosuc trail to the hut and look West, or stay over night and watch the sunset show.

For more New Hampshire Scenes, visit my website, BarbaraMcEvoyArtist.com, and/or e-mail me at BarbaraMcevoyArtist@me.com with questions, comments, or to share your experiences. My paintings can be viewed at Group 8 Gallery in Jackson, or at my studio by appointment,  in Freedom, NH.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

NEW HAMPSHIRE SCENES: White Mountain Resolutions, Under Way!

White Mountain Resolutions, Under Way!

Suddenly, snow, snow and more snow. What better time to spend in a cozy studio, painting and occasionally looking out…especially since my new knee makes crossing my driveway a bit dicey, and any thing more rigorous out of the question. Time to tackle my resolutions.

So, get out your maps, or open your eyes and minds to the White Mountain possibilities! 
Like many artists who enjoy their topsy turvy world, I started with my "February planning" and booked two nights in August at the Appalachian Mountain Club Lonesome Lake Hut, the only AMC hut I haven't stayed at, and extended the trip by adding a third night at Greenleaf Hut, just across Franconian Notch, part way up Lafayette. I'm sure I'll hike to Lonesome Lake before August, and probably to the Franconian Ridge as well.
 Mount Eisenhower to Mount Washington   9X12  Pastel   

Then, on to the painting resolutions.  As a "warm up" I finished the painting I'd started of the autumn view from near the peak of Eisenhower. This view is looking north on the Crawford Path towards Mount Washington. Any time is a good time, but autumn presents the burgundy mosses, and the golden grasses.  For me the painterly fun is putting in the cairns and the rocky, alpine growth of the foreground; the bits and pieces of Crawford Path as it "goes over the edge," and comes up on the side of Franklin (second peak). Not visible are the ridge between Franklin and Monroe (the peak just to the right and in front of Washington). And finally there is the barest hint of trail up Washington, with a suggestion of the towers at Washington's summit. 

Galehead Hut, Galehead Summit, and Beyond   9X12  Pastel
In the mood, I continued on with a painting I'd sketched earlier showing Galehead Hut, as seen from near the summit of South Twin. The hut is located,  a mere half mile from the summit of Galehead, with bits of the Pemagawasit Wilderness in the middle ground and the Franconian Ridge in the background. Look carefully for the white dot roof of the hut and the trail to the summit. 
Best views are actually from the rock out cropping just before the summit, which is actually in the trees at the top. 

And yes, I've started the painting of Lakes of the Clouds (see previous blog),
and am planning other trail paintings as well.

I'm not an expert on the huts, the 48 4K foot peaks, or various trails in the Whites, but like any one pursuing a hobby--skiing, fly fishing, painting, hiking-- part of the fun is doing it. Another part of the fun is talking about it with like-minded people. Whether you're a "like-minded hiker person,"  or a dreamer/wanna be, maybe this is your year to make your dreams your reality!

It's always fun to "talk trails and exchange adventure stories."

Check out my Website    BarbaraMcevoyArtist.Com,  
E-mail me at  BarbaraMcevoy@me.com
or stop in at my home studio (E-mail/call first), or Group 8 Gallery in Jackson, NH.

The ridge between Monroe and Eisenhower on Crawford Path with Franconian Ridge in the distance.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

NEW HAMPSHIRE SCENES: White Mountain Resolutions

Formidable Weather
9X12   pastel   $125


When the "trail" to my mailbox seems formidable, the ground from house to studio is an ice rink, temperatures are sub-zero F, and knee replacement rehab precludes snow shoeing and skiing, it's time to bring out my Three Point Program, a sure cure for abolishing blues and banishing boredom!   

Nostalgia is comforting, like re-reading favorite books, getting together with old friends. Nothing like the past to remind us of fun we've had  and stir memories of trails and travels we had put off. The "Roads not taken," to paraphrase  Robert Frost, have changed, but we can go back and pick up some of those ideas.

 For me re-evaluating means revisiting the paintings and photos of old adventures. Among the best of those memories are the Appalachian Mountain Club huts…the family at Lake of the Clouds, friends at Galehead, other friends at Greenleaf! And the hut not yet visited? Lonesome Lake.  

Galehead hut, white dot lower left, at the
 base of Galehead with Franconian Ridge in the background
Old memories certainly spark new ideas, doubly true for Painters. First the planning and  adventure, then the sketches, the photos and memories, the planning and process of painting, and finally the product. Reliving the scene multiple times, for me is "getting lost in the mountains" without need of rescue!  

Predictably, re-evaluating leads to 
Those memories I'd planned to paint? I blush to think of how long ago I wrote a poem about trees, with resolution to illustrate it. No detective needed to recognize my obsession with trees, obvious in my website, my former blogs and my home studio/gallery. 

Resolved two years ago …to paint each of the huts in its panoramic surroundings. Any hiker knows the feeling of first sighting the hut you are heading towards, or sighting it again as you have left it behind, sometimes only a white dot. Check my website section under "White Mountain Trails"  (http://barbaramcevoyartist.com/site/White_Mountain_Trails.html) for the "white dots of Greenleaf and Zealand.

Lake of the Clouds hut, in the mists.
 taken from slope of Mt. Washington, with Monroe in the background.

SO, RESOLVED, in 2015 I will finish the hut paintings and the Album of Trees!, aiming for June!! 

My plan is to get to Lonesome Lake hut, the only one I haven't visited. 
And February is planning time, so look for another adventure or two in my plans?
If you've been only looking at Scenes from NH, why not plan to make them a reality?
Or make one of the huts your resolution? 
What's your choice?