Friday, February 19, 2016



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.