Newmarket, New Hampshire is a little town tucked away in the space between Manchester and Portsmouth, between Maine and Route 101. You don’t stumble into it on the way to somewhere else, at least I haven’t. You discover it only when it is your destination. It became a destination for me when I joined the NH Plein Air artists group. In fact, Newmarket was my first outing with that group. Four of us painted on the far side of the Lamprey River, looking back at the town. In these two of my earliest plein air paintings, I first labored over an old mill building and then the dam and bridges. I have learned a lot about painting both indoors and out since I did these, but they are still representative scenes from Newmarket:

Pretty primitive, but thank goodness I can see that now. I must be improving.

Yes, New Hampshire is blanketed with adorable little towns, but Newmarket is evolving into something of an art magnet. Artists are settling there. A new art supply store located there. Annual Old Home Days produce artists’ easels set up on sidewalks and riverside locations, accompanied by the artists themselves, painting en plein air. Two art galleries–Ampersand and Cornerstone–vie for attention. The Lamprey Arts and Culture Alliance (LACA) is based in Newmarket.

So when I was invited by Christopher Volpe to submit plein air pieces for a collective exhibit at the Cornerstone, I jumped at the opportunity. I had met Chris at last year’s Canterbury Shaker Village paint out, and greatly admired the beauty and simplicity of his work. Upshot: I have three pieces in the plein air show that begins March 12 and ends April 7. The reception will be March 12, a Saturday, between 4 and 7. I’m not sure I can be present at the reception because that same day I will be in Boston with an old friend from Germany–but maybe she will agree to visit Newmarket after I give her my sales talk.

The three pieces included in the exhibit are the Sawmill that headlines my blog, the snow scene that opens this entry, and the painting below, which depicts a suspension bridge on Davis Path, in the White Mountains near Crawford Notch.

You probably remember the snow scene from my recent blog on the snow camp.

I am posting this blog entry in advance of the usual Monday schedule because tomorrow I fly down to Florida for my third annual visit with Mary Crawford Reining, fellow plein air painter, who lives on Marco Island. Last year I discovered how to use my telephoto lens and returned with some fabulous pictures of birds. See them here and here. The long lens will travel with me yet again and I hope to return home with not only fabulous photographs but a few good plein air paintings as well.

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