Have Brush, Will Paint

I haven’t gone far, but I did go, and that’s got to count for something.  Or against something.  Sometimes I worry that I am not painting enough stuff near my home.  If I don’t do that, who will?  I think of Van Gogh, Cezanne, and how they practically documented their surroundings.  Both of them were certainly obsessive and almost manic.  I wonder if that is what it takes.

First up is Wolfeboro.  I participated in the Paint the Town event last year, painted two paintings and sold one.  This year I spent all my time (I think they gave us less time) on a single painting and did a pretty good job on it.

Back Channel in Wolfeboro

Back Channel in Wolfeboro

But it didn’t sell.  The blue building houses a hardware store.  Even a painting of a hardware store would be desirable if it were painted by Van Gogh.  I am not Van Gogh.  Alas.  When will I learn to paint a desirable subject?

For IPAP weekend, (IPAP stands for International Plein Air Painters, I believe), I started out well, subject-wise.  This is the entrance to Beech Hill Farm, a good place to go for ice cream and other neat things tangentially related to farming.  Pigs and sheep are present for the viewing as well.

Beech Hill Farm near Hopkinton, NH

Beech Hill Farm near Hopkinton, NH

I’m thinking of calling this  “Portrait of the Artist’s Automobile”.  Yes, it kind of ruins the picture for anyone whose car it is not, but I’m perverse that way.  It being my car, I could have moved it, but I deliberately chose to include it.  Please take note of the rain puddles too.  It did rain, and I did persevere without pause.

Day Two of IPAP weekend was Saturday, and I could not give up my attendance at Saturday Life Group, so I arrived quite late at Wagon Hill Farm, in Durham.  This Farm is conservation property, with beautiful rolling hills and a few antique wagons to provide some farming flavor.  I saw no evidence of active farming.  Indeed, I hardly ventured into the property before I unloaded and set up my gear with nothing but a rolling hill to inspire me.

Wagon Hill Farm in Durham NH

Wagon Hill Farm in Durham NH

I like it.

Day Three we drove out of New Hampshire to Acton, Massachusetts, to the home of one of our members.  “Home” does not quite describe the property.  I did not even see her actual home.  What I saw was old growth woods with one log cabin in decent shape and one tumbledown shack, with chairs sprinkled about, all on a big pond, large enough to be called a lake.  I found a chair in front of the log cabin and painted two paintings from that spot.  Next time I’m going for an area inhabited by lily pads.

Isabelle's Rock, Acton Massachusetts

Isabelle’s Rock, Acton Massachusetts

‘Belle really liked this one because she has herself painted that rock many times (like a mini version of Cezanne’s many paintings of Mont Victoire) and she felt I really captured it.

Isabelle's yellow-orange kayak

Isabelle’s yellow-orange kayak

In the title to this piece, I specified the dual colors of the kayak to make sure the viewer didn’t think I was confused.  Getting that kayak right was challenging.  Trees and rocks are so much more forgiving, but man-made objects have to be spot on.  I am pleased with the shine of sunlight hitting the kayak but unhappy with the shadows cast by the tree branches.  To me, the shadows look built in, part of the kayak’s surface.  Note the lanterns hanging from the tree limbs.  Windsocks and other whimsies decorated the property.  She also served snacks!

In terms of bathroom facilities, always an important factor for us girls, Beech Hill gets the blue ribbon with real rest rooms.  Wagon Hill had a portapotty in the parking lot.  Nyala (that’s what Belle calls her woodland estate) boasted something else, I’m not sure what exactly, but I rank it under the portapotty.  Still, better than going in the woods, which I have, on occasion, been forced to do.

In addition to the above official NH Plein Air events, I have been sneaking around with several of my classmates from the Cameron Bennett workshop.  Four of us have been meeting up to paint on Massabesic Lake and at the Griffin Mill Pond and Dam in Auburn.  One of the best paintings I ever painted was done at Griffin Mill Dam, years ago.  I tried to duplicate that success.

Griffin Mill Dam 2

Griffin Mill Dam 2 (12×16)

It didn’t happen.  In some ways, this is the better painting technically, in that the individual elements are more expertly done; but the whole doesn’t jell for me. I realize now that I was not in the exact same spot, because this time I plunked myself down without a second thought right in the middle of a bridge.  When I painted the earlier painting, I wasn’t so bold.  Ah, age brings with it a certain devil-may-care attitude.  That’s because Life IS Short now.  Here’s the original:

Griffin Park dam

Griffin Park dam (8×10)

Isn’t it lovely?

Here’s another from the Griffin Hill Dam, this time looking straight across to the barn up the hillside.  That’s right, all buildings in New Hampshire are related in some way to farming.

Griffin Mill Dam 3

Griffin Mill Dam 3

Aline Lotter is currently exhibiting:

at the Hatfield Gallery and the East Colony Fine Art Gallery in Manchester (both are in Langer Place, 55 S. Commercial St., Manchester, NH);  at the Bartlett Inn in Bartlett; at the Red Jacket Inn in North Conway;  at Stella Blu, an American Tapas restaurant in Nashua; at the law offices of Mesmer and Deleault at 41 Brook St in Manchester;  at the Manchester office of Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter;  at the Boston Arboretum Visitor Center, 25 Arborway, Boston; and at her studio by appointment.