Thursday, January 24, 2008

300 year old milestones to Boston

Along an old stone wall in Newbury, is the first one of four milestone markers indicating it is 37 miles to Boston. On the sides there are references to Portsmouth and also Ipswich. These are beautifully carved designs made exactly three hundred years ago that we can still witness today almost as clear as then. Do you ever stop and think about how it was to travel the roads of many years ago? When I travel at times I'm thinking how easy and fast it is to get from one place to the next even if caught in a traffic jam. In some of my paintings I have used these milestone markers which were the "highway signs"of their day and a far cry from the "global positioning systems" known as GPS . These stone markers are passed by daily for all to see and I often wonder if they are ever really noticed now. I wonder too, how these were positioned, who carved them, the activity of the time putting it all together, what the travel conditions were like, how often a trip was made, the different characters, what taverns and Inns were along the road and wonder how long it took?

This is along a curve on the Boston Road with 36 miles to Boston. I almost wonder if there was a mistake carving out 30 at first and then made into a six. Notice also the different carved designs at the bottom.

The stones are all different shapes and designs carved out. This reads 35 miles to Boston.

This might be the same view on the way to Boston traveling along the marshes often flooded in the spring.

The last stone shows on the left it is 3 miles to Newburyport and on the right it is 33 miles to Boston, carved in 1708. This stone is in front of the Governor Dummer Academy in Newbury where there is a tradition of students walking around it after graduating.

There have been other articles written in magazines and books, but this set of four milestones are unique to find and perhaps you can see them as well someday....... or maybe find them in a painting I have done.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Pennsylvania Visit

Tom and JoAnn from Pennsylvania, visit the gallery on their way back from a weekend at the Wayside Inn. JoAnn has attended many classes over the years but this was the first time it was convienent to stop by.

JoAnn just didn't believe that the brick and "metal door" imitation, was painted on the chimney extention when the barn was built. This is on the second floor of the studio where I also paint during the spring and summer.

Before heading back to Pennsylvania, JoAnn and Tom take their Springer Spaniels, Raven and Cache down through the woods to the "Million Dollar View" of the rolling hills to the Connecticut River. I like to sit when I have a chance and just relax for a moment or two.

Saturday's class at the Inn

I often have a class in painting at the Wayside Inn every January and this past Saturday the 12th was a wonderful memory for all. What a perfect day with the weather and health of all which is something I always wonder about. There is a lot of anticipation and excitement in the day that goes by so fast.

Janice and I settled at the Inn about 8:30 and went to dinner in the very room I would have the class. We had a nice seat right close to the fireplace to enjoy. After that we went up to one of the ten rooms of the Inn where we made out the class certificates that students would be receiving. The students are from everywhere including Jo Ann from Pennslyvania, Gary from New Hampshire, Grace from Connecticut and others from all different parts of the state.

Have you ever heard of the Secret Drawer Society at the Inn? These are letters found in different drawers and places hidden in the rooms written by the many visitors. The letters describe personal insights, of joy, happiness, hopes and loves of those that are fortunate to experience the Wayside Inn. There are no televisions in the rooms but reading the letters, then writing your own, creates a special place to be part of history.

We set up the class early so when the students arrive they can enjoy the coffee and muffins before class.

The luncheon was relaxing in the old kichen with the crackling fireplace making for a classic time. We all then got down to business painting the scene on the little bench. There were at least three students that never painted before and did quite well. It's nice to see and now they too have created something frozen in time, everthing else is a memory.

If interested in classes just email me and I'll let you know of other up and coming classes.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Wayside Inn to the North Shore

January thaw came at a nice time Tuesday the 8th when I went to the North Shore after first going to the Wayside Inn. No matter how many times I walk the pathway to the Inn, it is so wonderful to experience. I wanted to check on the last minute details of the class I'll be giving Saturday.

After that I went through Swampscott about an hour away and took a moment just to reflect the beautiful day again. My daughter Vanessa took Janice and I to Anthony's Pier Four Cafe that overlooks Lynn Shore beach for dinner one evening after my special 40th Anniversary exhibit I had in Marblehead two years ago.

I then continued to Marblehead to the King Hooper Mansion where my gallery is on the second floor and brought in some new paintings. The historic mansion is the home of the Marblehead Arts Association where there are many events and activities throughout the year. There are many views of the old town from the windows toward the harbor each day and I use it as the wallpaper screen on my computer. When you visit the mansion , be sure to tour all the the different galleries in the three floors and the wine cellar which was the old kitchen. I not only have paintings there but also original art signs, decorated old tin pieces, drawings, prints, post cards and unique painted pieces such as the very collectible pine wood houses and barns in all sizes that is "Old New England". I met a couple there Tuesday that didn't know the gallery was my work and asked if everything he saw was the "founders" gallery because he had seen the work in the summer and it had that old look. I hadn't heard that before but that is the feeling of what my work can bring ........... as if it did exist back in time.