Saturday, October 16, 2010

Field of Flags

I read in the our local paper, the Glastonbury Citizen, that the "Field of Flags" was going to be displayed on the front lawn of the Church of Christ on Main Street. I wondered what this might be like and thought I'd share this story with you. Saturday morning October 9th a group of parishioners were going to place the thousands of flags on the lawn and because of so many there was a need to use the parsonage area as well. Each flag represented a fallen U.S. service member killed in Iraq or Afghanistan ........ all 5710 as of that date! The most recent at the time was a young man from Glastonbury.

It was going to take 80 people working in shifts and about four hours to place all the flags. This idea was first generated at the Somers, Connecticut Congregational Church in October 2005 and Glastonbury is the 42nd community to display the flags. Churches in other states including Florida and Virginia have also displayed the flags.

The front lawn wasn't large enough so the parsonage next door also had to be used.

As the sun set, I paused thinking what this represents and to think that unfortunately there will be more flags added in time. The "Field of Flags" will be on display until October 30th.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Saturday morning walk

The old apple tree limb that came down in June, is going to be firewood once I split some of the logs later in the fall. I was pleased to be able to restore the pig enough so I could put it back. I missed not seeing it in the early morning amber rays of the sun each day. I still have some soldering that needs to be done but that's some other time. I hadn't taken a walk down back for a while so thought I would Saturday morning.

After walking through the forest of white pine trees I came to the overgrown vines along the road. Later this fall, there are the sheep, horses and cattle that will have a lot to graze upon.

I like the gnarly old willow trees that still survive each year. The public is welcome to hike around the farm roads next door to the studio/gallery and enjoy the scenery. The trails even lead over to the bird sanctuary not too far away.

The peppers are just about ripe and will be harvested for the local markets along with many other vegetables. Janice and I enjoy taking a break sitting on the other side overlooking rows of beautiful peppers. So if you are in the area, you too can sit down and soon can have some cider while relaxing for a minute or two.

Looking up

I recently was stopped in traffic coming out of the tunnel in Boston and looked up to my left side to see South Station. I thought how many changes in development were all around and yet this landmark is still there to be admired. There are of course many buildings and spires that stand quietly over time but it is nice just to take time to appreciate the beauty of construction.

The Customs House has been through changes and once was the tallest building.

I also was in New Hampshire and saw the the Phillips Exeter Academy building and stopped to take this sun setting photo.

The Congregational Church was also striking as the sun was setting being a part of the past with more history to come.

Here is a church I recently made which may bring about thoughts of other old churches of the past.
I plan to create more of these as well as additional houses for my Old Town Collection and look forward to showing them soon.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Marblehead Day

As July ended so did the show at the Marblehead Arts Association which meant I had to pick up my paintings that were part of the summer exhibition. I also had some business to take care of at the Marblehead Historical Commission, a store that sells some of my work located in Abbot Hall. This is also where the famous painting of the Spirit of '76 is displayed where everyone can experience this very meaningful image of our country's heritage. Right there at Washington Square in the shadows of Abbot Hall I took this photo of the house I remember working in as a young fourteen year old. I used to do odd jobs from yard work to cleaning walls.... even in the cellar of this home.

The landmark of town, Abbot Hall, is nestled among many old homes and this photo is Tucker Street a few short steps from the Art Association. On the right side is the home of Samuel Chamberlain, a very well known artist and writer, who I also did work for. He did fine etchings of not only Marblehead but also places in Europe. Many also might be familiar with his photography and writings of New England books. I remember him well sitting there as I weeded his backyard gardens.

From Abbot Hall there is a shortcut down the steps of the public alleyway to Lee Street from Lookout Court..... a must to see when visiting in town.

I went down to the wharf from Lookout Court and I happened to see my old friend Kip, whose back patio is shown above. We sat and talked briefly of the "old" days when I used to live there. It almost felt like it was yesterday ......almost.
On the way to the wharf is this view at the corner of Darling Street and Front. I like this view and have done several paintings and drawings of it. There are a lot of changes but basically it is still the same.

This is a watercolor tinted print of my interpretation of the above photo that I did once for the Savings Bank's calendar several years ago. I have this print and eleven more Marblehead scenes of 8x10 prints available, if anyone is interested, colored or black&white.
This painting is also available and shows the antique shop and the Sea Horse tea room on the right side. I remember too the Keepsake shop on the left side across the street going up to Crocker Park.
Hope you enjoy this little walking tour of old Marblehead where I was influenced in the work that I do today.

California Trip

Janice & I recently went to California for a few days to see our new twelve week old grandson. We left the hot humid East Coast and shortly after arriving I noticed how cool the air was getting in the early evening. So, of all things I had to buy was a sweater! But Janice did prepare and remembered to bring a sweater for herself. I was looking forward to writing about the great trees with their fascinating trunks and roots that were in the neighborhood. It was nice to see so many well kept front yards although they were very close together. Unfortunately I accidentally deleted my camera card losing all the "Culver City" photos. Fortunately though, we made CD's of all the baby photos and that was the important part. Trees will always be around, but little Hayden at 12 weeks is only once.
On the flight out I did not have my camera to take photos from the plane's window of the beautiful cloud formations. They were the most fantastic conditions of light and dark cumulus rising clouds making it very three dimensional with lightening bolts at the same time. We were about five miles high and I could even see other jets below zooming along in and out of the clouds. I did have my camera returning to Connecticut and I was able to take images along the way back and wanted to share a few with you.

Our flight began from LAX, took us over Del Ray beach where we visited the day before. It was cloudy and overcast but hoped for clear skies as we ascended.

After the flight leveled off 36,000 feet we were above the scattered clouds.

I've heard of crop circles but never saw them for real. I don't understand why this is but I saw them from New Mexico to at least Oklahoma. Sometimes these were in the middle of desert .......not surrounded by other green. I'd like to learn more about why and how these are so perfect everywhere.

As I looked out I thought of the song "IZ" sings "Somewhere Over the Rainbow".......way up high. The rendition that IZ sings is wonderful if you haven't heard him sing it before.

Our halfway stop was Minnesota and I noticed how green everything was.........but no crop circles here.

The sun was setting as we got closer to Connecticut but I noticed Venus further away. It was nice to get back home and now everything is just a memory. I'm now back to work and working on a collection of more pine wood houses for the Halloween and Christmas season. I'm looking forward to showing you lots more in different sizes and details.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Old Apple Tree

It was about 9:00pm when Janice and I heard a mysterious cracking sound I thought was against the house. I looked out and saw nothing but Janice noticed the large branch that fell from the old apple tree near the barn. It wasn't windy but I guess there was maybe just one too many apples on the weakened limb that couldn't take it any longer. I was glad it didn't happen a few weeks ago when we had 108 guests for the historical society house tour and dinner.

The tree was to have been trimmed in early June but now it was time to take care of it and in a couple of hours everything was cleaned up. The only damage was to the bristle back boar pig weather vane I have used for over thirty-five years to accent various places in gardens. It will need some repairs but hopefully I will have it back sometime this summer.
You're welcome to visit the studio/gallery as there are more paintings and "country accents" that I have made. Just call ahead to be sure I'm in and I'll write your name too on the blackboard.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Wayside Inn birthday present

Longfellow's Wayside Inn, in Sudbury, Massachusetts, is a favorite place and an icon of New England for many over the centuries, and it will always be. I recently was asked by a collector's daughter Stephanie, if I might have something relating to the Inn for her mother's birthday coming within days. I thought right away about it and sent her an image of the inn made of wood and with a quick response she thought it was perfect. So I mailed out the package thinking everything would be fine and on time. I was told it should arrive within two days but a week later Sarah, my collector, only had received the two photos that Stephanie sent her saying a package would be coming. What a mystery to me it was and so I immediately started making another to replace it. Lo and behold, just when I finished, the package was found!

For some reason I transposed the wrong house number of the address. I learned that the number of the address I wrote was a vacant store but fortunately there were apartments next to it. One kind person living there traced the name it was addressed to, and Stephanie was able to walk over to retrieve her mother's present.

Moral of the story: Be very sure of the address you're writing on a package! On the other hand, it also shows a thoughtfulness of others in doing the right thing. Thank you to whoever it was that did the right thing and making three people very happy!

The inn is painted with the two different seasons to enjoy. If you are in New England I encourage you to visit the inn for a wonderful breakfast, luncheon, evening meals, overnight stays and other special occasions.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Popsicle Date

July 4th weekend is now a memory of a relaxing time around the house and barn. We had collectors visit enjoying the barn full of paintings and country accents while serving iced tea with watermelon to keep us all a little cooler. Monday evening, the last day before the work week began again, Janice and I got Chinese take out to bring home. Afterwards we packed some Popsicles for a "date" down to the ferry landing. The ferry wasn't running but it was nice just to sit, not like Marblehead harbor with many boats ,but pleasant just the same.

We were surprised to see on the way to our "date", the classic Connecticut tobacco farms were growing more corn than tobacco it seemed. I guess it's the sign of changing times. I remember seeing the tobacco fields and barns for the first time particularly Horton's farm here in South Glastonbury and thought it was the "Motif #1" as in Rockport.

The Spirit of America lives throughout the year and before you know it, there will be another Independence Day to celebrate.

I painted this life size sculpture I called "The Private" for a benefit auction for the Pathways for Children in Gloucester in 2009. There are post cards available of The Private by emailing me for more information.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Marblehead & The 4th of July

Tuesday, June 29th, was a hot humid day for a drive but I hadn't been to the Marblehead Art Association for a while and wanted to enter two paintings into the next show. I was lucky getting a parking space near-by the King Hooper Mansion, home of the Art Association, but next week with the Arts Festival, parking will be hard to fine. It was nice to be back in town and thought I would also take advantage of the trip going down to the beautiful harbor. I thought you might like this little "tour".
Going to Crocker park is a must when visiting.......and a great place to see the harbor illumination and fireworks. I did a painting a few years ago of a whimsical interpretation of Arthur Fiedler "conducting " the 1812 Overture I once had the pleasure of hearing at the park on the 4th.
Another great place is Fort Sewall a short distance away on Front street where in 1812 it gave protection to the USS Constitution. Janice and I in 1997 waited several hours in the hot sun, to see the sailing into the mouth of the harbor and mooring between the fort and the lighthouse. It was a very special occasion to be a part of history that we'll always remember. There are plenty of benches to sit and enjoy the wonderful view making memories forever.
I did a painting of a character selling fireworks at the fort .... something completely made up but in my imagination could have been.

Every 4th of July I fly the American flag night and day at the end of the driveway and it once was featured in the late nightly news.
"Happy 4th of July"