Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dennis Bunker

I had never heard of Dennis Bunker until I read that John Singer Sargent painted with him - I then found that he had a very short life/career (1861-1890), which may be why his name does not come to mind easily. So, I was delighted to come across one of his works, Roadside Cottage (1889) while at the National Gallery on our trip to Washington.

Mandy has been Collared

Due to a torn toenail, then inflammation, Mandy is wearing a protective collar. She doesn't seem to mind it, and it seems to keep her out of trouble. Maybe we should have her in it permanently?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Washington in Holiday Attire

We spent a few days in Washington, DC. The new national Christmas tree will take a few years at least to begin looking impressive (previous tree was downed in a storm). The decorations on the facade of the Old Excecutive Office building are a game attempt at "festive". Best decor we saw was indoors at the National Gallery - the rotunda and garden courts kept their restrained elegance with live Christmas trees and plants added to the regular greenery.
Merry Christmas to all!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Card Photos

Yes, it's that time of year, when good little dogs sit nicely for their annual group photo. Apparently Mandy did not get the memo.
Eventually we got her slightly quiet.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Frames and Foliage

Have been to busy to post lately, so need to catch up.
Foliage this year was not the best due to the weather we had, but the (invasive) fire bushes we have looked great this year, providing spots of color amidst the grays and browns.
Also busy gilding some frames; two silver leaf in process (they always take me longer than I think).

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Halloween Storm

The famous "Halloween Storm" of 2011 is now history, with power back on in most of our area. After a couple of days with no electricity, heat, running water and then the phone service out, plus my chain saw dying, we decamped for Maine. We returned Wednesday evening, and are now doing the cleanup both inside and out.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Toy Time

Mandy has been allowed to play with a dog toy (under supervision). She cleverly took refuge in an open crate - perplexing Savannah who had eyes on this tempting item.

Friday, October 21, 2011

She has a name

The new Cairn has been christened "Mandy". I am sure she will learn her name by end of weekend - she is smart and quick. All seem to be getting along (or at least in an armed truce). The big ones ignore her, and she is happy to play by herself. As they come to realize that she is here for good, I am sure they will warm up to her.

Monday, October 17, 2011

New, as yet to be named, dog

This 10 week old Cairn terrier arrived yesterday afternoon. Apparently her background has made her fearless; she had no trouble fitting in, and this morning is now teasing and chasing the poodles around the house.
Still small enough to pick up with one hand, but she promises to be a "real handful" eventually.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Reverse Glass Painting

Demonstrating reverse glass painting during HSEAD's event at Old Sturbridge Village. This marked the opening of the HSEAD (www.hsead.org) research center on the OSV campus. Pouring, pouring rain today; will repeat demos tomorrow.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Gilding Demonstration

I gave one of my water-gilding demonstrations for the Strawbery Banke chapter of the Historical Society of Early American Decoration (www.hsead.org).

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Wasn't there a house here?

As I guessed in an earlier post (http://forthillstudios.blogspot.com/2011/09/what-was-that-address-again.html) , the house on Middle Street in Wiscasset is gone. Anxious to see what, if anything is going in. I figured a new house on the water view lot, but maybe the owner of the house across the street just wanted to improve the view.

Fall Flowers

The weather here in central Massachusetts has been what I would expect in Orlando. Still, did the traditional fall thing - we all put pots of mums on the front steps (and soon, pumpkins)!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Art weekend in Wiscasset

I had reconnected with a former schoolmate, Beverly Clark, when I joined a local artists group. This weekend she came to Maine with us, and as she is a plein air painter, went out each morning to paint. Afternoons we drove over the mid-coast area, taking lots of photos for reference in the studio later. Although I didn't paint as much, it was a motivation for me to get back to work.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fire at Tony's

As we were heading home from our weekend in Wiscasset, we stopped to buy the newspaper at the Irving station as fire broke out at the vacant pizzeria/gas station across route 1.
We left before it was out, but it looked like a total loss (although, as it has been vacant for several years, not much of a loss).

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What was that address again?

Could the owner of this house be having trouble with UPS deliveries? I suspect that since the wires have been disconnected, and the asbestos shingles removed, that this house in Wiscasset is slated for demo (the house was just sold, and didn't seem that appealing, but the lot does have a water view).
Wonder what I will find when I go back up this weekend.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Woofstock in Damariscotta

This weekend Woofstock was held in Damariscotta at the old Round Top farm property. Exhibitors were both canine services and products, including rescue organizations. Well-behaved dogs were welcome, so of course, that meant our two had to remain back at the house.
Gourmet dog comestibles seem to be the biggest growth industry in America (aside from gluten-free cupcake bakeries). Much as I spoil the animals, it does seem puzzling to worry about exotic and/or organic dog treats, when given the chance, they will scarf down road kill and drink out of the toilet.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Flora and Fauna

As we were going to the transfer station (dump) in Maine, a load of turkeys were running around on the back road. Also, purchased a replacement apple tree. After this is planted, I may take more care with pruning/spraying, and possibly get some edible applies.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day Weekend

As usual on Labor Day weekend, we labored. Now that the weather is more comfortable during the day, back to scraping and painting in Wiscasset. On Monday, did some tree work and planting back home in Massachusetts.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Storm aftermath

We returned home from Maine (after securing the house there as much as we could), knowing that any heavy rain would cause water in the basement. Surprisingly, I was able to contain the water leaking in with vigilant mopping. But with all the aged, decrepit trees with dead limbs, the only one to come down was a 20 foot tall apple tree (the tag said "dwarf Macintosh") I planted about 2o years ago.
Power was out a couple of days, but otherwise, all is well.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Another painting framed

Now that the big show is over, I am getting into the far corners and ferreting out things to finish up. I had forgotten I even made this frame, black over red ground, water gilt liner. I don't even remember if it was intended for a particular painting, but I put this one in it, it looked good, and I can check off another project on the list.
Yes, another one in the "Wiscasset Psychic" series.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Yes, I do windows.

Had I only known at the beginning of the project how tedious window sash repair is, I would have gone for replacements on the first floor, as I did on the second. Of course, even at that, I wish I had decided on replacements for the second floor BEFORE I repaired all the sash up there.
But, all good things must come to an end, and I have taken out the glass from the sash of two more windows, and will now scrape, repair, repaint and reglaze. When this is done, only two more windows left!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Shrewsbury Art Festival

The Artist Guild of Shrewsbury ( http://www.artistguildshrewsbury.com ) held their firt arts festival at Dean Park in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. Not a bad showing for the first time out, and the weather was perfect. Artists could rent individual spaces, or show work with the group under a pavillion.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Smoking at Old Sturbridge Village

After a business meeting, I helped some other members of the Historical Society of Early American Decoration (www.hsead.org) with a decorating project at our new research center at Old Sturbridge Village (www.osv.org).

Smoke decoration is done by using a sooty candle or lamp (we get the candle to produce more soot by holding a large nail in the flame), letting the still wet paint or varnish trap the soot on the service. The swirls of soot leave a "marbled" appearance. One drawback, as you can see from the picture, is that you need to have the item above the smoking candle, and for these cabinet doors, that made it a three-person job.

Will post more when the doors are re-installed. For more about the group decorating the building, go to: http://hsead.org/OSVblog/WWHHT.html

Monday, August 15, 2011

Union Antiques Festival

Union, Maine is the site of the Maine Antiques Festival every August (www.maineantiquesfestival.com), and we were there again. It is outdoors mostly, or in sheds or under tents. It ranges from the formal to the primitive, from the high end to, well, whatever. The displays are not usually elaborate, but some put in more effort than others, and at the end of the weekend you have a nice layer of wind-blown dust over all.
The weather this year was just about as good as it gets. We had a good time, sold some stuff, and got to display some of the gilding work.