Thursday, October 20, 2016

Painting Close to Home

When it's foliage season, with the weather so unusually warm for October, it is hard to resist going out to photograph and paint. And luckily, I don't have to travel far. Down the street is a loop of road where the owners have maintained a picturesque New England setting.

The old cider mill

Even better, they have arranged for the fields out back to be held as conservation land where people are welcome to visit.

No, not Vermont!

Even as the weather turns colder this will be a good place for plein-air painting; - easily accessible and close enough to home for an emergency hot coffee run.

My acrylic of the house

A watercolor of the cider mill window

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Milling About

On the annual (and obligatory) foliage viewing trip this fall I meandered through the Monadnock region of New Hampshire, finally making a visit to Harrisville.

I heard about this old New England mill village years ago, both on the news (You can Buy this Entire Town!) and in various magazines. Seeing as how it was so close, I made the effort to check it out, and I was totally blown away.

I expected to see a collection of old, decrepit buildings with an accretion of industrial and commercial components. Instead, it is almost pristine in its 19th century appearance. In fact, if not for the automobiles of visitors, you would have to look hard to see modern day intrusions.

The short story is that at one point the corporation owning the complex went bankrupt, and a group formed to purchase and preserve the buildings, as well as obtaining easements that preserve the surrounding landscape. While there is not much commercial/retail for the casual visitor, just to wander about is worth making the trip.

The weather was perfect, I took lots of photographs, and expect to get some paintings out of this excursion.

For more information see

Monday, October 3, 2016

Plein Air Day in Phillipston

A gray day in the country.

The Massachusetts Plein Air Meetup Group spent the day out on the farm in Phillipston, Massachusetts. The farm belongs to the parents of one member, and they graciously allowed us to come paint there again this year (and served  us lunch!).

The huge maple is glorious when the leaves turn

The hilltop has amazing views of the countryside, and even on a gray, damp day it was impressive. Artists eagerly set up their easels to enjoy and paint the vistas. Joseph, of course, with his usual perverse nature instead took his setup down behind the barn.

I first spotted one lone pumpkin remaining in the remnants of the vegetable garden. While everything around it was dying off, this shone brightly in spite of the overcast sky.

The Last Pumpkin

We were not at peak foliage yet, so in a continued search for color I located the heavy equipment in the back. The front of the barn is as neat and trim as anything, but the back, as is typical in New England, doesn't get any attention. I painted this last year as well, but this year's painting was more successful.

Some bright colors

Looking forward to going back in the Spring..

Art work on display

And finally, the critique before heading home