#NH #Autumn #Photography Galleries

Fall Double Screenshotscreenshot-photos.google.com-2018.10.17-10-44-41 NH’s Autumn is one of the many reasons I fell in love with this area of the United States. The slightly warm days, cool, crisp temperatures in the evening, and the slow motion fireworks show from all our trees, make this place a dreamscape for more than a month each year. Every year is so different from the last, I don’t understand how anyone could grow bored of this season.

Most of you know I love photography, especially nature photography, and though my own photography skills are at an amateur level, I adore trying to capture some of the fleeting color show, the dance of light and dark, the tug of life and death, happening all around us this time of year. Continue reading “#NH #Autumn #Photography Galleries”

Expressions of #Fall Through #Glass – #Acrylic #Painting

Fall never ceases to amaze me. So much about this time and the beginning of renewal for nature connects with me. This is a piece I’ve been working on for quite some time. It is an20181005_163353 acrylic, acrylic skin, gel medium, glass bead gel, fluid acrylic layers, on canvas. This won’t stay in this space, in fact in many ways it is a test for the piece I want to make for this area. I love the way the shapes move into each other, a stained glass puzzle that won’t stay still. .I love the geometric form and the fall colors and the mix of textures, but the piece I want to build for this spot will need to pull a bit more from the Art Deco period. Much like this piece. I’ll need to make at least three more acrylic skin sheets in order to do that. I love making them so that isn’t such a tall order.

Thoughts on the Whaling Wall #Mural of #Portsmouth & the Need to Plan, Fund, & Think About the #Future of Public #Art in Downtown #FarmingtonNH

When I first moved to NH in the early nineties Portsmouth didn’t have the Whaling Wall. I lived just a block from the building it would soon be painted on. The Pease base had closed. The Downtown area of Portsmouth was largely dead. The city was looking rough around the edges. Rented spaces were empty, boarded up, or had paper over windows. The places left struggled and more faltered. Some places really thrived. Some initiatives really took off. Most of them had their own culture or focused on the arts, the humanities, and keeping the downtown alive.

That focus and forethought helped heal Portsmouth, bring it back from the dead. The Whaling Wall was one of those initiatives.  It made that immediate area a destination. It tuned an ordinary parking lot into an art gallery, and an old wall with pealing paint, into a piece of art. It gave a visual representation that Portsmouth had not given up, which is something everyone needed see. Portsmouth was looking to the future, not focusing on misfortunes. It showed everyone near and far that the city cared about art, culture, and building a new community.

Isle of Shoals Humpbacks

One of 100 “Whaling Wall” murals painted in 13 different countries by a renowned marine life artist.

https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/isle-of-shoals-humpbacks

Farmington is not Portsmouth. It should never try to be that city by the ocean. Farmington should learn who it was, remember who it is, and move forward unencumbered by either of those things. It should invest in the people of the town and plan for a future for the town. Those plans need to be both short and long term goals. For plans to be successful you need people to step up and take charge of them. Farmington should think about art and culture and how to bring both of those things back to the town. Community and public art and culture helped Portsmouth and I believe those could help Farmington recover.

Rochester, our mother city, much like Portsmouth, fell from her once prominent state and has worked very hard over the last few decades to reignite a sense of community, rebuild her economy, and has reestablished a flourishing art and culture scene.  I was a member of Art Esprit the group that made many of the public art projects a success in Rochester. Everyone remembers the giant art shoes in Downtown Rochester. Public art projects raise consciousness, they get people talking about spaces in productive ways, they get people to visit spaces they normally don’t. They invigorate and feed people’s souls. We need all those things. It was not easy for either city and it will be even harder for Farmington. It will take even longer and greater investment for Farmington to recover.

In my more than eighteen years here in Farmington I’ve seen resilience and perseverance. I’ve seen the wealth of talent and intelligence that lives here. I’ve learned much of our history and I’ve tried to learn about our people- to figure out how we evolved into this damaged, fractured, forgotten place. How did we get here?

One thing I’m sure of is we don’t have time to dwell.  It is past time to get involved, to formulate plans, find and raise funding, and act on the future we want for the downtown area. We need varied voices, we have over six thousand people who live here. We need to hear from them, but even more important we need them to stop living in their own walled off lives from everyone else. What happens to one of us will happen to all of us in the town if we do not shift course.

One group not to listen to are the defeatists, the nay sayers- the “we’ve tried that before” people- and those who care about nothing but their own future and what is inside their wallet. Those are the darkest, most selfish, nefarious, parts of humanity and they have no place in building a future of a town. Austerity and apathy breed a slow death in a capitalist society and they breed agonizing lives for those who live in small towns who subscribe to those choices. That’s not anything to look forward to and isn’t anything anyone truly wants for themselves or for future generations.

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The second group not to listen to are those inhabit the online world, yapping all day, giving unsolicited advice, uninformed diatribes, proving they are the best Gladys Kravitz, and waxing on days of old, through rose tinted lenses. Technology and social media have brilliant purposes and we will need them to craft a fine online presence and market our town. We will need both to better communication and learn from each other. Farmington doesn’t need an army of witty repartee digital sages, screaming and complaining from the safety of keyboards.

Portsmouth, Dover, and Rochester rebuild themselves without those. We need people in the real world actually doing things, actually looking to change things. We need people willing to be with each other without the crutches of digital anonymity, who can dare to disagree while looking into each other eyes. We need people here to remember how to lead and fail, and fail, and still try again. We need people willing to make personal sacrifices and carve out time. Believe me no one in the middle and lower class have extra time. No one. Not having time is not an excuse- it is an easy abdication of responsibility.

There are many, many organizations and initiatives in Farmington to help with, but I’m going to talk about the plans to have a mural in downtown Farmington. It’s a perennial idea, but this is the first time I’ve seen the idea get traction. It’s time to get out and push! This piece of community pride would beautify downtown with artwork by Donald Defrock Maker. The mural would be in sections on the side of the current Cumberland  Farms building.

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They are trying to secure funding of $2500 for the mural. You can donate by going here. I’m hoping they will raise more so there will be money for upkeep and maintenance, something I’ll note Portsmouth didn’t do with the Whaling Wall. Every project we undertake needs upkeep funding and every project needs maintenance, both financial and in the form of community audit and support. We don’t want our project to become like the Whaling Wall, untended, unnoticed, potential squandered. We can learn from that mistake.

Raising money from the community is terrific to start, finding grants is a perfect way to defray costs, but in the end both of those sources pull from our people, one via direct donation , the other through taxation, you have to plan for sharing those costs, you have to want to be vested in something together. We also can’t be afraid to hire people we need who have knowledge and skills we do not. It is a virtue to ask for help. Both parties gain from the exchange. That knowledge and skill set will come with a price.

Why stop at a few projects? Why not think much bigger? Maybe we can raise enough to produce another arts and culture project. I’m going to keep asking for more. Don’t just donate to causes. Don’t just get involved with one project. Get involved with several of the the organizations downtown. They all need help. Learn about the recent work with UNH Extension to help beautify Main Street and help with that. Lead a project no one else has taken the helm of. Maybe with enough support we could form an art council or art and culture non-profit. We all have to be the change we want to see. TODAY is the best day to do something. Not tomorrow, not twenty years ago, TODAY.

Help Farmington find a lasting sense of community and a lasting sense of pride. There is no other viable option.

Vincent van Gogh Paintings & Drawings Now Digitized & Put Online

Most of you who know me well know that one of my favorite artists is Vincent van Gogh. I know it is common to hear that now, but I don’t just love his work, his work influenced and informed my style, much of my color choice, and my use of marks. I enjoy how his vision could make the ordinary seem exceptional. His paintings and drawings never fail to hold me. I’ll never have the talent he had, but I’m glad he made such a big impact on my art and I’m thankful his work helps me express myself. Almost a thousand Vincent van Gogh paintings & drawings have now been digitized and are online to explore. Follow the link to the Van Gogh Museum.

Visit the Museum

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2018 #Farmington #NH #Summer #Garden #Flowers

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Nothing has shown how balance in the garden makes the best sense than this growing season. We started off dry, with lots of sun. Then switched to damp, even waterlogged, with little sun. As a result, most things have not had the conditions they love to thrive. I’ve had many plants suffer poor blooming and many things have developed blights, fungal outbreaks, or other problems. Many weeds this year too. Too many for my tastes. Here’s what I’ve captured since the solstice. Enjoy the gallery!

Late #Spring #Garden # Flowers 2018 #FarmingtonNH

I’m trying to catch up with all the garden photos I’ve taken so far this year. This set is mid to late spring. Most are shot in our gardens, but a few are from other places around town. Hopefully you will find them as rewarding to view, as I have in planting and taking care of them. Continue reading “Late #Spring #Garden # Flowers 2018 #FarmingtonNH”

#Digital #Collections from The Metropolitan #Museum of Art Libraries

Excerpt about the collections:

The Thomas J. Watson Library is a world-renowned research collection with over 900,000 volumes. It is The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s central research library, and its mission is to support the research activities of the Museum staff; in addition, it serves an international community of scholars. Holdings reflect the Museum’s encyclopedic collections, with emphasis on European and American art, architecture, and decorative arts, ancient Near Eastern, Egyptian, Greek and Roman, Asian, and Islamic art, as well as an extensive collection of clippings and other ephemera relating to the Museum’s history.

The primary mission of the Watson Library Digitization Initiative is to expand access to the Library’s rare and unique materials by developing, supporting, and promoting a distinctive digital collection of these items.

The initiative will target materials that fall outside the parameters of other major digitization efforts, such as Google Books or the Internet Archive, and make them accessible to support the scholarly endeavors of Metropolitan Museum of Art staff and an international community of researchers.

Visit the Digital Collections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art Libraries

 

Visit Largest #Collection of #FridaKahlo #Art Ever Assembled

I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days and all of the nights that I am away from you. Frida Kahlo

Visit the Faces of Frida exhibit

Read the Josh Jones article about the exhibit here. Continue reading “Visit Largest #Collection of #FridaKahlo #Art Ever Assembled”

Need Free Stock #Photos Full Of #Beauty & Inspiration? Try These

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As an artist I can get stuck and need inspiration or help getting out of a pattern that isn’t going anywhere. Sometimes the easiest thing for me to do is to look at photography and let it take me somewhere.  Since I’ve blogged for a very long time, on multiple sites, I’ve also come up short sometimes with stock photos I could use for header graphics for posts. Here is a list of stock photo places I go to for inspiration. Most are completely free to use as you wish; a few require attribution, but I think that is a very small price to pay for free usage of someone’s art. At the very end of the list I am also including  the link to the Prelinger Archives which has 6600 free use films.  Enjoy exploring & using them!

Continue reading “Need Free Stock #Photos Full Of #Beauty & Inspiration? Try These”

Easygoing Early #October #Garden #Photos

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Early October is the herald for the season of slow slumber in New Hampshire. The garden is beyond twilight and though most plants are preparing for winter, some things re-surge. The dahlias come back with a vengeance. One. Last. Hurrah.

We had great leafy vegetable crop; four kinds of lettuce and some awesome kale, which is very happy with the cold right now. We had a steady tomato crop and my peppers grew very well this year. Our pear tree is old enough to give us lots of fruit this year and they have been delicious. We had a big enough crop that we could give some to neighbors.

We’ve continued to have warmer weather for fall, though our nights are dipping as they should. It has been a little dry as well. Times of killing frost are almost upon us. I hope you enjoy the flower and plant gallery; this will be the last one for this year! Continue reading “Easygoing Early #October #Garden #Photos”