Sunday, July 31, 2011

Clark's Pond, Auburn, NH

We are leaving tomorrow for a weeklong retreat, but we took a nice walk yesterday with our neighbor's dog, Sonny. If you have been reading this blog since last winter, you may remember my winter painting of Clark's Pond with that bridge. I used that painting for holiday cards.

I am working on finishing up a painting of Dahlias. The flowers and leaves are all done, but I'm not happy with the borders. I tried another experiment yesterday and that was worse than the first one. I hope to have time to work on it some more today, but I also have to pack, that includes all my gear for the craft table during the week. I'm just bringing a sketch book and notebook with me on retreat. I don't plan on doing any painting while we are away. I have some words and images in my head for poems, so I hope to have the time and inspiration to write at least one.

Here are some more views from the trails on the other side of the street (hiking and biking trails). I found the uprooted trees interesting. Lots of water lilies and pickerel weed in the pond. (I did colored pencil drawings of those in the past and they are somewhere on this blog too.)

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Blown glass art by artist Dale Chihuly
Wonderful trip to Boston with our Idaho family. Jeanne had not been there before. If you have not been to the Dale Chihuly exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts you are really missing a wonderful museum. We also toured the new American art wing and saw many other parts of the museum. It was too big to go through in one day.

As it was a very hot day, we joined up with Seth, our Boston tour guide, for a trip down to the harbor and a wonderful dinner.
That's Joe and Joe! Joe Smiga Sr (NH) and Joe Smiga Jr (Idaho)in the museum.  Joe and Seth Freedman, Joe and Jeanne Smiga at the harbor. then Linda Feinberg and son Seth Freedman.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Acrylic paintings revised

I brought these three paintings into my art class and revised them slightly according to the comments of my teacher. Noon Peak (top painting) got a few more spots of red color for flowers and a little bit more light on the bottom rock.

Joe fishing at First Connecticut Lake (second painting down) was much harder. I'm not really sure that is done yet. The proportions were off and I had to make Joe and the tree skinnier to go with my view which was above and down. Working from a photo doesn't always give the correct proportions. I had a hard time with the water.

Spring at Grace Church was easier. I just added some of the lighter wood on the window to make it more interesting and a few spots of white on the flowers. I think I am ready to varnish this one and call it done.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cedar Swamp Trail Manchester NH

Some photos from a very enjoyable walk on the Cedar Swamp Trail on the Hooksett/Manchester border (Hackett Hill Road/Countryside). Easy walking trails, interesting flora, fungi on rocks and trees, wild rhododenrons, moss, glacial erratics (big granite rocks), all under shady canopy of pines, hemlocks, deciduous trees too. Trails are well marked and there are 3 loops.

You can click on the title of this post and it will take you to the Nature Conservancy website with more information about this trail.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Acrylic painting experiments2

I'm not sure if this painting is finished yet. I plan to bring my last few acrylic paintings with me to my July classes. I'm hoping the teacher can help me with finishing them, then I will varnish them.  This one is acrylic on canvas panel. I painted it from a photo of Joe fishing at the First Connecticut Lake in Pittsburg, NH (that's at the top of the state of NH on Route 3 that continues on to the border station with Canada). I think I need to work on the background trees some more. I'm not happy with them. It is 11" X 14"

I was experimenting again, this time with acrylic paint on 300 lb cold press watercolor paper, using the acrylic paints like watercolor (transparently, with water). You can buy sample packs of various watercolor papers online. This came from a sample pack bought several years ago at I had not used all the sample papers up and had some left. It is 11" X 14" too.

I didn't like my initial pass through with the pigments thinned with water so I left the water and sky that way, but I used the pigments without water for the other parts of the painting. It is looking better, but not done yet. I still need to darken the area behind the gazebo. Then, I'll think about it some more. I think the water needs to be darkened too. I found that mixing the pigments with white to make them opaque did not work well on the paper, so I just used the pigments as they came out of the tube.

This painting was composed from two photos taken years ago in New Brunswick, Canada. It is the view from the hotel room in Chance Harbor. We did see a beautiful sunrise there, but the pictures I took were of a later time in the day. I was trying to remember what the sunrise would look like. I think I need to add more rose color to the sunrise.  I'll keep working on it.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Tower Hill Pond

Beautiful walk Saturday around Tower Hill Pond in Auburn. Having a quiet 4th of July holiday, although there were lots of noisy fireworks in our neighborhood last night.  Getting close to finishing up another painting. Will post it soon.
This was a memorial garden we came across on our walk around the pond.
The water level is high which is a good thing. This pond is part of the watershed which serves the lakes that give Manchester its water supply. There have been years when we've walked around this pond when the water level was too low. This year we've had lots of snow and rain, so the community's water supply should be fine.