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Archive for the ‘Hollis’ Category

I’m excited to be in the current show at Twiggs Gallery in Boscawen, NH. “COZY: NH Artists celebrate the joys and comforts of home” will run from November 21 through December 20, 2015.
Please join us for the opening reception: Saturday, November 28th from 3 to 5 pm.

Two of my farm/land paintings are included in this exhibit. “Home on Pine Hill Road #1” depicts the home I grew up in and the area immediately surrounding it. It includes my mother’s favorite maple tree, the huge sycamores in front of the house, the lady slippers and yellow violets which grew in the woods across the street. All the little items on the painting represent a memory from my childhood, a memory of my family, or sometimes just a memory of the stories we grew up with.

“Our Street” is much more explicit. The notes about the neighbors and my family are still visible on this painting. The neighborhood is a checkerboard of land, houses, and families. And some of the little stories that connected us all.

 

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I just received a request from a member of the Hollis Old Home Days committee to donate a piece of art for their silent auction. Since the paintings in my library exhibit are all of Hollis locations, this seems like a great idea. I had gicleé prints made of two of the paintings in the exhibit in case someone wanted something smaller and less expensive. That seems like the perfect choice for this event. The paintings are really too large, but the prints are approximately 11 x 15 and matted to 16 x 20. Hopefully, that’s the perfect size.

I started going to the event years ago to visit with my mother and her friends the Hollis Happy Hookers, a local rug hooking group. Now I still go and it gives me a chance to connect with old friends and usually catch up with a few relatives. Last year I actually spent a pleasant morning working with the Hollis Trails Committee and then meeting friends for lunch at Old Home Days. 

If you’re looking for a smaller version of these paintings, this is your opportunity to get an image in this smaller size and support a favorite local event. 

Ethel Hills - " Hills Farm #5" - Watercolor - 22" x 30"

Ethel Hills - " Hills Farm #5" - Watercolor - 22" x 30"

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Thursday evening was the reception for my exhibit “The Hollis Land Project – Paintings of Home” at the Hollis Social Library in my hometown of Hollis, NH. Thank you to all who came out for it. We all had a lovely time. I already knew most of the people who came to the reception, which was great. Since these paintings have such a connection to a specific place, it was easy to talk with people who shared some of that history. The paintings all have little landmarks, which for me represent some sort of touchstone, a connection to a memory. In this painting, the small reddish marks in the left center panel represent cows. When we were kids, one of the local dairy farmers kept cows in that field for the summer. They’d come to the gate and they had such beautiful big brown eyes!  And then there was the maple in the backyard that had a swing for us kids and for my mother, the most beautiful fall color. That’s the bright red shape near the top of the painting. 

It was fun to discuss some of those memories with people who shared that history, but it’s also fun to share those stories with people who are newer to the area. Doing these paintings has made me realize that land and place are more important to us than I ever realized. We’re tied to land by our stories and our history, maybe in the same way that we’re tied to family and friends by our stories. 

Ethel Hills - "Home on Pine Hill Rd. # 2" - Watercolor - 22" x 30"

Ethel Hills - "Home on Pine Hill Rd. # 2" - Watercolor - 22" x 30"

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Last week I had the opportunity to show my brothers the paintings at “The Hollis Land Project” exhibit at the library. We had gotten together on Friday for a last family visit before the oldest and his family returned to California. They liked all of the paintings, but this is one of the ones we looked at the most. We were looking at the painting and remembering things that had happened when we were kids, tying the memories to specific landmarks.

I’ve included landmarks that have been gone for 40 or 50 years as well as landmarks that are much more recent. For example, I’ve included the bee hives that have been near the waterhole for probably 10 years or so, as well as the cows that grazed in the field when we were kids. I’ve included the sycamores that have been in front of the house forever, and a willow tree that came down years ago. And the willow tree makes me think of Mr. Linscott, our neighbor up the hill, and Poucha, the dog we had as children. I’ve included the lilacs between the two houses which have also been gone for a long time, but were lovely. And there was a hedge with thorns and red berries in front of the house next door and a pond out in back where we skated in the winter. There was a flag pole in the middle of our yard, also long gone. Across the street is a small wood lot which was also part of our playground. There were lady slippers, the pink patch, and special yellow violets, the yellow patch, not to mention, baby toes, lily of the valley, jack-in-the-pulpit and cardinal flowers. How many stories there are in one little painting. There are even stories that I didn’t know I was painting.

E. Hills - Home on Pine Hills Rd. #1 - Watercolor - 22" x 30"

E. Hills - Home on Pine Hills Rd. #1 - Watercolor - 22" x 30"

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I went over to Hollis Wednesday afternoon and hung “The Hollis Land Project” exhibit in the meeting room at the Hollis Social Library. I was pleasantly surprised at how well this show went up. I have 6 full sheet watercolor paintings, approximately 22″ x 30″, one half sheet watercolor, approximately 15″ x 22″ and two small acrylics on panels.

I’m trying something new with these paintings. Instead of framing them, I’m presenting them mounted on acid free foam core and enclosed in clear bags made specifically for artwork. There are three advantages to this. First off, the customer gets to choose their own framing based on their own taste, decor and budget. Secondly, I can present large paintings without a huge investment in framing. Thirdly, I can fit more paintings into the space if they’re not framed.

I hope this will work well for viewers and customers as well. I really like to work on this size paper, but the framing is normally a major issue. It will be interesting to see what everyone thinks of this idea.

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