Art: The Big and Small of it All

Art in Action has come and gone for this fall season. I hope many of you got a chance to venture to Mack’s Apples or Shady Hill Greenhouses and Nursery to view the artists at their work. The Londonderry Arts Council strived to get the word out by advertising in many local publications. My hat’s off to all. Raffle baskets were a new feature as the aim was to support all the artists and have a more positive reason to go to both venues.

I had the opportunity to be in a greenhouse; bright, sunny, and warm. My friend and art buddy Peg and I were situated next to one another so we spent our two days either painting, gabbing, or dreaming up way more ideas than we had time for. Everyone had time to accomplish something on their (paint) bucket list. Ron Hill had the work area for the eleven artists prepped and ready for the weekend. Many kudos go to the efforts of him and the crew. Even the dirt drive was smoothed down after the latest rain.

For this event, instead of the large mural panels I usually do, I chose to paint small images of landscapes and seascapes. It was something for me to attempt that was different and new. I glued them on switch plates, gave them a nice coat of poly-acrylic and now have a collection that will see its way to many tabletops near and far. I hope.

With that said I also have finished up for the season some large murals on Litchfield Lane in Manchester. With fellow art gypsy Peg Lipin we would meet when we had an hour or two to spare. The M&M characters we decided on were painted with flair, each holding cleverly worded signs. Next to it was a version of the Candy Land game. Two fun images which brought many positive comments and lookers that happened to travel down the lane. We had a lot of fun on these and now they are finished. If by chance you are curious, Litchfield Lane is a long one car width lane off of Lake Avenue and crossing over many streets in Manchester. There you will see many murals by the hands of artists young and old. Behind MJ Auto Sales is another creative and clever mural finished by Peg and myself. Making the drab a little more bright has always been our goal.

One moment that could have spelled complete disaster happened as we began painting one morning. As we set up, the trash truck came rumbling towards us. Joking with the young guys doing their job, we told them we would put their likenesses on the art. The next thing we knew the milk crate holding all the paint cans had disappeared along with my camera. I didn’t hesitate and ran after the truck yelling for them to stop. They apologized profusely saying, “We take everything that’s left out.” And let me tell you it is an alley of stuff like you wouldn’t believe. I didn’t waste a moment and nearly climbed in the back hoisting out paint cans, some that were still salvageable, a small table, and grabbed some of Peg’s brushes. My camera and bag were lying on the top of stuff and wasn’t smashed only the bag seriously tinged with red paint. All in all we survived and went on to do our thing.

For the history buffs Litchfield Lane as well as other lanes in the city were the access lanes to some of the large homes on Lake Avenue and other streets that run parallel to it. Back in the day, service vehicles or horse and wagons came down the lane to deliver products, goods and services to the homes using the back way in. Many homes have been restored and to this day evidence remains of a distinct period lifestyle as some of the barn doors, cupolas and other features still remain.

So we continue, Peg and I, to ‘art it up’ whenever and wherever we can. Her work is vibrant and colorful, fun and playful. We’re looking into printing coloring books and calendars. Both of us are starting the process of selling our work in a new way. The Zazzle website is a way to sell your artwork to be put on things such as iPhone cases, notecards, mugs, posters, T-shirts etc.

We won’t stand still that’s for sure.