Monthly Archives: August 2011

A week and a hurricane later

I knew I would be good at this if I kept up with it and didn’t bite off too much each week-end. I was content with what I wrote about August 20, but the 21st got lost in the shuffle. And, since I plan to hang a few pieces at The Early Bird, I will return and gather a great deal more information.

I was en route from Rochester to York on August 21. I had a few minutes to explore and I wanted to stop at The Emporium, in South Berwick, ME to get their hours and sneak a peak through their window.  A few storefronts down is another gallery which is newly opened called Film Barn Studios. Where The Emporium offers some smaller, though really accomplished and sometimes somewhat edgy art, Film Barn made my big-city inner-child scream “YES”! Nice, well-conceived abstract canvases-a further attempt would not really be honest, since they were viewed again, through the window.

Since neither is open on Sunday, and certainly not at 8:30, I decided a coffee and a bagel sounded like a plan. Next door to the Film Barn is The Early Bird. I spoke at length with Penny Morgan, who bought the cafe in April. I was delighted to find that she also had some good local art on the walls, as well.

Penny is very enthusiastic about the business’ possibilities as well as including art on her walls. She is hoping to fill them, and she said that “Art makes and creates the Early Bird”. These are images of current work exhibited here.

The hours I found online are not accurate-please call.

Address: 241 Main Street, South Berwick, ME



York Village Gallery, York Village, Maine

My second, and intended stop, was the York Village Gallery, York Village, Maine.  I know someone related to the business, and I thought I could give them a nice “plug”. And, since my blog has not got a tremendous amount of traffic yet, another established gallery would be good.

This was unfortunately not my best stop. The owner would not allow me to photograph any work that wasn’t theirs, and was not nearly as enthusiastic about giving me information as some others have been.

A general overview sort of critique is to say that he has many Boston School painters, and is catering to a seascape-buying clientele. Kathy Morrissey’s “Two Fishermen” was the piece that captivated me for more than a quick glance. Nice impasto, studied and spontaneous at once. I have always admired painters who can really apply paint in a manner that seems to be both.

Gallery address: 244 York Street, York, Maine 03909    Hours: Tues-Sat, 10-4 

Through the Hurricane

Now, for the meat of the blog-because this is also about the series of paintings called “Art in Small Places”. I was able to finish four paintings this week-end. And, there are 5 more started; two are “Storm Surge 1” and “Storm Surge 2”. Splatter painting on this scale is a challenge.

I am continuing with the 16 square grid, 6″x6″ scale on watercolor paper. I am continuing to use Arches coldpress 140 lb. watercolor paper with a variety of mediums including watercolor, acrylic, chalk, oil pastel, pencil, and Prismacolor.

Dancing to Irene, with Bad Religion, m/m on watercolor paperDancing to Irene, with U2, m/m on watercolor paperDancing to Irene, with Green Day. m/m on watercolor paper


South Berwick, one in York

It has been such a week that I haven’t even edited the photos from this last Sunday. I have cut mats, and ordered the frames for the 10 pieces that I have finished, and three of those were finished this week, as well. And, the 40 hour a week gig was demanding this week, and we had our annual summer party yesterday.

So, apologies to Penny and Earland who should be expecting posts about their coffee house and gallery, respectively. Within the next few days, I promise!

My own backyard, Rochester, round 2: Artstream

After paying my short visit to Ben Franklin’s, I rounded the circle to arrive at Artstream. And, what made this visit that much better is that one of the managing directors was there and was full of information. So much information, in fact, that I determined that listening and absorbing was preferable to taking notes, though I did take some. I also shot a few pictures, but I will also refer you to the web site.  As usual, I find this to be one of the better galleries in the area for variety and quality of art.

 Marilyn Truett, who curated the show also presented some outstanding examples of her own work. Through a process of soaking photo paper and then adherring it to pressed ceiling tiles, she achieves  rather remarkable yet understated  historical imagery. Most of the work seems almost sepia-toned, adding to the aged feel. The added depth created through mounting on bas-reliefed surface adds contradictions and interest, visually.

"Out of the South", group show at Artstream

 Polly Cook’s work adds more-than-a-little social commentary in the way she depicts her images. She concentrates on subjects from less-than-desireable neighborhoods in a style similar to the Ash Can School of the early 20th century. Some of these scenes are on tiles. This removes the pretense of creating “museum” art, and gives it that everyday, and more gritty appeal-though there are a few of her pieces on canvas also included.

 Tobia Makover’s encaustic on photographs are the pieces that impressed me the most. They are surreal, unearthly and spooky. According to the brief mention on the website, she is dealing with the concepts of memory and loss-and I have rarely seen that basic premise done so simply, cleanly and well.  The application of the wax over the photographs blocks just enough of the photographs to make them feel like there are spirits or other energies present. 

Dorothy Netherland adds another dimension to dimension. Where the last three artists created depth, Netherland works on layers of glass, sandwiching several together, and the pieces are small enough to force the viewer to almost become a voyeur, and step into very close proximity to the pieces to really see everything that she has layered into them. 
The last two artists represented are sculptors. Marilee Hall and Dodge Mayor filled out the show. Since I am a painter and photographer, I can only say that I enjoyed this work.
 The show will be up through September 3, 2011.
    56 Main Street, Rochester, NH 03867.
    Mon-Fri: 10-6, Sat: 10-2

My own backyard, Rochester, NH

Cori Caputo at Ben Franklin's, Rochester, NH

“The Portrait Project”, 2011.

I was meeting some friends for lunch and a play in Portsmouth, and was ready earlier than necessary. Since I just “did” Portsmouth a couple of weeks ago, I thought the time would be well-spent up-the-road. Indeed.

The town of Rochester is one reason why I started this blog. It has a few innovative individual who keep the art presence alive and growing, and area support. The town is about 40,000…not large enough to support a museum like Portsmouth (and certainly not the tourism), but there are a number of large-city transplants who appreciate cows and lighthouses as subject-matter, but that are also striving to increase the” sensibility” of the area. And, like Portsmouth, I know part of this scene because I live here-and for me it interesting to look at it like I don’t. By the same token, Mary Jo at Artstream recognized me…and there was a comfort-zone for her because she knows that I am an area artist. I think the same held true in Portsmouth.

 This will be the first post -I will break it up like I did Portsmouth’s Art Around Town a few weeks ago to give due respect to all that I saw today,  and hopefully to include a brand new gallery that wasn’t open. So, I may drive by “The Portrait Project” a few times a week… Art Esprit has put together some really ecclectic and fun projects for several summers that have included a lot of the local populous. I have always admired that because art needs to be inclusive. The “Shoes of Rochester” two years ago was so much fun because area businesses displayed them outdoors-and they had sponsored them, as well. They were 3-5 feet tall, all brightly painted., and were hard to miss! “The Portrait Project” is this year’s.

The sign that descibes “Rochester Creates Portraits”-otherwise called the “Portrait Project”

It was still too early to hit Artstream, so I looped into Ben Franklin’s Arts and Crafts. This is the kind of venue that happens all over New England-this happens to be a franchised art and crafts store that does custom framing. I have met Ross, the man who runs their gallery and framing shop, since I have also worked in shops that sell art supplies and did custom framing several times over the years. I hoped to chat with him  but he was busy with customers.

The show he has up now is called “Cori Caputo-Beauty and Utility Together”. I am not prone  to negative reviews, and I really don’t want to write them. Maybe the show name would have made sense if I had read the statement, but I didn’t. There are eight watercolors, four that look like sketches for the other four. Sinewy branches, roots and trees are offered and they might have been part of the Hobbit set designs. There was one whose title alluded to fairies. That was about all I got out of the paintings.
There were also three scuptures/carvers represented: Brian Barber, Marilyn Bachelder and Mathew Cardinali. Barber and Cardinali continued that woodland nymph theme that I felt in Caputo’s work. Marilyn Bachelder had a “Guitar Clock” which was the most interesting part of the show.
Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, artinsmallplaces.
Listing: Ben Franklin’s, 60 Wakefield, Rochester, NH   (603) 332-2227. Call for hours.


New art inspired by Newport and Pillsbury State Park

Space 25, 6″x6″, watercolor, mixed medium
Rose Madder, 6″x6″, watercolor, mixed medium

These are two of the pieces that have been completed since my last wandering.

“Space 25” really derives some of its feel from the birches and pines that I could see beyond the screen house whereas “Rose Madder” takes its name from part of the conversation that I had with Belinda.

Newport, NH-and no, I didn’t make it to Sunapee

Belinda Pitrowski, owner of B’s Art and Designs
“When You Hear Water”, Susan Lirakis, photography

Newport, New Hampshire. A town I had never been to and I wandered to because after assessing what I had forgotten in my camping supplies, I determined that I needed something to paint on. I got in late enough on Friday night to not really miss paper. 

 After breakfast, what seemed like the best plan was explore, find paper, come back to camp and hike and then do some work.
Quite by accident, as I drove around Newport (the nearest town to camp), I found the Newport Free Library and their gallery. Since that didn’t open ’til 11 AM, I decided to explore. Newport provided me with a wonderful quilting store, where I bought butterfly fabric. The butterfly is the symbol of magic, beauty, creativity on the Medicine Wheel-and that leads to another story later.
One of the women there directed me to where I could find cheap watercolor paper. And, at Odd Lots, I was able to get a few other camping essentials I had missed, and watercolor paper, but that’s of dubious quality.
It was still too early to venture back to the Library Arts Center, so I set out to find small art. Or, art in small places. And, I hit “B’s Art & Designs” which is very definitely small, crammed full of hand-decorated items, including furniture, clothing, jewelry and stained glass and owned by Belinda Pitrowski.  And, this proved to me that what I am venturing to do with this blog makes sense.  I might have discounted the goal of the gallery as to present strictly decorativework  had I not talked to the proprietor.  Once she determined that I was the “real deal”, we had a great conversation touching on a number of topics. I showed her previous web postings and she felt really comfortable.
Pitrowski opened this small gallery a few years ago, and told me that the last two years were better than this one. She is more about craft, but she has been published. Her moose family (she didn’t give me an “official” title)  was featured on the cover of a hunting magazine, though she didn’t give me the name of it.  She feels confident about business and is looking for a larger space. And, after I explained my plight about being without good watercolor paper, she gave a piece large enough for two of the small watercolors that I am doing for the new series.
Newport Free Library  Arts Center was so much the opposite of “B’s Art & Designs”: sophisticated, and very ‘cosmopolitan’.  The featured photography by Susan Lirakis and her show, “When You Hear Water”  was a delight in a totally different sense. Where Pitrowski has passion and enthusiasm, Lirakis has a mastery of her medium and a true concept and a well-developed method of the potrayal of that concept. Where Pitrowski might not paint in the lines in quite the same way that those of use who are academically-trained might, her stuff is about the real desire to paint. Lirakis has the confidence in her work, and everything that it involves, but it lacks that grit that I find refreshing in some of the smaller venues. And, since I am also academically trained, and from Los Angeles, I admit that I will always feel more comfortable in this arena. The photos were lyrical and poetic. Though not ground-breaking, there was that sense of calm that comes from water and the proximity to it, and knowing exactly what to do, and what materials you need when you create.
And, here’s the twist: the Library Arts Center hosted an pleine-aire gathering for area artists to paint called “Arts in the Garden” and those works are in the back gallery. Belinda Pitrowski is represented here, as well. This exhibition lacked frills. There was nothing greatly impressive about the show aside from the fact that this area exhibition space has put this show up. Though I didn’t take notes, I will say that there were a few well-executed pieces.  There is also a silent auction for this work.
With that inspirational fuel, I went back to camp, had lunch, and took a two mile hike. When I returned, I proceeded to set up Belinda’s paper for two new pieces. I ran on that fuel for the rest of the afternoon, with the additional support of a White Admiral butterfly. The two new pieces, both of which are finished but I have yet to shoot, will be the subject of an upcoming entry.
Additional information about the shows, etc:
“B’s Art & Designs”, 6 Central Street, Newport, NH (603) 865-5437, or (603) 477-8108. I have no hours for the shop, so call ahead.
Library Arts Center, 58 N. Main Street, Newport, NH (603) 863-3040
     Susan Lirakis, “When You Hear Water”, runs from August 6-September 17.
     ‘Arts in the Garden Exhibit” also runs from Aug. 6-Sept. 17. Gallery hours are Tues-Sat., 11-4.
This is about what I’d like the posts to start looking like. Please feel free to post comments.
Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst, artinsmallplaces

Upcoming reviews, etc.

We are entering into the Fair Season, and the New Hampshire Craftsmen’s is happening through Sunday in Sunapee. I will be in the neighborhood, but weather might be a deterent. In the meantime, I was wondering if anyone reviews fairs. I haven’t seen any, but I haven’t looked-and I am not talking “general” but talking “booth-to-booth”.

Otherwise, I am going through some small towns, and I will be producing work all week-end.

That’s the “table of contents” for the next week..

Daryl-Ann Dartt-Hurst, artinsmallplaces


Art Around Town, Portsmouth, NH: Gallery Nahcotta, August 5, 2011

Before I even start-I came in at “Numero Uno” on Bing-that was a “rush” and good motivation to keep posting!

I also want to thank the galleries that I talked to last Friday for taking me seriously…I greatly appreciated the approval for photography as well as the “nod” that what I was doing was appreciated and would be supported.

Abbie Chislett from Nahcotta gracefully gave me the “nod” and as the previous galleries had also, extended the offer to supply more information, more images, etc. to help with this venture. Since is free, I have a limited amout of space for images. I am investigating where I can, and add unlimited images. I do have an ArtID site, and I may use that blog as well. But..

As Abbie explained, this is a “salon show”. This is really common throughout the US during the summer-the art season is really from September to May. The small art wall was great-and since I am also concentrating on small work, I gained some education and inspiration from it, as well.Very nicely hung, but I really wish I could have had a name  to attach to each  piece. I feel rather faulty (learning again) because I took no notes, but, by-in-large, each piece could have been enlarged.

And, since I am a too devout camper (When the goin’ gets tough…). I  really appreciate Leah Gibersons’ work, and on lots of levels. From a materials use, I have to say that I have done that and been there. But, capturing the KOA campground in Missouri-oh  my, this is that!  The reflections are amazing. They make little sense, and they shouldn’t. She captures that real starkness of a Missouri KOA. There are no trees, no water, and you provide you own shade and play a game of chechers. And, refrain from reading  the Chrisian literature in the ladies restroom. Pop art, almost to the extreme.

I also regarded Tim Beavis’ “Studio Series” as something that should be paid attention to.  Ala Cezanne or really early Cubism. Florals on tables in a very minimal and flattened style.

I am venturing out to the area around Sunapee this week-end, and I may actually make it to the New Hampsire League show there. But again, I am really looking for the more remote…

Anyone who knows of a choice place in New England, please let me know—risk-takers in Rollinsford need to be recognized! (For example-and they are!)

Daryl-Ann Dartt-Hurst

"Globetrotter", Leah Giberson, acrylic on cut photo on panel

Deviation from the Norm-an ad for comissioned work


"Kids at Pemaquid", 2010, oil on canvas, 20"x16 (commissioned work)


Deanna, my last client for a comissioned piece was kind enough to take this great shot of the piece I did for her last Christmas. I would like to put this out to any and all that may have a subject that they want done in a loose, but fairly realistic style. I can guarantee my prices are competitive.

Please contact me for more information!

Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst

Art Around Town, Portsmouth, NH: Kennedy Studios, August 5, 2011

Each successful gallery in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, has really positioned themselves to cater to a specific clientele. That would be good business in a town the size of Portsmouth. Kennedy Studios is a custom framing shop that also sells prints and has set aside space for an artist that they feature with Art Around Town each month. Where Nahcotta and Three Graces generally stay away from the more predictable nautical and traditional, Kennedy features artists that bring something special to their specific genre, in a more representational style.

Todd Bonita is no exception. I have seen a lot of boats, and paintings of boats. That is on the surface what these are, but Todd takes the object and really makes it a personal study. As a painter, I truly respect well-handled paint. As a painter who has handled still-lifes, I even more greatly respect one who can take an object and drive home the importance of that object. Todd does all of that. He says in his statement that he will paint boats as long as they haunt him. I get it.

I talked briefly with Todd as we got ready to take pictures of him in front of his wall at Kennedy. The chat was generally informal and artist-to-artist about the struggle to find good venues, the number of highly talented people in the area.

As I talked to him, and chatted with a few of the patrons on the gallery, I realized that though this seemed two weeks ago, like a shameles self-promotion, it felt like the community here was ready to embrace the idea of a small blog. Kennedy, Nahcotta and  Three Graces are all ready to assist where they can with information and images.

There will be one more in this series: Gallery Nahcotta. I hope to get that written and published tomorrow.

Daryl-Ann Hurst, artinsmallplaces

No title available, Todd Bonita