Friday, July 30, 2010

AN ARTIST"S CIRCLE: A quick tour

A Salon of Artists , An Artist's Circle
Peterborough, New Hampshire

We were asked to put a show up. Without enough work to fill the space, we made a list of artist's we knew and who's work we respected. Next , we made phone calls and sent emails and the result is this exhibition.
Here is a preview.

Table and chair by Jon Brooks

Etchings by Peter Milton

Paintings by Elaine Swenson and Pottery by Gerry Williams

Sculpture and wall pieces , Gary Haven Smith

Detail of a Gerry Williams piece

The Sharon Arts Gallery is located in Depot Square, Peterborough , NH.
We have provided a quick preview of the exhibit here, but to really get a sense of the quality and depth of the show a visit is necessary. Most of the exhibiting artists have been working in their studios for decades often quietly gaining a national audience. One is a MacArthur Foundation prize recipient, three are now or formerly NH Artist Laureates. Works by artists in this show can be found in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The Currier Museum of Art, The Art Institute of Chicago and the Portland Museum of Art, just to name drop a few.
For additional information on the artists and exhibition contact the Sharon Arts center, Peterborough, NH

All content on this blog is the exclusive copyright of Elizabeth Johansson.
Artwork is the copyright of individual artists and cannot be reproduced without their permission.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Destination: Kennebunkport, Maine
Recently we had to be in Kennebunk, Maine for business and it was necessary to spend the night. Oh my, how unfortunate to be on the cool Maine coast during this steamy July!!!
Late in the afternoon we made our way to the beautiful Cape Arundel Inn.
This arbor leads into the small seaside garden.

The adirondack chairs are a welcomed focal point as well as quiet sitting place after a long day.

The garden is lush. The texture and color of the pine with it's cones becomes a perfect companion to the orange daylilies.

The seaside loves blue hydrangeas and the placement of this lace cap variety with the fern is lovely.

The front porch is that of a classic shingle style cottage with wicker chairs, flags and flowers. Can you imagine a better place to sip a drink on a July evening before dinner? This is true romance, might I say even a bit old fashioned in it's charm. This place is a favorite destination of ours on the Maine coast.

As you can see, this truly is right on the coast! The fog was rolling in and out all day creating a very atmospheric landscape and refreshing air.
Our dinner reservation was at 7:30 in the Cape Arundel Inn dining room. The ocean views from the dining room are spectacular. We had a meal that began with a cold seafood plate, cooked and chilled perfectly. Our entrees, one of rack of lamb, the other beef with seared scallops were eaten with pleasure. Dessert was a classic creme brulee. An Italian wine from Berardenga topped off the fabulous evening.

From our room we could watch the tides change and the schooners sail by .
A business trip, yes, but what a way to spend the late afternoon and evening.
The ocean, a classic inn, a garden, a porch and fine dining all wrapped into a night over in Maine.

Other places to eat/dine in the Kennebunkport area:
White Barn Inn (fine dining)
Grissini (pizza & pasta)
Cape Porpoise Kitchen (cafe and take out, great for a picnic)
The Wayfarer (Cape Porpoise/breakfast)

Friday, July 16, 2010


The Artists

An Artist's Circle
An exhibition by 14 artists, working in a variety of disciplines.
Sharon Art Center, Peterborough, NH.
July 9 - August 24

James Aponovich, Sean Beavers, Jon Brooks, David Carroll, Elizabeth Johansson,
Jamie LaFleur, David Lamb, Bob Larsen, Peter Milton, Gary Haven Smith,
Susan Pratt Smith, Sydney Sparrow, Elaine Swenson , Gerry Williams

It is worth a visit!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


A Garden at the Villa Aurelia, Rome
What a surprise when we turned a corner into the courtyard of the Villa Aurelia and saw these amazing 5' squares of grass and white marble chips. Each pot contained a perfectly sculpted tree on a standard (in the next weeks replaced by lemon trees).
Our first thought was, "can this be done back home?' Hmmmmmmmm!

To the Drawing Board

That night, at the Academy, we drew plans suited for our existing terrace garden which was in transition and needed a change. Boy, what a change!
Well, they say Rome was not built in a day...hey, no problem!
We consider the size and climate of our garden and how to adapt a garden in Rome to a garden in New Hampshire.

With the Garden Conservancy "Open Days" Tour looming, Michael G., brother of James, volunteered his services and his technical skills and precision (a former pilot) as well as being handy with a shovel.

Green Gem Boxwood
We called a reliable source, Doug at the Mixed Border, Hollis NH, to find us the best boxwood for this project. Here they are lined up waiting their turn to get hair cuts and then be planted.

We had 3 existing lilacs ( meyeri palibin) we kept from the former garden, now the 4th was being added by James.

The grid work is complete. The outer area of pea stone is complete and the boxwood are all planted and given a good watering. Next decision, what will be the color of stone that will be in the alternating squares?
We decide to use the same granite pea stone, slightly lightened with a measure of white marble.

The garden is just about complete. A view looking across the new terrace garden to the petite allee.
The GC tour is two days away!

The boxwood........ready for the tour.

Here is the new garden on the day of the garden Conservancy Tour. Thanks to James and Michael the garden is complete.
For all of us preparing the gardens have meant an enormous amount of work.
This garden is a sweet reminder of Rome.