Thoughts of Spring and Not Skiing in Tuckerman Ravine

I stepped out onto the porch this morning to collect some wood for the inside woodbox beside the stove. It was a bright, sunny day here in Bethlehem, and not so bitterly cold like it was over the weekend. Suddenly, in the trees around the house, I heard the chirping and chatter of chickadees and what I think were goldfinches! They've been quiet and/or absent this winter, but this must be sign of the cold season juuuuust starting to lose its grip. My thoughts now turn to tapping our maple trees, as the forecast shows still freezing nights but days on the uphill side of thirty-two degrees (these conditions are what causes the sap to start running inside the tree). The next six weeks or so my husband and I will be occupied in the daily bucket check to collect sap, pour it through a filter into a storage tank, then start boiling it down in the tiny evaporator we'll set up in the driveway. We'll see if we can beat our record of producing eight gallons of maple syrup this year before the whole process completely exhausts us!

In the land of the landscape painter (me!), I am busy in the art studio working on a commissioned painting. It is a beautiful lake scene for a private client that measures twenty-four by thirty-six inches. And although there are many challenging bits - lots of delicate trees, distant hills and reflective water - it has been a joy to sit in my sunny studio and paint the hours away on one dedicated project. Today is a full, glorious day in the studio after a busy weekend in which I gave a talk on White Mountains and Appalachian Mountain Club history at the Whitefield Public Library, and also had my work on display at a pop-up art show at the Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods. This is an incredible place to stay in the White Mountains, and just strolling the hotel as a day visitor I'm always in awe of what a gorgeous building and setting it is. Word seems to have got out that the art show was a fun thing to do in the White Mountains as well, since there was plenty of foot traffic and three of my paintings sold to a pair of wonderful new collectors.

And so February comes to an end, having been a very full month. March promises to be packed with activity, too. I will be helping to hang a show of work celebrating the upcoming solar eclipse at The Gallery at WREN here on Main Street in Bethlehem, New Hampshire. I'll likely be starting another small commission along with working on a bunch of smaller painting ideas rattling around in my sketchbook. I know I will be tempted to pull my trusty AMC White Mountain Guide off the shelf to start studying the trail descriptions and maps, plotting out hikes I'd like to take this coming summer. Heading into the spring, I will have my work on display at the Pope Memorial Library in North Conway during the months of May and June, then it will be on to the thick of summer when a local drawing festival is being planned, and Art in the Park happens down in North Conway once again. Oh, and fingers crossed that I am accepted into at least one of three artist residency programs I applied for recently!

Nary a snowdrop has shown its face in the tiny melted-out spots of the yard, but I'm already feeling the excited anticipation of spring, flowers, hiking, painting outdoors and the good things of the new season.

"Tuckerman Ravine: A** Over Tea Kettle" Unisex Short Sleeve V-Neck T-Shirt:

PS. As a hilarious-if-only-to-me side project, I created this little homage to spring skiing in Tuckerman Ravine. I am not much of a hardcore backcountry skier myself, but I do love the entertainment factor of watching people careen down Tucks, possibly tumbling down the slope in some spectacular (though ultimately not injurious) way. Maybe you're a Tuckerman insider yourself and make your yearly pilgrimage to this iconic spot. For all you true fans, I made prints of this and (for the first time ever!) designed a t-shirt. Both are available in the Prints section of this site! Enjoy.