life in the Kearsarge area

what's happening in the Kearsarge/Lake Sunapee area of NH

Archive for art

The little log cabin

IMG_0667    Follow Route 10 out of Newport, past Goshen and into Lempster, and you’ll find The Little Log Cabin – a farm stand, bakery, artisan’s market and antique store all in one building. It’s open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Totally worth the drive – you’ll find a little treasure you didn’t know you needed, and some really good coffee cake!



Family FunFest scheduled for September!

Low Res Family FunFest Logo WN16 jlsSaturday, Sept. 24, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Whaleback, 160 Whaleback Mountain Road, Enfield, N.H.

(exit 16 off I-89, easily seen from interstate!)

Family FunFest is Kid Stuff magazine’s annual family event. It’s about families and fun, education and entertainment, local businesses and nonprofits, games and goodies — a day of memory making right here in your Upper Valley community.

Although Family FunFest is a kid-centered festival, adults have plenty of reasons to love FunFest, too. Parents will learn about camp opportunities, meet Upper Valley tutors and educators, find deals on clothing, learn about birthday party places, and get information from local nonprofit organizations. Door prizes — appealing to the whole family— will be given away during the event. Planned activities include storytelling, obstacle course, pony rides, face paintings, arts and crafts projects, and more!

If you’d like to sponsor or be a vendor at this fun new event, please call the Kid Stuff magazine home base at (603) 863-7048.

One of the best pieces of art on earth (and middle earth)

692496_orig  Melanie Chouinard believes in fairies and folklore. And why not? As a fantasy artist working primarily with polymer clay and paper mache, her imagination magically transforms into whimsical sculptures of fairies, dragons, merfolk, pixies and gnomes.

Chouinard’s Pocket Gnomes — original and unique in style to her studio, The Silver Branch — are adorable. There are many stories about gnomes, but Chouinard describes them as “cheery little people that love to live in the home (especially kitchens and windowsills), plant pots, gardens and forests where they tend to their own business and sometimes lend some luck your way.” She hand sculpts each one out of durable blended clays, then paints and finishes them with a nontoxic glaze.

Chouinard has sculpted more than 3,000 Pocket Gnomes, and they’ve found their homes around the world on shelves and desks, in terrariums and fairy gardens, even on top of cakes as decoration. Learn more at

Artistic Meters Auction in Claremont, N.H.

Interested in parking meter art in your home? Here’s your chance! These vintage meters were originally functioning parking meters up until the 70s and 80s in the City of Claremont, and were in storage until 2014 when they City Council gave them to the committee for fundraising purposes. Now they have been artistically reimagined by local artists, and you can bid on them!


The meters feature a wide variety of techniques and scenes, including Claremont’s City Hall clock tower, beautiful nature scenes, a frog, and abstract art. One piece was decorated by youth from the local Drawing Club who cut their hands out of paper, decorated them, and combined them together on the meter as a mixed media piece. Artists that donated their time and creativity include Randy Adams, Stephanie Zara, Michelle Swenson, Susan Tuttle, and Nance Jewel Durkee, with thanks to Laura Syria as leader of the Drawing Club.

The public are invited to view the meters on display now at the Claremont Visitor’s Center, 14 North Street in Claremont, and place their bids until Monday, Aug. 31. Bids will be accepted electronically until 4:30 pm on that day. A closing reception at the Claremont Visitor’s Center also on Aug. 31 will be held 5 to 6 p.m., where final bids will be accepted in person, and announcement of the winners will be made at the closing. Light refreshments will be provided by Time-Out Americana Grill and Claremont 250th merchandise will be available for sale and auction.

For more information on the Claremont 250th Celebration visit and visit us on Facebook:

Today is the day for the Hanover Farmers’ Market

The Hanover Area Farmers’ Market started in 2007 on the top of the parking lot and moved to the Dartmouth Green in 2008, where is has remained as part of the community ever since. It runs from June to October, and there is free parking on Wheelock Street just for farmers’ market customers. Sally Wilson, market manager, answers a few questions about this New Hampshire market.


* What differentiates your farmers’ market?

Our mid-week Wednesday Market in Hanover runs from 3 to 6 p.m. and attracts a large number of business folks, young families and students. Because of this we focus on making the market a community event each week. There is always live music, often special themes such as Heirloom Tomato Tasting Day or Family Day and we always have plenty of prepared foods for people to stay, eat an early dinner and socialize with family and friends. Our focus continues to be on bringing farm fresh quality products to the center of town.


* How do farmers’ markets help farms and small businesses?
Our market allows smaller business that might not be known locally to bring their product to Market once a week. They can talk directly to the consumer and both educate and learn from them. It is a great way to get feedback without spending a large amount of money. I believe they enjoy the environment and talking to the other vendors as well.


* How do farmers’ markets help local residents?

Our customers look forward to a wonderful variety of local products being available to them each week in an idyllic setting. Many families bring blankets and coolers and buy their dinner at the Market. There is a wonderful feeling of kids playing ball, local bands entertaining those that want to stay, and plenty of room on the Dartmouth Green to shop and enjoy. We even have chefs come from the local restaurants to pick up special fresh items for that evening.


* What will you find at the Hanover market?

The Hanover Farmers’ Market has about 30 vendors brings products from three categories: AGRICULTURE – produce, meats, dairy, fruits, flowers, maple products, sheep wool and more; PREPARED FOODS – Thai food, pierogis, kettle corn, salsa, jellies and sauces, baked goods, falafel, pizza, crepes, artisanal breads, sandwiches, salads; and CRAFTS – jewelry, baskets, turned wood, yarn products, body products, etc.


‘Tis the season for farmers’ markets

The Enfield Farmers’ Market operates year-round in Enfield, N.H. During the summer, the market takes place at Huse Park and, in the winter, in the Enfield Community Building, both located at 308 US Route 4. Jeanine King, recreation director for the Town of Enfield, answers a few questions about the Enfield market.


* What differentiates your farmers’ market?

Virtually all of the vendors are from the Mascoma area (Enfield, Canaan, Grafton), truly a local market. Two farms, Autumn Harvest Farm in Grafton and Blue Ox Farm in Enfield, are the cornerstones of the market.
* How do farmers’ markets help farms and small businesses?
For many of our vendors, the market is the only way they market their wares locally. Autumn Harvest does six markets a week in the summer and has CSA shares. Some of the vendors have other full-time jobs, and bring the results of their hobbies to the market.


* How do farmers’ markets help local residents?

Residents can shop locally for most of their needs without going to the bigger stores. They are able to support local residents, which is becoming increasingly important to many people.


* What will you find at the Enfield market?

Farmers with vegetable and plants, eggs, maple syrup, beefalo, pork, lamb and chicken. Food vendors include honey, pickles, jams, jellies, breads, pies, cookies, gluten-free items, goat’s milk and yogurt; one of the vendors stops and picks up Taylor Bothers cheeses and smoked cheese and bacon from Garfield’s. Unique artisans include recycled dinnerware (pins and buttons), pottery, soap, potholders, cloth books, pillowcases and jewelry. The market is also open to community organizations that want to share information.

Art amidst Nature

AG15 Cover HIGH RES jls copyThe 2015-2015 Art & Gallery Guide will be distributed all summer, and mailed with Kearsarge Magazine fall. Here’s a profile of one local artist, Deborah Bacon, who captures on canvas the breathtaking beauty of the local landscape.


Light. It is one of the reasons Deborah Bacon loves to paint outdoors. The light illuminates her landscapes, adds expression to her portraits, and challenges her skills as an artist.

Painting at The Fells 2014  “Time does not stand still when I want to catch that brief moment when the rising or setting sun touches the edge of a mountain, lake or tree and causes a glow that takes my breath away,” the Sunapee, N.H., resident says. “It is the play of light, or lack thereof, that causes our breath to pause.”

Bacon’s love of the outdoors is apparent in her work; her painting style is quiet, calming, atmospheric realism. Her art — created using the rich color of oils — makes the viewer pause, linger, and remember. “The Lake Sunapee area affords much of the landscape beauty that some painters travel hundreds of miles to find, and it is right here in my own backyard,” she says. “I get a great deal of pleasure and joy when residents and visitors recognize a location I have painted and admire the area beauty that I strive to convey.”

evening-on-herrick-cove-lighthouseBacon has been interested in art since childhood, and her career path has always involved art in some way. “In my early 20s I worked in advertising and graphic design, creating business logos and creating ads for newspapers and magazines. When I was in my mid-20s, I started my own art services and sign painting business, which I ran for approximately 20 years. I specialized in decorating and embellishing fine antiques and painting elaborate picturesque signs as well as murals,” Bacon says. But when computers began to take over and “replace the finely tuned techniques of the hand and brush, I decided to change directions because, as an artist, the computer did not satisfy my desire and need to create.”

She came upon an article about Fran Weston Hoyt, an artist in New London, N.H., who trained under Frank Vincent Dumond, one of the most influential teacher-painters in 20th century America. She became one of Hoyt’s students, and that was the start of Bacon’s PleinAir (painting in the open air) painting journey.

“PleinAir includes the best of two worlds — my respect and love for nature along with the satisfaction of pursuing my destiny as a fine artist,” she says. “In an advanced and electronic world that keeps us spinning and moving daily, I find that painting outside brings back an inner peace and balance.”

You can see her work at the Sunapee Landing Trading Co. Art Gallery in Sunapee, N.H., or online at

— By Laura Jean Whitcomb