A Little March Madness With Art and A Game of Bingo

The months of January through March can be long and difficult when the winter cold really settles in here in the mountains.  The trees crack and snap with the freezing cold, your nose freezes shut when you take a breath outdoors and all you want to do is stay indoors by the wood stove.  My local community has come up with a game of Bingo to be played town wide with a variety of local businesses.  With the Covid virus still among us, it’s extra hard to keep a small business going at this time of year.  But, it’s March and it’s time for a little madness… so lets have some fun, shall we? 

Littleton Bingo is just what it sounds like… a game of bingo that supports local business and gives you have a chance to win prizes.  To play: go to www.leadlittletonnh.com for the game rules and to download a Bingo card.  Every box on the bingo card instructs you to do something that involves a local business.  In my case, you go online to my website and purchase a work of art.  My art prices start at $10 for a small 5″x7″ print and go up from there in pricing for framed and unframed limited edition prints and original watercolor art.  Once you’ve completed the action on a square, you get a sticker.  When you get BINGO (five squares in a row or diagonal), mail in your card or drop it off to LEAD (Littleton Entertainment and Development) by March 31st for a chance to win a raffle prize.  If you shop online, provide your receipt to LEAD for the corresponding activity to be counted.  The prizes are listed on the LEAD website and winners will be notified by April 5th.  

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Northern Woodlands Shop – Wildlife and Bird Prints by Jeanette Fournier

Thinking of the gift of art for for yourself or someone else?  Be sure to check out the online store of the Center for Northern Woodlands Education.  You can purchase my artwork in sets of four 5″ x 7″ prints as a special gift for someone who loves birds, wildlife and nature.  There are four different sets to choose from and each artwork is sized to fit frames you can purchase right off the shelf.  A portion of each sale goes to The Center for Northern Woodlands Education located in Lyme, NH.  Visit their website for more info:  https://northernwoodlands.org/shop/c/art-prints-and-cards

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Backyard Birding Photo Adventures

I look forward to the annual Backyard Bird Count weekend like other people look forward to the Super Bowl game.  I plan ahead, have snacks made, ready the camera for any special photo moments, get all my feeders filled up and make sure there’s something for all different bird species.  Every year is different as far as what shows up in and around the yard and the weather is definitely a factor.  We always take a walk in the woods around our home to include any sightings we might have there too.  Our big surprise this year was a pair of pileated woodpeckers in the woods behind the house.  I was able to get some photos for possible use in future artwork.  The prior weekend had common red-polls, goldfinches, morning doves, evening grosbeaks and ruffed grouse but no such luck for the bird count weekend.  We did have uncommonly large flocks of black-capped chickadees and bluejays though.  We enjoyed it just the same and carefully recorded all our sightings.  Until next year…

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All In A Days Work (New Watercolor Painting)

The creation of a work of art is frequently a journey full of highs and lows.  At least for me it is.  Those highs and lows are directly related to the many stages one of my paintings goes through to completion.  Add to that the pressure of wanting to create something “really good” that gets accepted into a show.

As a member of the Copley Society of Art, I have opportunities to submit work to special juried shows.  I wanted to submit work to the 2021 Winter Members show in particular, because if accepted, it would mean an upgrade to my status.  This has been one of my goals since first becoming a member two years ago.  With three weeks until the deadline, I began work on a painting of a red-wing blackbird.  I was pleased with the sketch and it was definitely in the “Pretty Good” category.  Two weeks later it had progressed to “Crash and Burn” status.  To say I was disappointed is putting it mildly.

The pressure of the deadline was looming. and with less than a week to go, I was struggling with what to do.  Let’s face it… I was in panic mode.  So, I went back to my reference photos and came up with a new idea.  By now I only have three days to create this painting and submit it.  Given my detailed style of painting, the large size requirement could be challenging, but I was confident I could manage.  I spent one day working on the composition and sketch.  It never fails that life throws you a curve ball just when you don’t need it.  Suffice it to say I lost a day in the studio and now I had one day to finish a large painting.  One single day.  I went into the studio at 7:30 in the morning, took a break for lunch and another hour off for dinner and kept painting.  At 8:30 PM, the painting wasn’t finished but I was flagging.  I was discouraged, my hand was cramped, my sight was blurry and I decided I just could not do it.  I cleaned up, turned off the lights and went into the house.  I dropped down on the couch wanting to cry.  Instead, I sat there in the dark staring at the wall.  All the while a little voice in my head kept saying: “You can do this.  You’re almost there… you still have a few hours.  Just go back out there…”.  After a half hour I rallied and went back to the studio.   You talk about a dead run for the finish line!  I painted and I painted some more.  I painted until 11:15PM when it was finally done.  I liked it a lot and felt it was solidly in the “Pretty Good” category.  It was a painting I would be proud to have in a gallery.  I submitted my entry just before the midnight deadline.

A few weeks later, I was notified that my painting had been juried into the show.  The acceptance of my work in this show has resulted in my status being upgraded to that of a Full Artist Member with the Copley Society of Art, a goal I had been striving towards.  I did not give up, I kept trying despite the odds and I did it.  That’s something for the 2021 good news jar!  And, yes, I did a happy dance in the studio.

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2020 – A Year of Art

It’s with relief that I say farewell to the 2020 year.  I have to admit that I’m REALLY looking forward to the new year.  There were many challenges this past year, several of which are still with us going forward, but there were many positive aspects too.   The creative economy took a big hit, like many other job sectors; however, I had many loyal collectors and art lovers who still bought my art, either directly from me or at galleries that managed to re-open in some capacity.  For this I am very grateful and you have my heartfelt thanks for your ongoing interest in my art and for making this past year end on a much better note than I thought possible.  The hardships my husband and I experienced this past year are minor compared to what so many others are dealing with.  Despite the feeling of worry hanging over us, I’m looking for the positive aspects of the new year to come. 

Wishing you all a safe, healthy and prosperous new year!

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