This year, there has been a major shift in my mid-week activities as I have retired from designing and maintaining the gardens in the public parks in Peterborough, NH. My goal was to use a public/partnership funded by grants, private funding, and taxpayers' money to create public spaces that were maintained by volunteers, collaborating with Public Works personnel, that had the intimacy of a private garden. With the support of our former Town Administrator, Pam Brenner, and a cadre of gifted and devoted volunteers, most notably, my good gardening buddy, Maude Odgers, I have achieved my goal. After 18 years of working most Wednesdays from April to November, I have decided that it was time to try something new, oil painting. My first painting is Mount Monadnock as can seen from the top of Pack Mondanock, a mountain I have frequently hiked and know intimately. I have seen this view in almost every weather condition imaginable every month of the year so it seemed like the perfect place to begin painting.
I inherited my maternal grandfather's painting supplies and many of the paints were still usable 40 years after his death. It has been a great joy to use his paints, brushes, linseed oil and pallet to create art. Leaving my work in the public sphere has been bittersweet but I am thrilled to give oil painting a try. Don't worry that I will stop gardening in my private garden, I expect to be gardening there for decades to come. Another new goal I have is host more tours of gardens in Europe. I have trip planned for September, 2017 which I will be posting about in the near future.