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Spring Skiing & Scouting

Even with chilly temperatures it felt like spring in the White Mountains!  Marcus had a gig in North Conway, NH so I took the opportunity to hitch a ride and go on a sketching and scouting trip.

About 35 miles south of North Conway you get a peek of the Presidentials in their white capped glory.  

New Hampshire is a rugged granite hewn state; this old farm on route 16 had that solitary outpost feeling.  

Forests cover most of the state. The land starts to rise up in Ossipee. 

The view of Mount Chocorua from the shore of Little Lake is a favorite spot of mine. 

The winds are steady here all year round. They flow out of the mountains across the lake.

The sun felt warm and the big snow drifts were shrinking… 

As we approached North Conway and came round the turn down into the Saco River Valley we could see the gash of Tuckerman’s Ravine clearly down the side of Mount Washington.

Up above the village of North Conway the ski trails beckoned….
It was a beautiful day to be on the slopes!  Big and very little skiers were trying their best ….

I found a place to set up at the base of the mountain in front of a lodge. A big granite boulder was perfect for  my gear and sketchbook… 

I was surrounded by skiers arriving from different trails converging on this one spot…

It took a lot of concentration to grab these 2- second poses.  These skiers kept whizzing by…I kept sketching them… filing the pages…it’s a good exercise!

As the sun went down we headed over to a favorite painting spot of mine in town, the Conway Scenic Railroad Station. The railroad cars are all parked in the rail yard for the winter.
This train travels on tracks through the valley heading north through Crawford’s Notch to the top of the ridge. They will start running again in the spring.

The railroad, once a part of the Boston and Maine Railroad & the Maine Central Railroad employed people who lived all over these mountains.   
This region has a lot of rich history and was a favorite of the Hudson River painters. This is a gorgeous place at any time of the year.  

For more paintings….PAINT EAT SLEEP

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Mountain Snow & Roast Lamb at the Hodge Podge Lodge

 There was plenty of snow in the White Mountains when I packed up my gear and loaded it into the car.
The sun drifted in and out of the clouds, making the mountains along the Kangamangus Highway look mysterious . 
Main Street in North Conway, New Hampshire was sunny and warm, the sidewalks were packed with tourists.
The road up to Cranmore Mountain was packed with cars. 
It looked like everyone was on vacation…  
Here’s my big painting kit for the day ! A black fine line pen, a Koi 24 color water color kit with a water brush and my 6×8″ sketchbook.
I had a real tight schedule. My husband Marcus was performing a concert in the lodge and I had one hour to sketch and paint whatever caught my attention…
Some very nice shapes were formed by the curve of the mountain and the bands of trees as they draped down the slope.  
4×6 pen & watercolor on 90 lb paper
I walked around and looked up the ski trails.
I loved the dramatic views and sweep of the snowy slopes…
4×6 pen & watercolor on 90 lb paper

My car was parked in a spot with great views…so…
I set up and proceeded with the “JaneRamsey ” method of watercolor painting in freezing weather…on the heated hood of my car!  Brilliant…it kept everything warm and liquid.    
The sun began to get low in the sky… nice shadows formed…heck it was only 3:30 pm !
Still the light on the trees was hazy and golden.
4×6 pen & watercolor on 90 lb paper

I went up to the bottom of the slope to watch the skiers coming down.
What angles some of these folks formed.
6×8 pen & watercolor on 90 lb paper
Every so often this snow machine towing this sled full of tiny skiers went by with instructors holding on to them tightly so they wouldn’t fall off.
The ski “life guards” had the best form.  I could have sketched them all day. Very casual, fast and elegant. They would come swooping down the slope holding both ski poles off to the side in one hand… 
4×6 pen & watercolor on 90 lb paper

The teenage boys were interesting.  They could go fast at an angle but were a bit ragged in their form… 
6×8 pen & watercolor on 90 lb paper
Marcus finished his concert and we packed the car and headed out of town to Beth & Nordel’s Hodge Podge Lodge. 

The lodge is the sweetest place you ever saw… after traveling a mile and half into the woods on a snow machine…
…the welcoming fire in the wood stove and the campy feeling were perfect !
Alan, Vitali and Owen were watching dinner as it was cooking… guests were arriving and lamb roasted in the piney woods was on the menu for New Years Eve.  Happy New Year everyone!