View the 2007 article here: Artisans tour offers broad spectrum.
Come meet the artists. The Walpole Artisan Tour takes visitors on a scenic stroll
River Record Weekly, NH - Friday, November 10, 2006
By NICOLE S. COLSON, Record Staff
WALPOLE - The word has spread: The Walpole Artisan Tour is not just for artists who live in Walpole anymore.
The fourth annual tour, happening this year the weekends of Nov. 25-26 and Dec. 2-3, will once again serve as a time when visitors can take a stroll around a scenic town, look at some great art, meet the artists, and maybe see them in action in their studios - and go home with some holiday gifts they can't find in any mall.
This year, there are 15 artists on the roster, including some new faces from out of town.
It will all start at the Hastings House off Main Street, adjacent to the Walpole Unitarian Church. There, visitors can preview the work of tour artists and learn which studios will be open to visit - many within walking distance in the village.
One artist, Priya Allaire, will be on hand with original oil paintings and prints and examples of her custom hand-made invitations.
Tour founder Barbara Tarantino, who started the committee that now organizes the event, met Allaire at a business-planning-for-artists course, where Tarantino gave a talk.
Tarantino also met glassblower Chris Sherwin of Bellows Falls there, and invited him to join the tour this year.
Although Allaire lives in Swanzey, she has strong ties to Walpole, where she grew up. Allaire, who is self-taught, painted while in high school, but started doing it in earnest about five years ago.
She's in the process of creating a Web site - Entering Ohm - a name she said was inspired by the time she spent in her native India practicing yoga and meditating. Allaire spent a semester studying there as a senior at the University of New Hampshire.
"It's about taking a breath and finding harmony and balance in everyday life," she said of her site's name.
Judy Stylus, another tour first-timer, will exhibit photographs inspired by the bright reds, oranges and pinks of peonies, roses and other flowers in her garden. She digitally enhances her photographs, which gives them an impressionist painting quality, but Stylus said she doesn't make major changes.
Stylus, who's lived in Walpole for 12 years, had a show of her work at Burdick Chocolate Cafe last year. She enjoys working with older cameras and different types of films, including large-format and Polaroid. Because Polaroid film stays soft for a longer time than other kinds of film before emulsifying, she likes to manipulate it in that state.
There are advantages to technology, and Stylus has not ignored them. Since purchasing her first digital camera this summer, she can now achieve the same kinds of effects she used to get in her darkroom by layering two slides of the same image much more simply with a computer. She can add layers, some blurred, with the click of a mouse.
"There's millions of things you can do," she said.
Blue Loon Fine Arts, at the home of artist Wayne McLoughlin, is another stop on the tour. McLoughlin, a hunter, fisherman and explorer, became interested in nature as a child living in London, and further developed that interest in the swamplands of Florida, where he collected turtles, lizards and water moccasins for local schools. It was then that he began sketching and painting his experiences as an outdoorsman.
After receiving a degree in fine art and anthropology, McLoughlin was hired by a book publishing company to photograph tribal life in the South Pacific and New Guinea. He worked overseas in television and commercial design before returning to the United States and began a career in parody. His illustrations featured fake products such as Lester's Ammunition for such well-known magazines as Esquire, Omni and National Lampoon.
McLoughlin has done commissioned work for the National Geographic Society, the Audubon Society, Citibank, IBM and Ford Motor Co. and was a contributing editor to Field and Stream magazine for more than a decade, where he focused on the humorous aspects of the sportsman's life.
McLoughlin's customer base is national, but he's been concentrating recently on a regional presence by creating paintings inspired by the Walpole area, where he's lived for the past six years. His Walpole studio commands a broad view of the Connecticut River Valley and has also served as a backdrop for some of his recent landscapes.
McLouglin will have some humorous sportsman-related pieces, framed giclee prints plus a few originals for sale at his home during the tour.
Even without his impressive resume, McLoughlin's work speaks for itself, especially through his use of colors, some so brilliant they invoke memories of the work of the late Maxfield Parrish. McLoughlin said his "centuries-old" technique, called glazing - once achieved with oil paint - is achieved by applying many thin layers of acrylic paint to the canvas.
Although he has the background to be able to paint every hair on a wild animal, McLoughlin said that kind of accuracy is "just a parlor trick if someone has the training and God-given ability."
He said his work is, instead, a comment on his reaction to an experience, and it serves as a conversation with those who view it.
"I'm more interested in their reaction than if every rib inside a canoe is correct," he said.
McLoughlin pursues subjects that mat er to him, whether it's fly fishing at the mouth of the Cold River or a scene of a mountain lion in Wyoming.
That principle also applies to his portraiture. McLoughlin was recently commissioned to do a portrait of Gen. Chuck Yeager, the World War II fighter pilot who was later the first to break the sound barrier. As a fan of aviation, he accepted the job. "There has to be some real magic in it for me," he said.
Returning tour veterans this year include Mark Putnam of Woodward Tiny Tot Furniture, watercolorist Barbara Tarantino, metal sculptor Bob Taylor, potter Sharyn Tullar, folk artist Dutchie Perron, floral designer Jayson Munn, jewelry designer Hope Higbie, bookseller Ray Boas and dollmaker Loribeth Robare.
Also featured will be the work of glassblower Chris Sherwin, sculptor Jonathan Clowes and fine artist Brian Putnam.
The fourth annual Walpole Artisans Tour will be held Saturday, Nov. 25 and Sunday, Nov. 26, and Saturday, Dec. 2 and Sunday, Dec. 3. Hours for both weekends will be Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Tour maps can be found at the Hastings House on Union Street or at any of the artists' studios. For more information, visit on the Web: http://www.walpoleartisantour.com.
(C) 2006 River Record Weekly - Keene Sentinel