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Spofford, New Hampshire, United States
Jeff Newcomer had been a physician practicing in New Hampshire and Vermont for over 30 years. Over that time, as a member of the Conservation Commission in his home of Chesterfield New Hampshire, he has used his photography to promote the protection and appreciation of the town's wild lands. In recent years he has been transitioning his focus from medicine to photography, writing and teaching. Jeff enjoys photographing throughout New England, but has concentrated on the Monadnock Region and southern Vermont and has had a long term artistic relationship with Mount Monadnock. He is a featured artist in a number of local galleries and his work is often seen in regional print, web publications and in business installations throughout the country. For years Jeff has published a calendar celebrating the beauty of The New England country-side in all seasons. All of the proceeds from his New England Reflections Calendar have gone to support the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at the Cheshire Medical Center. Jeff has a strong commitment to sharing his excitement about the special beauty of our region and publishes a blog about photography in New England.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

"Paint-Out" in Peterborough

Our Town

The 6th Annual Sharon Arts Center Paint-Out was held last week which means that I spent the last week running back and forth to Peterborough NH, a 45 minute trip, looking for exciting locations to shoot. Every year the Arts Center sponsors this event to draw local artists to a specific locale. This year the location was the classic New England town of Peterborough, the original "Our Town" from Thornton Wilder's play. As in past years the center solicited local property owners to allow access to their land for one week and, at the end, the results were displayed at a Friday evening show. It is a great opportunity to discover a new area and to have access to some remarkably beautiful sites that would otherwise be out of reach. 

Noone Falls In the Rain

Rosaly's Garden
As might be expected this format makes for a hectic week.  I had to find time to get over to Peterborough (hopefully in good light), to capture the requisite number of spectacular images while leaving enough time to process, print and mat
them for the Friday evening show. This year
was particularly stressful. In my pre-scouting

Contoocook River
 the week before, I found some interesting possibilities, but most seemed to be "morning" sites. The way my work week laid out, I only had Monday morning, and of course, it poured rain all that day. No soft morning light. The good news was that I was able to catch the freshly engorged Noone Falls in soft overcast. The light also worked well on the flowers in the many beautiful gardens. The bad news was that, after a few hours, I was drenched to the skin. Fortunately the make-shift camera cover that I had fashioned from a kitchen garbage bag work well enough to keep my camera from drowning, but I did saturate two large towels from continuously drying off the equipment. The weather was substantially better for the rest of the week, but since I had to work Tuesday through Thursday all I could do was try to get back over to Peterborough for the evening light. The thrill of this kind of short schedule shooting is that it adds an extra sense of adventure to your explorations, but it was a bit exhausting. I was up until 2am Friday morning finishing the final eight images.

The Friday evening reception and show was held at the beautiful Sharon Arts Center Gallery in downtown Peterborough. It waswell attended, and perhaps most importantly, the food
The photographer gets the spot
next to the bar
and wine were excellent - and free! As the only photographer participating in the "Paint-Out", I was somewhat the odd man out, but, since I have been unable to convince the Center to change the name to "Paint and Pixel - Out", I had to just struggle along. One major consolation was that I was given the spot right next to the bar.  I was disappointed this year that there wasn't at least one other photographer to commiserate with. I guess if I was a real artist I would paint. (note: please excuse snarky comment)

Nubanusit Brook
As in past years, the real attraction of the Paint-Out was all about the refreshing photographic opportunities. In the end I found some lovely spots and probably missed many more. I gained a new appreciation of the photographic attractions in an area in which I was relatively unfamiliar and that will undoubtedly lead to more return visits. Most importantly, I met many lovely people who welcomed me to there properties. That is really what a "Pixel-Out" should be all about.

Check out more information about the Sharon Arts Center's many events and classes at: http://www.sharonarts.org/

I will be adding more images from this year's Paint-Out on my flickr Set


  1. Fantastic photographs and a wonderful blog post about the "Paint-Out"! We posted it on the Sharon Arts Facebook site: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sharon-Arts-Center/76847999577

    You never need to feel less than a "real artist"--you ARE a real artist indeed!

  2. What a great idea this whole affair is!