About Me

My photo
Spofford, New Hampshire, United States
Jeff Newcomer has 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 weekly blog about photography in New England.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Fall Foliage Art Studio Tour

Window on Monadnock, Marlborough, NH
I am, once again, publishing a few days early in anticipation of the coming Columbus Day weekend, to publicize the Fall Foliage Studio Art Studio Tour. Columbus day has perennially been the focus for fall color in the Monadnock Region and southern Vermont. Over the years I have always set aside the days around this mid-October weekend to be out capturing the peak magic of this amazing season. The idea of being tied down at home for these days seems crazy, but this year I have reluctantly decided to do just that.

For some years a group of superb area artists have hosted a self-guided tour of their studios throughout the region. The group
has included artists working in sculpture, painting, jewelry, fiber glass pottery and wood turning. This year I was honored to be the only photographer to be selected. The tour includes the studios of 24 artists spread from New Ipswich in the southeast, to Stoddard in the north. Keene and Swanzey are well represented and I hold the western frontier in Spofford. The tour will run from 10am to 5pm on October 11th and 12th and in each location you will be able to meet the artists, learn about their processes and enjoy their work. Given the distribution of locations it will be a great chance to bask in the autumn beauty of our region while seeing some great art. More information is available in the brochures scattered everywhere and on the Tour Web Site.

I'm on the far  FAR Left

It was flattering to be considered among this excellent group of artists and craftsmen, but it presented me with a serious dilemma. I have always preached the importance of "Showing the Work" in every possible venue, but was this opportunity worth two days of what might be the best color of the season. Painters and sculptures can create the manifestations of their visions in a studio far away from their primary inspiration, but photographers must be there, on the spot, at the right time and with the right light. I struggled with lists of pros and cons.

My Blurb

The Cons
Sugar House Ferns, Marlborough, NH

 In addition to the loss of opportunity, I questioned whether the idea of a Studio Tour really works for a photographer. My creative "studio" starts out in nature where I work to capture the beauty of our region in good light, arranging the scene to provide a pleasing composition. I always try to get the images that will provide me the best opportunity to draw out the full beauty of the scene when I get home to my digital darkroom, but my "home studio" is a computer, two high definition monitors, a large format archival printer and piles of hard drives. Not exactly Monet's Giverny studio. Perhaps it would work if I wore a beret and an ink stained smock, but I'm skeptical. My plan is to show as much of my work as I can cram into the first floor of our house and be ready to demonstrate my editing and matting techniques if anyone is interested. Fortunately, after my big show at the Jaffrey Civic Center and after cleaning out
The Gallery
two offices this spring, I have lots of work to show. Using all available wall and table space, I have been able to display 30 framed images along with bins of matted work and a collection of fine art note cards. After years of hanging my work in every conceivable venue it is a challenge to try to coherently arrange my pictures throughout my own home.   Of course, we will offer some nice refreshments, but will anyone venture way out to Spofford? I have no idea.

Sunset Glimpse, Chesterfield, NH

The Pros
Autumn's Edge, Chesterfield, NH
Show the Work! I try never to miss a chance and this is the time of year when our roads are clogged with people coming to enjoy all the magnificent color that I will be missing. Hopefully some will drop by for a break from the traffic jams. Now that I'm retired the loss of two days of shooting is less of a tragedy, since I have many more days to get out and explore the color. I plan to go shooting a couple more times before the weekend to give myself some editing to do while I sit waiting for the crowds to arrive.  The images in this article are all from the last couple days.  Obviously, I will be featuring my autumn photographs. I'm making more fall note cards and I may even sell a few calendars.
My wife is excited by the event only because it has forced me to try to clean my office and pick up the downstairs rooms. Although I
Dining Room Gallery and The Captain
searched for every inch of wall space to hang pictures, there were limits  I refused to confiscate the kid's picture wall and Captain Sargent will stay on our mantel. The Captain has been with me since college - there is a story, but you will have to drop by to hear it.   It is all an experiment and if no one shows up it is still an honor to be listed with some of the most accomplished artists in our region and the tour will give me a couple of days to catch my breath from all the frantic leaf pixilating.


So I think I'm ready. I have to finish cleaning, rehang pictures, get refreshments and complete the signs that will mark my location. They wanted me to paint the signs, but, once again, I had to make it clear, I'm NOT a Painter!  I printed posters instead. So if you are out enjoying the color this weekend, please drop by, you will at least get a chance to meet our dog Nellie and that is certainly worth a stop.  


The "Studio" is at 373 Route 9a in Spofford.  Follow Route 9 West from Keene, NH, or East from Brattleboro, Vt.  Take the east entrance to Route 9a.  Our house is the second on the right past the Post Office, a greenish cape with a thick stone wall.  Look for the sign.  I haven't decided about the balloons yet.  Feel free to park in the orchard across the street, but if you bash one of my apple trees, expect to buy LOTs of art.

Gunnison Brook, Goshen, NH

Jeffrey Newcomer

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