The tale of the city mouse and the country mouse describes the differences in lifestyle and the contrasts that they bring. I find a negative aspect of an artist's work can be stagnation. If an artist is to grow and the work evolve and develop, change of scene can be a great catalyst. Many artists throughout history traveled to refresh their senses and they incorporated that which they encountered into their art.
Each year I have traveled in the summer. Sometimes we took mammoth car trips to Alaska, Florida or the Dakotas. Several trips to Europe were inspirational during past Julys. Most summers are spent in a tiny inherited cottage in Bethlehem, New Hampshire: the White Mountains. There, the contrasts for me are enormous from my NYC life. Visually, nature is at the heart of all that I see in New Hampshire. Layer upon layer of mountains surround vast vistas. Trees, shrubbery and flowers abound in a multitude of greens and the full spectrum of floral hues. The night skies are spectacular. Black velvet with millions of twinkling stars and memorable moons.
Most of all, I enjoy seeing the clapboard houses that are few and far between in the city. Victorian houses nestle with Federal homes: accentuating wood construction vs. stone/brick. There are numerous 18th and 19th Century dwellings in Bethlehem, but again and again I am attracted to the wide, wraparound porched clapboard houses wreathed in vines. They hold the concept of home for me.
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