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Tom Merriam - Local Whiskey Watercolorist and Limner

One of the first artists to show at Harvest Gold Gallery, Tom Merriam is also one of the most prolific! An accomplished painter in both acrylics and watercolor, a woodcarver, storybook author, song writer, and storyteller, Merriam is a central figure in the local art scene. His carvings and paintings are now on display at Harvest Gold Gallery, in Center Lovell.

A Maine native, Merriam began carving at the age of 12, and worked in the family business carving log benches. He graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music as a Piano Technician, and began working as a piano repairman and tuner. Continuing to carve in his spare time, Merriam began creating commissioned carvings for local clients. Merriam turned to carving full-time in 1982, when he went to work for a sign company in North Conway, and won six national awards for Dimensional Sign Design.

        A self-taught water colorist, Merriam went on to study under George Carpenter. Carpenter was the last surviving member of the Whiskey Watercolor Association, and he passed many of his techniques on to Merriam. Often beginning his work plein air (working outside, painting what is seen in that moment), Merriam begins by painting small, quick studies of his subject matter. In these studies he captures those variables that swiftly change in the outdoors: the wind, light, and movement of a scene. He then returns to his studio in Bridgton or Portsmouth to complete a larger final piece based off of the study.

 

Merriam is well known for his miniatures. These paintings range in size from 4” x 4” squares, all the way down to the size of a postage stamp! At one plein air painting session, Merriam showed up to paint with only an Altoids can in hand. He opened it up and used the top as an easel for his tiny paper, and used the bottom section as a palette! Often capturing the likenesses of birds, gardens, or houses in these miniatures, Merriam’s eye-catching watercolor style plus the tiny size of these paintings make them truly unique and fun.

 

Diane Scott- Local Impressionistic Painter

Harvest Gold Gallery is thrilled to welcome back Diane Scott, an impressionistic painter based out of Conway, New Hampshire! Scott is a master of capturing light and tone within her artwork, making it some of the most captivating work in the Gallery. Her loose brushstrokes coupled with the vibrancy of color in her work brings her subject matter to life, and invites the viewer to sit and contemplate the piece for a while.

 

An impressionistic painter, Scott moved from Canada to New England and became a full-time painter in 1996. Scott received her BFA from Herts College of Art and Design in St Albans, England in 1985. She continued on to study at the North River Arts Society under John Kilroy for six years. She has taught various workshops to demonstrate her distinctive style of oils. Her extensive list of accolades includes Juror’s Awards from the Cape Cod Art Association and Best Marine Painting awards from the North River Arts Society.

Scott says that her paintings “take on a life of their own” during the creation process. Often beginning her work plein air (outside, painting what is seen at that moment), Scott tries to get a good base of form and color, and understanding of the movement of the subject matter. Once this is done, she takes her work inside to finish it up! This is where the piece comes to life through Scott’s use of rich color and painterly brush strokes. Trying to attain photo-realism limits the impact a painting can have on a viewer, Scott argues. In getting lost in replicating exact details, you can lose the feelings and memories that the art should be able to convey.

While Scott will forever love painting landscapes, she has said that she has been drawn to portraiture lately. “I used to paint figures all the time, and I loved it! There are so many subtle lights and shadows in the skin and on the curves of the body,” Scott says, “It is a fantastic challenge to paint the human form!”

Scott has attended and painted at two previous Plein Air Paint Outs at Harvest Gold this summer, and her last subject matter was a man who had stopped by to watch her work. Working in layers upon layers of oil paint, Scott built up reds, pinks, yellows, creams, and browns to capture the man’s face stunningly. “When I come back on the 11th, I don’t know what I might paint,” Scott said, “I am going to walk on over, and paint whatever captures my eye. I like that art is spontaneous like that!”

Come see Diane Scott set up her easel and paint at Harvest Gold Gallery this Saturday, August 11, from 10:00 till mid-afternoon. Harvest Gold Gallery is located at 1082 Main Street in Center Lovell, Maine.
New Soaps, Compassionate Farming

Hello from Harvest Gold!

  Just the other day, Jan from Four Winds Farm wondered into our gallery to share her lovely little creations with us. She felts wool from her sheep onto Shea's Soap in its own washcloth. Not only are all the ingredients all natural and homegrown, they save lives.

  Jan and Shea practice compassionate farming, meaning they save the lives of sheep and other animals by buying them before they go to the butchers and giving them a life they deserve. Sadly, they don't have enough room for every singe one, so they find good safe homes for the boys so they can live a long healthy life. 

  Jan has been very loving and caring towards animals her whole life.

           "I grew up having a special love for animals and art.  As a child, every summer was spent at my family's camp on Sebago Lake.  I was thrilled when my husband's career brought us and our two children to live in Maine full time.

     I began teaching at an elementary school in 1999.  There I met two coworkers who introduced me to fiber arts.  After exploring this art form, I found it was perfect for me.  It combines art, animals, and teaching in one endeavor!  By 2002 I had my first sheep.

     I currently live on a small farm in Gorham, Maine with my husband, a small flock of sheep, three miniature horses, chickens, guineas, an Australian Shepherd, two cats, and a German Angora rabbit.  With the last name of Winsor and since we are a family of four we named our farm Four Winds Farm.

     I studied education and art in Massachusetts and received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Framingham State College.

     I am now a full time fiber artist." 

Visit the website below to learn more about them and come into the gallery to check out these amazing soaps!

https://www.fourwindsfarmmaine.com/

More contact information:

Instagram: fourwindsfarmmaine

Facebook: Four Winds Farm Maine

All About Gemstones: Aquamarine

Like Heliodors and Emeralds, Aquamarine is part of the Beryl family of gemstones. Aquamarine is easily recognizable for its unique pale blue color. The name Aquamarine is derived from the Latin aqua marina, meaning sea water. Associated with truth and clarity, the aquamarine is a strong crystal for healing and for organizing the body and mind.

One of the most commonly found beryls, aquamarine can be found all over the world, with slight color variations from region to region. The color blue has often represented wisdom and enlightenment throughout human history from the modern Abrahamic religions to Ancient Egypt. The blueness of the stone, coupled with aquamarine's often unblemished clarity, has resulted in the idea that aquamarine represents and inspires truth and clarity, and as such often can make the wearer more in tune with their emotions and thoughts. This makes aquamarine a soothing and healing stone, which can help you keep a clear head even in stressful situations.

Aquamarine is believed to inspire truth and understanding in relationships as well. The ancient Romans would exchange gifts of aquamarine between lovers in order to maintain focus on trust and growth as a couple rather than on lust. Aquamarine will help you tune in to your partner's emotions, and so they won't even have to say a word for you to know how they are feeling. Aquamarine will also imbue you with tolerance and understanding so that you will not be easily offended, angered, or annoyed.

   
In non-romantic situations, aquamarine can be given as a token of protection from harmful thoughts or a disorderly and unhappy mind. Aquamarine is said to have a strong healing nature as well, and is thus good for mothers, children, and pregnant women to ward against complications like illness or injury.

Aquamarine is a truly lovely gemstone, and the color has always reminded me of seawaves breaking along a rocky shoreline, or the early morning sky. Stop by Harvest Gold to inquire about a piece made in local aquamarine!

50th Anniversary Fun!

Recently here at Harvest Gold, we've had many couples -- including dear friends of ours Hal and Carol Severance-Taylor -- celebrating their 50th wedding anniversaries! How lucky for us to have so many wonderful couples surrounding us, customers and friends. Did you know that the traditional 50th anniversary gift is gold? If someone you know is celebrating 50 years of love stop by Harvest Gold and find the perfect gold jewelry for your loved ones.

 

The ever-perfect Tree of Life design represents the long years of dedication to each other, and the accumulated growth of wisdom and love that has been created out of such a relationship. One of our oldest designs, this cutout pattern is near and dear to our hearts, and we hope soon yours as well!

   
Sterling Silver Tree of Life Earrings,   14k Yellow Gold Tree of Life Ring
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Another favorite here at the gallery is the White Mountain Interlace Cuff. This bracelet is made of two pieces of interwoven gold, and represents two lives that have been intertwined together in happiness and love. The design was inspired by the interplay between mountains reaching up to the sky and the clouds stretching down to blanket the peaks, this bracelet can be made in any color of gold you would like, and in sterling silver. 

14k Yellow Gold White Mountain Cuffs, shown in both the wide and narrow widths
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A second gorgeous bracelet option is the pair of our Together Forever cuffs. These beautiful wire cuffs look stunning when worn individually, but when paired together they wrap around each other to form an infinity symbol! These dainty bracelets are reminiscent of the streams of life, and the constant flow of time. No matter what though, as the days go by, you know you will always have each other! 
 
The two cuffs entangled, creating a loop of infinite love! 
  
We hope that your years to come are filled with love and joy. Love from Lovell!

 

Plein Air Session #3: Varvara Harmon

Varvara Harmon, a Windham local originally hailing from Russia, is an internationally guilded painter who is now showing new work at Harvest Gold Gallery. An accomplished artist who works in watercolor, acrylic, and oils, Harmon’s art is a favorite of many who stop by Harvest Gold. After a long struggle with immigration and hard work to reach the US, Harmon is now a well respected member of the Maine art scene.

Born and raised in Volzshk, Russia, Harmon began painting in her early childhood, and was later a student at the Volzshk School of Art. After her first years of college, Harmon’s career goals turned briefly from the arts towards earth sciences. She continued on to the Moscow Geological Exploration Academy, where she earned a degree in Geological Studies.After graduation, Harmon worked as a geologist: work that brought her to some of Russia’s most spectacular wildernesses. It was during this time that Harmon returned to painting landscapes.

Harmon immigrated to the United States in 2001, where she moved to Windham, Maine. For Harmon the immigration process was long and difficult, and she worked tirelessly to make her dream of living in New England a reality. Attracted to the beautiful scenery and the way of life here in Maine, Harmon has been a very active member of the both the Maine art scene and the outdoors hiking and conservation communities.

From her initial photo, as seen above

Transformed into a beautiful painting

New England, especially Maine, is a place whose lands, lakes, coasts, and people have inspired many of Harmon’s recent paintings. While the majority of her work is done in oil, Harmon also is skilled in acrylic, watercolor, and pencil. And although landscapes are her favorite subject, Harmon also does portraits, commissioned works, geological illustrations, and perspective views of architectural designs. Harmon is an internationally praised and awarded artist, and is a member of the International Guild of Realism.

Come see Varvara work her magic and paint Plein Air, this Saturday July 28th from 10am-5pm at Harvest Gold Gallery!

Harvest Gold is on a Roll!

The summer 2018 season has been going so well for Harvest Gold, that we here in the shop just wanted to write up a quick thank you to everyone who has been coming out to our shows and events and making them such fun events!

We had a fantastic turnout for the first Plein Air Painting Session of the summer! Although the clouds were gray and the wind held a wet chill, we had three artists stop by to paint. Kristen Dill, a Bridgtonite who works in bright colors and loose forms; Mary out of Fryeburg who works in watercolor and acrylics; and Renee, a Lovellite up for the summer! We love that several local artists stopped by to paint with us, and we encourage you to come out and paint too! We shall be hosting these plein air sessions every Saturday through August.

Then Harvest Gold Gallery’s 17th Annual Artist Reception and Open House went off without a hitch! The evening was a joyful affair with many artists and fans alike popping by to check out the summer collection. Artists that stopped by include Bill Housley, Ellen Nelson, Sandra Bell, Robin Taylor-Chiarello, Kimberly Crichton, Sandy Crowell, Ayn Male, among others!

We want to thank Severance Lodge Club for preparing for us several delicious hors-d’oeuvres, which were a big hit all night long! We also wanted to thank our staff who ran the behind-the-scenes all evening: these events could not go on without their faithful and hardworking support.

The second summer Plein Air Paint Painting Session happened on Saturday, July 21st, and we are thrilled that both Sandra Bell and Diane Scott stopped by to paint the day away! Warm and sunny, the conditions were perfect for the artists to capture golden honey tones in their artwork.

That same day was Art in the Park in Bridgton, and thanks to the good weather, great art, and friendly folks that wandered through the park all day long the show was one of our most successful to date. 

The next Plein Air Painting Session is this coming Saturday, and will be featuring Varvara Harmon! Stop by to see her work!

Harvest Gold is just filled with joy this summer as we have several new fantastic employees, lots of gorgeous new pieces of art, and friendly customers stopping in every day. We hope this good energy continues on for the rest of the year and we hope to send positive energy in your direction as well. Lots of love and thank you for your continued support!

New Joseph Gray Stone Sculptures in the Garden!

We have recently started carrying Joesph Gray sculpture, he has brought in to beautiful rock pieces to the gallery. 

His specialties include large outdoor sculpture, abstract and realism, stone fountains, garden sculpture, interior artwork, memorials for loved-ones and beautiful hand-carved keystones. His work often reflects his love for the natural world including animals and wildlife, as well as his passion and connection to Native American art and sculpture. He is equally comfortable working with a client’s existing ideas or designs, or helping to create a custom, one-of-a-kind piece to be passed down to generations. His passion for sculpture is evident in his attention-to-detail and deep-rooted belief that sculpture can evolve into a form that often unexpectedly “tells its own story” when completed. His work has been featured and referenced in numerous interior design books and magazines, as well as other local and national publications.

You can find his new sculptures on our website here:

https://harvestgoldgallery.com/collections/graystone-masonry

or at our store location Harvest Gold Gallery!

 Check out our Youtube video interviewing Joe and getting the inside scoop on his new pieces.

 

 

All About Gemstones: Heliodor

From the Greek meaning “gift from the sun,” the Heliodor is a gorgeous honey yellow gemstone that embodies the light, warmth, and energy of the sunshine.

The Heliodor is in the Beryl family of minerals, along with Emeralds, Aquamarines, Morganites, and various colored beryls. Pure beryl is colorless, with the color variations in the family being caused by differing trace levels of metals in the earth when and where the crystal was formed. For instance, the honey gold color of Heliodor comes from an excessive amount of iron that replaces the aluminum found in most beryls.

With a hardness of 7.5-8, Heliodor is one of the most durable gemstones available. It is also one of the largest, with a sturdy hexagonal structure that can allow the beryl to grow to several meters in width.

While members of the beryl family can be found around the world, Heliodor in particular is found granite deposits in the warm climates of Brazil, Madagascar, and Namibia, as well as the cooler regions of the Ukraine, and New England. Some of the largest beryls have been found in New England, with an 18 ton stone mined in the Bumpus Quarry in Maine. 

Fun fact! Did you know that when the first eyeglasses were made in Italy in the 13th century, the lenses were made from slices of beryl because glass at the time could not be made clear enough to see through well?

Heliodor will radiate the light and life of the sunshine into your life. It will illuminate your mind so you become centered, and it will fill you with sunny warmth and loving energies so that you will shine bright. Heliodor will also help you become more physically active and energized, and to maintain a reserve of energy even on your hardest days.

   

Heliodor also will help impart unto you a sunnier outlook and will boost self-esteem with a can-do attitude. With this new attitude will come trust in oneself, and belief in your strengths and capabilities. Stop by Harvest Gold to check out our fantastic brand-new heliodor ring handmade by Lynda!

 

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