I was busy last Christmas, but I was determined to paint for my husband. He’s not a guy who likes stuff. He likes time with his people and the memories of those times.

Last autumn we took a family trip to New England, during which we returned to our honeymoon spot after more than twelve years. Between that trip and a trip from the previous year, I had three specific paintings I wanted to do for his office, each one recalling a moment from those trips.

For our anniversary the year before, we had attempted the Presidential Traverse, a peak-to-peak hike across the ridge of the Presidential Range in the White Mountains in New Hampshire.  We didn’t end up making it beyond our ascent peak, Mount Madison, be we were completely enamored with alpine hiking after that one peak and will definitely try again.  Finally making it to the summit and looking down was worth the hours of climbing, and it’s a moment neither of us will forget. The windy bigness of the summit was gold, grey, and indigo.

Last year while in our honeymoon spot in Bar Harbor, Maine, we went canoeing. While we were out on the lake, we heard the ghostly call of a loon. It was a mix of siennas, barky browns, and teal.

Later that same trip, we visited Thunder Hole, a rock formation on the coast where waves slammed in to a hole in the rocks. This produces a sound very much like thunder. The colors of the boom and the spray on the rocks were warm greys and bright, yellows greens.

The set is now on his office wall, and I’m honored to hear how his coworkers now refer to his office as “the art gallery.” But more importantly, my husband has these memories where he can often see them. THAT’S always the point of my work.

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