Saturday, December 29, 2012

Art and Bloom, with the Concord Garden Club

McGowan Fine Art announces the opening of the 11th annual “Art and Bloom” show organized by the Concord Garden Club, featuring floral arrangements inspired by artwork. The arrangements will be created by local florists and members and friends of the Concord Garden Club. “Art and Bloom” will run January 24 - 26, with a reception Thursday, January 24, 5:30 to 7:30 PM.

Friday, November 30, 2012

CALL FOR ENTRIES -- Love, Lust, & Desire V

Better Than Caffeine, Holly Elkins, 2012
McGowan Fine Art is holding its fifth annual Valentine's Show: Love, Lust & Desire from January 29 - February 15, 2013. The theme is meant to be interpreted broadly - there were many entrants who focused on love of their pet, food or landscape in previous years. Don’t worry about being too literal with the theme!

Stuffed Puppy Love, Hannah Phelps, 2011
Submissions can be any medium, but must be no larger than 8½" x 11", should not be framed, and must be light enough to be held up by two clips.  The art is intended to be very affordable - so must retail for $300 or under(see photo for how we present the artwork.) 

If you are interested in submitting to Love, Lust, and Desire this year, please email for a detailed Call for Entries and guidelines, with "LL&D 2013" in the subject line. The deadline for email submissions is December 14, 2012.
First Date, Jean Stephens, 2010

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Boston International Art Show 2012

Amanda and I headed down to Boston on Thursday, November 15 to set up our booth for the 16th Annual Boston International Fine Arts Show. McGowan Fine Art has not attended since 2004 so this was a big adventure for both of us.

It was a day of packing up two vehicles with art, pedestals, shrink wrap bins and all of the tools necessary to make transactions, unloading all the artwork, then arranging and hanging the artwork on the walls.  We had time for a late lunch and then back to the booth to put on our party clothes for the preview that evening.

Some of the fun of attending these events is the opportunity to talk with other galleries. We are able to indulge in a little shop talk and art world gossip, trade tips or just get a feel for the market in other parts of the country. Our booth neighbors were great.  From Russia With Art of Cambridge, Massachusetts shared photos of their pampered Westie. The women from Pride Gallery of Virginia had a beautiful display that Amanda has tucked away some ideas from.

It is also great to hear from the fair goers. Many approached us and said we had the best looking booth. It is gratifying to know that the artists we carry are well received by so many. People really responded to the new street scene Unloading by John Bonner. Vernalis by Gary Haven Smith was also a conversation starter. The portrait and still lifes by Stoney Jacobs,  kinetic sculptures by Bruce Campbell and bright abstracts of Catherine Bartlett Hirani were other favorites.

Saturday and Sunday were busy days at the fair with many people wandering through non-stop. We had a chance to play with the new ap that Amanda downloaded for her phone. Using Square we were able to run credit cards through her phone...with people using their finger as a stylus to sign on the screen. It was easy, fast and not nearly as complicated as calling in a transaction. My how things have changed since I last did an outside show!

As Sunday wound down many of the galleries started to pack away extraneous materials and get ready for the big move out. For all the time and care Amanda and I put into assembling the booth, we were able to disassemble it in less than 20 minutes. I think our efficiency was enhanced by our desire to get home after four 12-hour days. Unfortunately we were not the only ones to want to get home. We waited another hour for space to park in front of the building and  porters to help us schlep the art back out to our cars. You can see a photo of us lounging in front of our mountain of art. It gave us a little more time to chat with dealers. Some were starting drives back to Virginia or further that night. They are braver and hardier than I!

Thanks to all who visited and sustained us while we were there.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Corporate Project - Rivier University

McGowan Fine Art completed a multi-phase project for Rivier University, located 420 South Main Street, Nashua, NH.

This project was coordinated by Amanda Lacasse - Corporate Art Consultant for McGowan Fine Art. Lacasse selected bright, colorful artwork for the recently renovated administrative building, Adrienne Hall, to reflect the energy of Rivier’s students, faculty, and staff. She also helped to update a historic list of all the sisters who have served on campus, helping facilitate a fresh design and presentation  to complement the contemporary building. The final product is a modern look at this one piece of Rivier’s history.

McGowan Fine Art has over 30 years of corporate consulting experience, and has worked with corporations and businesses of all sizes throughout New England. Corporate art selections have ranged from original art, to high quality reproductions, or historical photographs.

Please call Amanda Lacasse at 603-225-2515 for more information, or visit McGowan Fine Art’s website at, or contact

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Corporate Project - The Hematology and Oncology Center

McGowan Fine Art completed an installation of artwork for The Hematology and Oncology Center, located at 155 Borthwick Ave, Portsmouth, NH. The Hematology and Oncology Center is part of Appledore Medical Group: a multi-specialty group of practices affiliated with Portsmouth Regional Hospital.

This project was coordinated and installed by Amanda Lacasse - Corporate Art Consultant for McGowan Fine Art.  Lacasse selected soothing, peaceful images for the waiting room and hallway, helping create a comforting environment for patients visiting the office. She also rearranged and re-hung artwork moved from their previous location.

McGowan Fine Art has over 30 years of corporate consulting experience, and has worked with corporations and businesses of all sizes throughout New England. Corporate art selections have ranged from original art & commissions to quality art reproductions & historic photographs.

Please call Amanda Lacasse at 603-225-2515 for more information, or contact her at

Friday, October 19, 2012

Shandra McLane and Susan Wahlrab: Breaking the Mold

McGowan Fine Art
announces the opening of “Breaking the Moldfeaturing works by Shandra McLane and Susan Wahlrab. The show will run from November 13 – December 14, with an artist’s reception on November 16 from 5 to 7 PM.  The public is welcome.

In her latest works, Susan Wahlrab pushes her handling of watercolor to a new level.  Heavily layered pigment defies the expected fluidity typical of this medium.  Wahlrab’s paintings appear at first glance like traditional oil paintings. However, her technique of layering watercolor on clay board enhances the slick, satin-like surface.

Wahlrab’s compositions are filled with streams of sunlight that twist through entanglements of flora and rushing water, and come to rest just beyond reach. Her compositions at times appear almost abstract, with swirling lines and heightened colors such as in “In Color”. Yet, she still captures a sense of “quiet spaces…we are all part of – but are often unaware.”  Her originality of technique and compositional pluralism creates a body of work that is a must see.

Shandra McLane achieves luminous, satin-like surfaces reminiscent of Wahlrab, by piecing together glass like a puzzle. The distinct interior and exterior designs of her vessels are fused together as a single pane of glass. The whole pane is then placed atop a hollow form in a kiln for about 30 hours and allowed to slump into a bowl form. The corners are then cut off to complete the bowl and sandblasted to give the surface a matte finish. The color is heightened in the translucent vessels when light comes through, giving a hint of pattern on the other side. McLane will also have wall pieces on display.

Corporate Project - Rivier University

McGowan Fine Art completed an installation of artwork for Rivier University, located at 420 South Main Street, Nashua, NH. The project was completed for the university’s new Office of Global Engagement which exists to create and integrate a comprehensive Rivier University program that diversifies the student population internationally while expanding campus-wide global experiences, awareness and understanding.  

Amanda McGowan Lacasse, Corporate Art Consultant for McGowan Fine Art, selected a series of photos and prints for the main office and conference area, utilizing international travel photos from staff members. Lacasse also assisted in arranging a series of photographs from international students at the university.

McGowan Fine Art has over 30 years of corporate consulting experience, and has worked with corporations and businesses of all sizes throughout New England. Corporate art selections have ranged from original art, to high quality reproductions, or historical photographs.

Please call Amanda Lacasse at 603-225-2515 for more information.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Corporate Project - Emerson Ecologics

McGowan Fine Art of Concord, NH completed a project for the new corporate headquarters of Emerson Ecologics, at 1230 Elm Street, in Manchester, NH.  Emerson Ecologics is dedicated to providing the highest quality nutritional supplements, service solutions and educational support to healthcare practitioners to improve the lives of their patients.

Amanda McGowan Lacasse, Corporate Art Consultant for McGowan Fine Art selected original artwork and reproductions that emphasize the company’s focus on nature, and also helped arrange & install existing artwork in conference rooms, workspaces, and private offices.

McGowan Fine Art has over 30 years of corporate consulting experience, and has worked with corporations and businesses of all sizes throughout New England. Corporate art selections have ranged from original art, to high quality reproductions, or historical photographs. 

Please call Amanda Lacasse at 603-225-2515 for more information, or visit McGowan Fine Art’s website at, or contact .

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ralph Stone Jacobs at The Hargate

I was able to attend the opening of Ralph Stone Jacobs paintings at The Hargate at St Paul's School in Concord, NH. Colin Callahan is the director. It is always fun to see how someone else will present the work of one of your artists. 

It is always problematic to hang lots of little pieces in a large room, but Colin opted for one of my favorite solutions. Rather than trying to fill the space by grouping the paintings he created a rhythm by hanging the small pieces at eye level. He also grouped the paintings thematically. All the Button Bay paintings hang together; all the still lifes hang together. 

The show is designed as a teaching aid for students so there is an emphasis on Stoney's process - namely several unfinished paintings. This will be appealing to artists and others who just like to know how he does it.
One of my favorite paintings in the show is "Jonesport #4". It is a loosely painted scene of fog rolling over rocks. The colors perfectly depict the softening effect that mist has on colors. The gestural  brush strokes reproduce the feeling of mist wrapping around an object. The horizon line is non-existent, the foreground and background a perfect field of atmospheric grey. The painting shows great artistic economy. 

Another exceptional painting is Amonoosuc Lake.There is a broader range of colors than in other paintings. The lake is dark black and reflects the sky and trees. Stoney uses brighter greens to portray the  raking light catching the tops of the trees. Autumnal russets line the shore. I accompanied an art appreciator to see this show and he also picked this painting out as exceptional. I think the composition, stepped back shore line and color palette make this a visually intriguing piece.

This show will be hanging through October 20 and there will be a second artist's reception taking place on October 12 from 6:30-8.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Appraisal and Assessment Day

McGowan Fine Art announces a free Appraisal and Assessment Day on November 8, from 11 to 3 PM.  It is an opportunity for you to bring in your paintings and prints to have them appraised.  It is also an opportunity to speak directly with the restorers if treasures are in need of repair or cleaning. 

Cory Barbis of Barbis Fine Art Conservation will be here to look at your art on paper.  Cory will give free estimates on cleaning and restoring art that is damaged, such as water stains, mildew, acid damage from improper framing, and tears.  Cory is also able to restore antique or valuable frames.  Several of the pieces that were brought to our last Appraisal and Assessment Day were not considered valuable, but the frames they came in were.  There is presently a demand for antique frames.

Linda Donovan of Conservation of Paintings will be here to look at all works on canvas.  Exposure to smoke from wood fires, smoking or just plain dirty air will discolor a painting.  Restoration will bring back the original color and luster.  Linda is also able to repair tears and flaking paint, and restretch canvases.  She will be giving free assessments as to the condition of your paintings. 

Martha Richardson of Richardson Fine Art of Boston will be giving free verbal appraisals of artwork.  Her specialty is American and European paintings, but she is also familiar with a number of other mediums.  She will give free verbal appraisals, but if you need a written appraisal for insurance or donation reasons, she is happy to discuss that with you.

The last Appraisal and Assessment Day, five years ago, was a very successful event and fun for all.  There was never more than a twenty minute wait, but most people enjoyed listening in on assessments of others' treasures.  It was an opportunity to speak with one of the specialists and perhaps be surprised.  Remember that values are established by auction records, so if work by an artist has not been sold at an auction, no value will be assigned other than "decorative" value.  We hope to see you here.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Gary Haven Smith - Reflections

McGowan Fine Art announces the opening of “Reflections” featuring recent paintings and sculptures by Gary Haven Smith. The show will run from October 9 - November 9, with an opening reception on October 12 from 5 to 7 PM.  It is free and open to the public.

Gary Haven Smith has long been recognized as one of New Hampshire’s premier sculptors – completing such public works as The Source, a large sculpture at the Thorne-Sagendorf Gallery at Keene State College and the fountain in the entry of Concord Hospital. Many of his paintings and sculptures are in private and public collections throughout the state including the Currier Museum of Art and the New Britain Museum of Art.

Gary continues to coax art from stone, lead and slate, letting the tools take the lead in the design. His most recent work has moved towards a sparer, more elegant look with fewer colors. “I am pushing the tools more than the materials” says Smith. And sometimes that push requires restraint. This is evident in the large painting “Vernalis.” The grain of the slate creates waves of concentric pattern which are broken up by the organic forms of gold leaf ebbing and flowing across the surface. The grid pattern of the slate pieces adds a geometric orderliness to the painting. “My paintings are moving away from color and towards etching and gilding of the surface. The texture of the materials does enough.”

Smith continues to explore mechanically controlled cutting of granite boulders to create his sculptures. In “One the Way II” he has allowed the diamond tipped blade to slowly drop through a stone while it rotates on a turntable. Cutting at approximately an inch an hour the movement creates a tight helix. “The sculptures are about what is there and what isn’t there,” says Smith. It creates an interesting give and take between the ghost silhouette of the former stone and the freshly cut outline.

There will be a studio tour at Mr. Smith’s home on October 20 at 11 AM. People interested in attending should RSVP to the gallery at 603-225-2515. The group will meet at McGowan Fine Art at 10:30 AM to carpool to his studio.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Amanda and Jessica's road trip to Vermont

Amanda and I trekked to Vermont a couple weeks ago for two corporate installations. I normally assist Amanda behind the scenes, so it was fun to finally see Amanda in action. We began our day bright and early, leaving NH at 5am. Amanda already had her car packed, and I already stopped for coffee, so we were ready to go. 

Our first appointment was at 8am in Bristol, at Bristol Internal Medicine. Amanda recently selected prints depicting New England landscapes and still lifes to install in their beautiful new building.

Since the building is not yet open, we had the space to ourselves. Amanda had previously carefully planned where each print would be placed. First, she showed me her installation process.

Then, I gave it a try.

We divided up the prints, and between the two of us, we finished installing ahead of schedule. 


 It was nice to walk through the building when we were finished, and see how the bright, cheerful prints really transformed the space, giving it the finishing touch.


Since we finished early, we headed towards our next appointment in Middlebury, at Addison Family Medicine. We stopped to check out Middlebury's downtown since we had a little time to spare.  We visited a few galleries, and stopped into a children's consignment shop, June Bug, to pick up a little souvenir for my son. (I couldn't resist!) It was about lunch time, and after multiple recommendations, decided to check out Costello's Market.


I had the most delicious goat cheese stuffed red pepper, and the meat tart. Amanda had what she describes as "the best lasagna of my entire life!" (Well, second to her grandmother's lasagna, of course.) Definitely check out Costello's Market if you are in the Middlebury area. We loved it.

We also saw these adorable sugar packets at Costello's...

After lunch and a nice walk downtown, we headed to our next destination, Addison Family Medicine. This installation was different than our first, as we worked around staff and patients. Amanda and I came up with a system where she would do the measurements, and then I would hang the print, to efficiently get us in and out of the rooms discreetly in between patients. It was fun to work with the staff, and help select the best piece for their work space. We ended up doing a little swapping around, and everyone was pleased with the end result. 

It was a great trip, and gave me a much better understanding of the corporate side of our business, seeing a corporate project from start to finish. It was so rewarding to see how gorgeous the finish product looks, but also how happy the art made the staff and their clients.

If you have any questions about corporate consulting, please contact Amanda Lacasse,

Friday, August 31, 2012

Staff Pick- Susan Jaworski Stranc

We picked up a new artist, Susan Stranc in May. Her medium is linoleum block prints and more specifically reduction linoleum block prints. That means for each color in the print she carves a bit more of the linoleum away to create the final image. This requires a lot of planning as once the linoleum has been altered (carved away) there is no turning back. It also means that there are usually prints that don't make it all the way to the final color as mistakes happen. Technically quite challenging and a different way of the artist interacting with the paper.

It isn't the technical aspects of Susan's work that engage me though. Her color choices are absolutely seductive. She has an ability to combine  vivid colors without creating visual mayhem. That is not as easy as it sounds- especially as each cell of color can be quite small. There is a risk that it will be read as a pattern rather than light, shadow or volume.

Susan also uses inks which are quite viscous and glossy. That means that there is a certain amount of dimension to the ink- it stands up off the paper. The glossiness only enhances the textile-like feeling. This interplay of pattern, surface, tactility and image is very appealing to me. I stare in amazement each time I look at her prints. Come in and see for yourself.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Prey & Predator

McGowan Fine Art announces the opening of “Prey and Predator" featuring the paintings of Adelaide Murphy Tyrol. The show will run from September 4 through October 5, with an artist’s reception on September 7 from 5 to 7 PM. This is free and open to the public.

Painting quietly in Northern Vermont, artist and naturalist Adelaide Murphy Tyrol has always sought inspiration from landscape and animals. Her most recent fascination resulted from a birthday gift from her husband - attending the British School of Falconry. The school is the oldest on the East Coast but the sport is even older, reaching its zenith in 17th century Europe before being supplanted by firearms. It is a sport associated with prestige, wealth and much mystery. ‘The heraldry and mythology of it are appealing to me,” says Tyrol. “The hoods are used to cover their eyes to help calm down these high anxiety birds but they are also extremely decorative, rivaling the birds’ beauty.” 

While exploring the world of falcons Adelaide is also exploring new techniques. She is using a manmade paper called Yupo, created for commercial packaging. It  has been co-opted by artists for its ability to resist paint and create very crisp edges. Using sumi ink as her paint Adelaide takes advantage of these properties. In “Jessed” which refers to the tethers on a falcon’s ankles, crisp lines define the bird’s powerful silhouette and steely eyes engage the viewer with hard detail. Adelaide then uses muddled ink and soft washes to give the illusion of feathers or the motion of the jesses dangling beneath the bird. The whole painting is a study in contrasts. It is exquisitely rendered but leaves the viewer unsettled- compelled to look at this half tamed creature. It is a confrontation of our own limits over the natural world.

Ms Tyrol has turned her attention to other animals also. In “Pray” a small mouse fills the space with its apprehensive, wide eyed stare while being shadowed by the ominous wings of a raptor. It is a portrait of beauty and terror. “I tried to capture the hyper vigilant state of prey animals,” referring to a portrait with an ermine sitting upright, its white fur set off by a feathery background pattern. In “Blue Eyed Raven” she created a classic three quarter portrait of a Corvid from a singular colony of whiteravens in British Columbia. All of the birds have blue eyes. “It is the only color I included in the whole show. Those blue eyes are so arresting.”

People will be drawn in by the bold imagery but mesmerized by Ms. Tyrol’s technique.

This exhibit will be on display at McGowanFine Art, 10 Hills Avenue, Concord, NH. Hours are Tuesday to Friday, 10 to 6 PM; Saturday 10-2 or by appointment. Please call Sarah Chaffee at 603-225-2515 for more information or visit our website at