News From Cram’s Corner
With the able support of building manager Tim Sticht, we hung my Percent for Art painting commission, "From Bald Rock Mountain, Lincolnville" at the new Waldo Justice Center in Belfast, Maine, February 26. I'm very pleased with the placement; it's nicely lit, and the first thing you see when you enter the building.
While still working on the Waldo Justice Center painting, I began hearing of other Percent for Art opportunities in Maine and New Hampshire. All of them included interior wall spaces, which my artwork is best suited for. I spent the rest of 2019 researching and applying for these commissions, in the hope of setting myself up for a productive 2020. I struck out with a few, of course; that’s to be expected. But as the year progressed, my efforts began paying off.
I produced numerous proposals for the new Merrimack Superior Court in Concord, NH, and managed to get a couple of commissions there. These are both large landscapes from within Merrimack County: one of Catamount Pond in Bear Brook State Park and the other of the Contoocook River in Penacook. Here are the watercolor mock-ups of those.
Sales of my studio artwork went nicely this year, too, and I continued doing signage for Bob’s Clam Hut, for both their Portland and Kittery locations. Then in June I painted two honorary, large-scale portraits for Jon Goulet of his late uncle Chip behind the wheel of his tractor, for a Fourth of July float.
The Oxford County Superior Court in South Paris, Maine put out a call for artwork in their new addition, and one of my proposals was accepted: a view of the Little Androscoggin River as it passes through town. Once again, the research end of this project was a joy, hiking the area over several days and meeting lots of helpful people.
I also submitted three proposals to the new District Court in Milford, NH. The Committee there decided they’d like to work with me, but first wanted me to reconsider the designs I’d done. I went back to Milford in early December to research the area further, then developed three new proposals for large-scale paintings at the courthouse. This time I made more of an effort to inject local history into my designs, something the Committee clearly favored. Happily, all three proposals were accepted!
The year ended with yet another successful Open Studio event. Despite a rainy couple of days, folks made an effort to come and I was pleased with the sales. It was a nice conclusion to the year, and I’ve got plenty of work to see me through 2020.