Monday, August 19, 2013

West of Beyond: to John C. Traynor's home and studio

There was a full two page advertisement in the August issue of American Art Review inviting all and sundry to an open studio at the home of John C. Traynor. When I saw that he lived in Southern New Hampshire, I figured it couldn't be all that far away, and that it would make a nice day trip. It wasn't and it did.  (I'll post the scenery photographs in another entry!)

 Mr. Traynor's father welcomed us to the house AND kept us from parking in the driveway.  He also told us that his son had dropped out of a New England boarding school (the name of which I didn't catch) in order to pursue his true love:  art.  Apparently is has worked out!

I got to speak to his mother as well.  You don't always get to mix business, pleasure AND family.   Everyone was enthusiastic, relaxed, interesting and interested.

 The Monadnock Fine Art Gallery in Keene, NH had helped with hanging the show and providing hors d'oeuvres.  (The brownies and cheese were exceptionally fine!  I skipped the wine.)  I wish now that I had taken more pictures of his actual studio.  Like so many New England Houses, his has been expanded in both logical and illogical ways.  There had been a barn toward the back of the house which he used to use as his studio.  With a wood stove in it, he could raise the temperature 30 degrees, max.  So when it was 10 below, he could paint in a room that was 20 degrees "warm."  The barn has been transformed into a huge room with a cathedral ceiling, big high windows on the North and East, a tile floor, a fire place, cabinets and a counter that serve as storage AND a display area for work on small easels.  He had room for two enormous easels as well:  one with a still life in progress and another with a charming portrait of a young lady with her dog in her lap.

I snagged the photo below from one of his friend's websites who was congratulating him for winning the 2010 Salmagundi Club medal.  (It's a big deal for New England Artists!!)

There's a thread about him at
 The gardens definitely have an artistic aesthetic.

 I wish I knew what kind of tree the one on the right is.  It has ENORMOUS leaves (big enough for placemats!) and about half of them were turned under-side up in the light breeze.
 My husband was happy to people watch while I tried to discern the secrets of the paintings.
I think the sheep (above) and the trees (below) must be pieces of his early work because the colors he used and his signature are different.  
 I wouldn't say they had a "formal" dining room, but it is a beautiful separate space. 
 The kitchen now has the wood stove, and a sort of etagere with tchotchkes  on it.

 At the front of the house, accessible from it's own door rather than the front porch was a screened patio/gazebo.  The ceiling, like most of the wood in the house, also appeared to be cherry.

 In the middle of the house, in another room with its own fireplace was a bar (with electric Guinnes sign!), comfy seating and this solarium with plants and a grand piano.  The scale of the rooms was perfect... even with the piano, sofa, conversational chairs and a formal dining table, the room seemed intimate rather than imposing.  Nor was it crowded.  Even I didn't worry about knocking anything over!
Cherry wood and more cherry wood.  I have no idea whether this stairway is original or new, but it seemed to have been simply and lovingly carved.
The stained glass window on the right is set into the upper part of the wall between the kitchen and the informal dining area.
Even the kitchen is filled with light!  Enormous range with hood and very tall faucet for filling big pots of something.... lobster? New England Boil?

To see more of his work, click here.,or.r_cp.r_qf.&bvm=bv.50768961,d.dmg&biw=1420&bih=782&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=3p8SUri6OeT64AO4vYCwBA#bav=on.2,or.r_cp.r_qf.&fp=7a614063402f0cf5&hl=en&q=john+traynor+paintings&sa=1&safe=off&tbm=isch&um=1

No comments: