Portrait of a Small Town: Harrisville

Perhaps the most special of all the New Hampshire small towns is Harrisville. Situated in the Monadnock Region of the state (which is special in general), it is a lovely old mill town right on a lake. It has a yarn shop which is quite fancy and esteemed, and a general store that makes some of the best food ever. Seriously. Most of the old mill buildings are converted to artist’s studios (sometimes they are open to the public). Harrisville doesn’t have to be a little place you stop to on the way to somewhere- you can make it a destination. Bring a kayak for the lake, take a poke around the yarn store (there’s a lot more in there besides yarn) and have an excellent meal at the store. Just a little stroll around town admiring the quaint houses is fun too.

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The Lake, Yarn from Harrisville Designs, and a fresh cider donut from the General Store: All in a day’s visit to Harrisville!

I like going to Harrisville in any season and (of course) my favorite thing is having lunch at the store. I mean, look at this food! They always have a  variety of fresh creative salads available, their decaf iced coffee is the tastiest ever, and the desserts just scrumptious (I will be forever craving that strawberry rhubarb pie!)

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The mill building in front of a sunrise; the village cozy under snow

Kayaking in Harrisville Pond is delightful. The Public Library is that little brick building right on the edge of the water! If you look closely, you might see a beaver swim on by 🙂

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I love going to Harrisville. Any season or time, it is always a joy to go there.

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My Artist’s Statement

this place:
ten years of photography near and far by Callista Faucher
artist’s statement.
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         This body of work examines the interesting juxtaposition between the exhilaration of exploring new places and the comfort of finding beauty in the familiar surroundings of home. Travel has always called to me; yet, at the same time, home time draws me too. Wander and explore, or put down roots? A perennial question, and a question I’m so thankful that I have the circumstances to ask. I’m eternally grateful for the trips I’ve taken, along with the beauty of my home that has made these images possible. Whether near or far, I try to keep in mind the quote by Walt Whitman from which the name of this show was taken: happiness, not in another place, but this place. Not for another hour, but this hour. Photography helps me to do just that: to be happy in the present moment. This is good. Dreamer by nature, idealistic almost to a fault: I am often thinking about the next thing. The click of the shutter however, grounds me in the here and now. Photography helps me to really see what is in front of me and to derive happiness from the beauty inherent in all of the ordinary and extraordinary places in which we live out life’s moments.
Along with exploring happiness and presence in different places, this show is also a story of my growth as a photographer. In the making of these images, I’ve never been laden with bulky equipment, nor do I rely on hefty zoom lenses, tripods, or image stabilization. I don’t use a flash. I’ve always enjoyed physically moving to get a shot, at times being on my hands and knees, sneaking up on a shot, or making myself look crazy to get an angle. When I first started shooting, I used a Fugifilm Finepix digital camera. At just 5 megapixels, it was a pretty lousy camera, yet I was so happy to have it, and I took some shots that I am still fond of today. At the time, I was a fan of really editing my photos: I loved a cross-processed look, deep sepia tones, sharp contrasts: making things look a bit larger than life. Some of those shots are included in this show, because it wouldn’t be an honest portrayal of my artistic growth if I left them out. I eventually saved up my pennies (literally) and bought a Nikon D5000 DSLR in 2009. It’s wide angle lens helped to develop my love for sweeping landscapes. These days, I like a more subdued look and gravitate towards calming scenes with minimal editing.
I’ve always known I wanted to “make art” and “be an artist”, yet I never considered myself one. I was quite narrow minded and grew up imagining that to “be an artist” one had to be wealthy and connected; I thought of it as some sort of out-of-my-reach privilege. But really, I was just getting in my own way: months would pass and I would create little. I was paralyzed by indecision; having too many ideas but never acting on any. I made excuses. I was busy, always busy. All the while though, the creativity and inspiration were building inside of me. At times, I felt as though I would burst. It always made me sad and overwhelmed that I hadn’t created anything. And yet, going through this body of work, putting this show together, I realize now that I’ve been creating all along: these photos are my art. These places captured have made me an artist. All the times I was moved to click that shutter, I was creating. Little bits of beauty, pure happiness, moments captured: these were and are my inspiration and motivation. I’ve been unknowingly making these images for 10 years now and I’m so happy I finally got out of my own way to display them for you. I hope you enjoy my work, and I thank you sincerely for your interest in it.

Time is suspended in this place: in all the places you and I have been.

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Go out and see the show! Through February 14th in the Daniel’s Room at the Hancock Town Library, Hancock, New Hampshire. grove

RefugeGrove, On Wings, and Refuge : 3 of my oldest (and most favorite) photographs.

Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music

Tucked away down a winding dirt road in Nelson, New Hampshire, you will find the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, a center for musical education for students from around the world. I had read that they offered classical concerts for the public on Tuesday nights in the summer, so one hot August evening Ethan and I made our way up to Nelson, not knowing at all what to expect.

What we found was delightful. As we wound our way up the dirt road, suddenly we came upon a big colonial house and barn that was humming with people. The front porch had a large buffet of food and the lovely yard was lined with picnic tables filled with happy, friendly neighbors. Looking closer, you could see a yurt or a small house in the woods, which presumably house the students who go to Apple Hill. After dinner, a bell was rung and (most) everyone filed into the big barn to hear the concert. img_9586 img_9582We sat outside of the barn and it was so peaceful to watch the sunset over the distant mountains and just listen to the beautiful music. If I were to do it again (which I will!) I would definitely bring bug spray and a sweater- once the sun goes down it got buggy and chilly fast. I would also bring my own picnic dinner! It’s free to sit outside and it costs $15 to get into the barn. Watching in the barn would also be a neat experience someday so we would actually get to view the concert too. But it was relaxing to just listen.img_9596img_9587img_9600After a little while, when we looked up, the lights came on in the tree above us. What a nice (and free!) night out. Not only is Apple Hill Center a place for musical education, it is also a charming and unexpected venue for concerts in the summer time. Keep it in mind.img_9601