Durham Public Library


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Durham Public Library

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Views of Elmwood Farm

by Barbara Betjemann

The Exhibit: Life Goes on For a Ten Generation Farm.

Artist's Statement: Farm life has always been unpredictable and often difficult enough to cause folks to leave their farm homes for an easier and more secure vocation. Very remarkably, the Elmwood Farm in Barrington, New Hampshire has been actively farmed for ten generations. Having lived and worked on a farm for many years, I was drawn to this farm in our neighborhood in Barrington because the Boodey family members have a unique story to tell about their Elmwood Farm. For twenty years, I have been painting the seasons and the seasonal activities on Elmwood farm. This exhibit of my paintings is a collection of paintings and drawings that I have done over the years, working mostly plein air out in the fields and among the cattle. The entire Boodey family is always very gracious and anxious to help me moving my easel and supplies and asking if I need a drink of water. I hope that these paintings bring back some memories for you of farm life. Maybe you will slow down as you pass this or another old farm and roll down your windows and smell the fresh hay and cattle. Knowing that the same task has been done year after year on the farm brings respect and admiration for those still working the farm. Isn’t that fact remarkable?

Elmwood Farm now raises Galloway Belted Cattle, the ones children call “Oreo cows”. They also sell sweet smelling hay for back yard farms raising their own food and their neighbors’ horses. Having once owned a farm, I enjoy passing by Elmwood Farm to see what task is at hand and marvel at the large number of family members that show up to help out. Each season demands that the farmer accomplish tasks for the farm and farm family survival. Cutting, splitting and stacking firewood, gathering Maple sap, haying, gardening and maintaining the nearby family chapel and family cemetery on the farm are just a few examples. My paintings only show a small number of these tasks. I am ever watching for opportunities to paint.

Over the years, I have witnessed events on the farm that demanded a great deal of Faith to not become discouraged. I paint what I witness. As the Exhibit is reminds us: Life goes on.....…

Artist's Biography: Growing up in Connecticut and Rhode Island, I have always felt grateful to have spent most of my 77 years living in rural New Hampshire. After my education at Northfield School and the Rhode Island School of Design, my husband, an ER Physician, two children and I  moved to Northern New Hampshire where we managed a small farm. I painted there and also attended the Phoebe Flory Watercolor School and numerous watercolor workshops with Zoltan Szabo. Because our two children both graduated from UNH and one of our children later married and settled in Barrington, we moved to be closer to them here in Barrington just down the road from Elmwood Farm, a ten generation working farm. I have painted at the farm for 20 years and always enjoy the cycles of the seasons, life and farm living that I witness and paint. I am a plein aire artist and work in oils, watercolor and pen and ink. I also have done line drawing illustrations for four published technical manuals.

Stop by the upstairs gallery at the library any time in August to view the exhibit.