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Heritage Arts Build-A-Picture – Teacher's Page About The Artists

The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts commissioned original artwork for the Heritage Arts Build-A-Picture activities. All of the artists live in New Hampshire and created their pictures based on real traditional artists who live and work in New Hampshire.

To learn more, click on any of the artworks listed below, or you can scroll down to see the whole group of artists listed alphabetically.

Ash Basket Making by Randy Miller
Blacksmithing by Gene Matras
Dog Sledding and Sheep Shearing by Beth Krommes
Fly Tying by Eileen Belanger

Randy Miller

randy miller
ash basket artwork

Ash Basket Making – Pencil

Randy Miller lives in East Alstead, NH. He is a traditional contra dance musician and an artist. When Randy was going to college in the late 1960s he was inspired by the wood engraved illustrations of old books. He began to research the technique of carving into wood, inking and using a press to produce pictures. His favorite subjects are rural New England landscapes and traditional activities.

Since 2000 Randy's engraving of Ceres, the goddess of agriculture has been on title page of The Old Farmer's Almanac. The almanac started in 1793 and is the oldest continuously published periodical in North America. Randy based the image on a 1797 wood engraving that is in the Almanac's archives.

Randy has published lots of illustrations for poems that have been printed as "broadsides." Broadside is an old word for a kind of poster or flyer. These days, Randy is focusing more on pencil and pen and ink drawings.

About Randy Miller's work …

Gene Matras

gene matras
blacksmithing artwork

Blacksmithing – Pen & Ink

Gene was born in Poland and came to the United States in 1960 with his parents and brothers. He lives in house that he built with his family in Pittsfield, NH. His family enjoys keeping animals and gardening. Many of Gene's pictures are based on the rural farm life around his home and his travels through New England.

Gene likes to do drawings using a technique called pen and ink. He produces copies of his original drawings in process called offset lithography. The prints are "limited edition prints," which means he signs and numbers each one. This makes it possible for more people to have one of his drawings.

Gene's pen and ink drawings have been winning awards for almost twenty years.

Beth Krommes

beth krommes
beth krommes

top: Sheep Shearing - Scratchboard
bottom: Dog Sledding – Scratchboard

Beth lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire. She likes to draw and paint landscapes, people, plants, animals, and bugs. She used to be a High School art teacher but is now a self employed artist. Most of her time is spent doing illustrations for children's books. She enjoys giving workshops on illustrating and paper making.

Though Beth is comfortable in lots of mediums, most of her book illustrations are done in a technique called scratchboard. In scratchboard, there is a layer of ink and then a layer of white paint. Using a pointed tool, the artist can scratch through and expose the black ink. Some scratchboard is the reverse with white on the bottom layer and black on the top. Scratchboard produces pictures that have a bold feeling and look a lot like prints made from wood cuts, wood engraving or linoleum blocks.

Beth's work is in private collections around New England. She received an 2002 Golden Kite Award for her illustrations in, The Lamp, the Ice, and the Boat Called Fish, by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and is based on a true story from 1913 when a crew of Canadian explorers and an Inupiat family were stuck in the Arctic ice.

Eileen Belanger

eileen belanger
eileen belanger

Fly Tying - Acrylic Painting

Eileen lives in New Boston, New Hampshire. Her home and studio are in a building that was built in 1908 to be a cider mill. Eileen's favorite subjects to paint are houses, animals and scenes that she sees in rural New England. She is a member of a group that enjoys painting plein air (a word for painting outside). This was a favorite technique of painters in the White Mountain School of painting in the 1860s.

Eileen usually paints with acrylic on canvas or wood. She also paints large murals on the walls of people's homes. Sometimes people ask her to paint decorative scenes on furniture such as chests, dressers, and tables. Lately, Eileen has been producing prints of her original paintings so that more people can enjoy them.

Eileen's work is in local public buildings and in private collections throughout the United States. She has received many awards at regional art shows and is a member of the Manchester Artists Association, the Newburyport Artists Association and the Keyes Group.

About Eileen Belanger artwork and murals …

New Hampshire State Council on the Arts
19 Pillsbury Street - 1st Floor, Concord, NH 03301