Sam’l Newsom is the featured artist this July. He was a landscape designer and a painter. He designed, among other things, the Japanese Tea Garden at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and the Remick Park in Tamworth. He was a nurseryman; he grew dahlias. He grew bonsai trees – hemlocks. He designed a Japanese-influenced house and garden in Chocorua. He used local materials: his elegant, serene design used rocks, hemlocks, moss and water. He painted, every day. When his eyesight started to fail, he painted the essence, in rapid black and white. His images of trees, water, ferns and rocks were simple, strong and immediately identifiable as his. When his eyesight changed again in later life, his painting became colorful again, but he never stopped sketching in black ink with brush or markers. He painted large scrolls, he painted intimate portraits of woodland plants, he painted blessings on his house and garage, he taught gardeners how to prune, he caught a thousand moments of life outside his studio windows, painting and painting until his body stopped. He lived through and remembered the earthquake and great fires of 1906 in San Francisco. He lived in Japan, he lived in Carmel, he lived in Chocorua.
Written by Peggy Johnson
Photos of Sam’l’s work by Jay
Artist of the Month for July: Sam’l Newsom