Barstow's Featured Artist: Michael Hough
Barstow's Dairy Store and Bakery (172 Hockanum Road, Hadley, MA 01035)
Barstow’s is a small family owned business and we are committed to supporting other local farmers, local crafters, and local artists. Our walls are reserved for the art of local painters, sketchers, and photographers – giving us a beautiful and unique perspective on the area that we live and love. Visit us to enjoy lunch, soak in the rural views, and view the local art of your creative neighbors!
*May 16 - June 30, 2022*
**About the Artist**
While I agree with Claud Monet that it is presumptuous to say that a painting is completed, I did declare victory and sign my first work in oils in 1962. It was when I was taking lessons at the Holyoke League of Arts with Stanley Malek (a great barn painter). This means that I've been at it for 60 years. I painted on and off during my high school years and my tour of duty in the Navy during the 60's. Bouncing around between South Hadley and Washington D.C., for a few years, I finally settled down here in South Hadley where I met the "love of my life" Donna StLawrence while inquiring about the GI Bill benefits for night school at Town Hall. I chased her till she caught me, and we married on Sept 25, 1971. So for a long time painting took a back seat to being a husband, father and increasingly a supportive son. Donna always encouraged me to pick up the brushes, and in later years became my muse. So when the company I worked for (Avery-Dennison) sold us out in 2004, I found myself forcibly retired at the age of 57. Being empty nesters, Donna suggested that we convert my son Matthew's room into a studio as the light was good in there. So in 2004 begins my journey into acquiring and appreciation of the Impressionist philosophy of creating art. I try to capture the mood of a subject. Donna passed in July of 2017, leaving me crushed. But as luck would have it I rediscovered the Scorpions rock group shortly after. Wanting to see them live, I went to Tours, France for their concert at the "American Festival". This trip also afforded me the chance to visit Giverny, Monet's home and studio wit the iconic lily pond and flower gardens which are now national parks. I also saw his paintings at the D'Orsay, the Marmattant and the Giverny museums. But the crowning jewel of his work is at the L'Orangerie where his murals of the lily pads are enshrined. This was the trip of a life time and thank God I went in 2019 before the pandemic.
So, I've been fortunate enough to exhibit my work and sell many paintings at a variety of locations throughout Western Massachusetts and hope to continue as painting affords me a much needed outlet and has brought me in contact with many art-loving people who are a pleasure to know.