Have you visited Harding Mudge Bush’s new Watercolor shop in downtown yet? It’s gorgeous! What beautiful artwork!
The Lowell Sun wrote a story about Mr. Bush’s new studio a few months back:
AYER — On April 1, Harding Mudge Bush opened a store at 30 Main St. to sell his watercolor paintings and note cards. It is a return to downtown Ayer for Bush, who previously sold his art and ran a picture-framing business for 11 years on Park Street before it closed 22 years ago.
Partial to painting New England landscapes and architecture, Bush, 75, is as active as ever. With the warming weather, Bush plans to head out with easel and canvas.
Bush pointed to a framed picture of a Boston building which he said was one of his favorite projects.
The painting happened to involve his wife Sally.
Several years ago, Sally was working on a project at the New England Historic Genealogical Society on Newbury Street in Boston. Harding tagged along for the four- to five-day project, and set up his easel on Commonwealth Avenue. The subject matter of the painting is the First Baptist Church of Boston.
“I’d do research,” said Sally Bush. “He’d paint across the street and we’d meet for lunch.”
Bush also enjoys painting scenes in the North End. Bush recalled fondly the courtesies extended to him by passersby, especially on Salem Street.
“The coffee and eclairs would arrive,” said Bush. “The meter maid would ask where I was parked and disable the meter.”
Boston scenes play prominently in Bush’s portfolio, including pieces depicting the State House, Boston Garden and the iconic swan boats.
Bush’s work also catalogues Ayer’s streetscape with images from the present and past. One favorite subject matter for Bush is Ayer Town Hall.
“I love that building,” said Bush. “I’ve painted it five or six times.”
In one Bush iteration, the Victorian-era red brick building is dwarfed by an enormous elm tree which stood at the corner of Main and Columbia streets. Bush said the tree was there when he painted the picture but was later felled by Dutch elm disease.
Another captured Ayer landmark is the Park Street Diner (now the Sovereign Bank). Behind the restaurant, Bush included the western profile of the P.N. Laggis men’s clothing store, which has remained in business through three generations of Laggis family members since 1916.