LONDONDERRY — While some may dread winter driving and the hassles of New Hampshire weather, one local artist finds his greatest inspiration at this time of year.
Artist Tom Bianchi of Londonderry burns his artwork into planks of wood, creating art that captures the spirit of New England.
Bianchi, the featured artist of the month at Leach Library, has eight pieces of artwork on display.
Bianchi said he does research some houses and nice scenery online, but he also gets inspiration from Londonderry itself.
The history and farming atmosphere of Londonderry gets Bianchi’s creative juices flowing.
“There is so much rich history in town,” he said. “People can get a great sense of New England with the farms and barns in the area.”
In addition, Bianchi sometimes adds watercolor paints to his wood-burning works, to give them more life and color.
“Adding color to a wood burning can be tough,” he said. “Too much paint and you could ruin the piece, too little and you the paint could not be visible.”
Bianchi was not always interested in the art of wood-burning.
He first attended college in Massachusetts with dreams of becoming an engineer. He later attended the now defunct Vesper George School of Art in Boston.
“When I went on disability, I was sort of thrown back into the art world,” Bianchi said.
His artwork is not always in line with more typical art forms such as painting or drawing.
He said he could not enter some art shows because technically, wood burning is considered a craft, not an art form. He did sell a few pieces at the craft fair at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Londonderry.
Bianchi has done etchings of the Parmenter Barn in Londonderry and the House of the Seven Gables in Salem, Mass.
In addition to local scenes, Bianchi has taken his own spin on classical works.
He etched out a painting of “The Last Supper” done by French artist Valentin de Boulogne.
While some people may recognize “The Last Supper” by Leonardo Da Vinci, the later version by de Boulogne is more suited to wood burning, he said.
Bianchi said the earthy tones and dark colors were a perfect fit for the religious piece.
“The scene complements the art form much more,” he said.
From barns and railroads to classical works, everyone is welcome to view his work at Leach Library this month.