Rosemary McGuirk was born when there were only 48 states. My parents met in the US Navy during World War II in Lakehurst, New Jersey.
After the war, they eventually settled in lower Westchester County where all seven of us children were born and raised. I am the fifth. My mother is a homemaker and artist and my father was a Ford dealer. All seven of us graduated from St. Joseph’s school and the girls went on to School of the Holy Child and the boys to Fordham Prep. After that I attended the University of Richmond, and graduated with a B.A. in Art. When I lived in the New York area, I studied art at the College of New Rochelle, the School of Visual Arts, and The Art Students League.
I also took a secretarial course at Katharine Gibbs and worked at McCall’s and Family Circle magazines. My biggest art influences would be my mother’s art, a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, and the art of Grandma Moses. My earliest art inspiration came from… Mr. Drawing Board on Captain Kangaroo. I still remember a sketch of the railroad tracks coming to life. It was fascinating.
P.O. Box 202
Elkins, New Hampshire 03233
During the Bicentennial, I viewed the fireworks from the Columbus, Georgia Airport. From this point I could see fireworks going off from several different places. It was lovely. Over the years we have traveled that evening , especially from Long Island to Westchester County. I loved seeing the fireworks coming from various locations across the flat land and Long Island Sound. The barn is for the 4th of Julys we spent in Chester, Vermont at my grandmother’s home. Now we view them traveling from Vermont to New Hampshire — and see them coming from Sunapee.
This is my sister and I, my friends and I, and now my daughters. The colors of the ocean are based on the colors I remembered from traveling to St. Croix as a child.
During the summer, my parents would take us occasionally to Jones Beach on Long Island. It was huge, the sand would go on for miles. Whenever I smell cigarette smoke, it always brings me back there. One big giant ash tray too. The water was far from the parking lot and the sand was so hot. But still hearing that surf and playing in the waves were a tremendous amount of fun. I could have done without the sand in my bathing suit. We had a striped umbrella. My mother wore pretty bathing suits and tanned well. My father didn’t tan at all as I remember. The blanket they brought was a USNAVY blanket. It was thick and cream colored. My parents met while they were in the Navy during World War II.
When I was a kid, we spent a couple of vacations at Goose Rocks Beach, in Kennebunkport, Maine. I love foggy days at the beach and bright yellow rain coats. We had black dogs growing up. Now I live closer to Maine, and it’s nice.
My niece was almost two when we spent the day at the beach in Madison, Connecticut. It was a lot of fun. I left out the part of the seagulls trying to steal our donuts. I added the soda bottle & striped paper straw because they are just some of my favorite symbols of the summer. The dolphins come from seeing them off the coast of Virginia once with my friend Carole.
My niece and nephew as toddlers lived on Long Island Sound. The view of the sound was beautiful and there was a stone wall to keep them safe, but a hedge was more colorful for the artwork.
Lighthouse was inspired by the lighthouse at Old Field Point, on the North Shore of Long Island. It sat on a bluff. My work doesn’t exactly resemble the one that sits there, but the location does. I added the red stripe because my picture needed it.
The leaves in New England start to change in August — just a few, and I swear I’ve seen some as early as July. I love the stone walls in New England and the views of the mountains in New Hampshire and Vermont. This is based on a view I see each day of Mount Kearsarge, from New London, New Hampshire.
This was my niece at age three. She was cute, well poised and just a wonderful kid. She’s still the same, just in her 20’s now. I had given her a teddy-bear when she was born and the wall paper in the background was a “give-away” when I worked at Family Circle Magazine.
My grandmother was born in 1896 and her big sister in 1892. The sled dates back to then. We used it as a children in the 1950’s and 1960’s. It seemed huge. The last time I saw I had to reach up to the bar to push it. When it came down to New York after my nephew was born, my sister warned me that it would be tiny — it was. You could reach down to the bar comfortably. It used to be brown my mother had it painted red.
I first did the skaters as a part of a hall decorating contest in my dorm, Gray Court, at the University of Richmond when I was a junior. Later I made it into a day scene as a serigraph when taking art courses at the College of New Rochelle. When I was working on it, I wanted to change the color of a skater’s sweater. My younger sister came downstairs and was wearing a beautiful sweater with reindeer on it — hence the skater’s reindeer sweater!
I loved going sledding at night with my brothers, sisters, and neighbors. We grew up in a suburb outside of New York City. We would sled on the streets at night and sometimes on Cottle Field, next to Cottle School in Eastchester, New York. But, those scenes aren’t as pretty as the golf course at Siwanoy for sledding. So this picture is really of Siwanoy Golf Course in Bronxville.
I loved the winter when I was growing up in New York. It was a short season compared to New Hampshire. You had to enjoy that snow before it melted. Here, you can sit back for months at a time. This is a mother building a snowman with her child.
The Ski Hill is what my grandmother called the hill in the background of this picture. And when the picture was first done, the focus was the hill and a barn. But it needed something more. So I put my kid’s dad, and my two daughters in it going sledding. In a rare move I added myself too. The barn is a bit different in real life, but that’s where it sits on the land. This takes place in Chester, Vermont.
Winter at Bassett, in Cooperstown, New York. This is the administration building for The Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, New York. When the century turned from the 19th to the 20th, it was an orphanage. If you look on top of the cupola, you can see the silhouette of a boy pushing a girl on a sled.
Monticello – designed by one of my favorite people who ever walked the earth, Thomas Jefferson. My first trip to Monticello was when I was in first grade. We had also seen Valley Forge on this trip and I still have my George Washington mug from the gift shop. However, cabins and the struggles of the cold winters only paled in comparison to Monticello and the beauty of the location. Thomas Jefferson is my favorite founding father. Why? He was just an amazing person. Besides writing the Declaration of Independence and the Virginia Statue for Religious Freedom, he brought the recipe for ice-cream back to the United States from France. He was devoted to his wife (who sadly died young) and his daughters.
Christmas Pageant at the Dutch Reformed Church in Bronxville, New York, a small suburb outside of New York City in Westchester County. The pen & ink shows how Pondfield Road is closed off in front of the Dutch Reformed Church every Christmas Eve. Children from the various parishes in Bronxville are part of the pageant. It’s a tradition that has gone on for generations. People of all ages are dressed to stay warm on a chilly Christmas Eve.
Coffee Hour at Saint John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mamaroneck, New York. After my son’s christening, my neighbor Paul remarked that I had found a “Little House on the Prairie Church.” It made me look at the church differently — it was just so comfortable there, I took it for granted. After many photographs and sketches, it was finally done, miles away in New Hampshire. People at the church were from all walks of life being that close to New York City and coffee hour was a time to visit with old and young alike, and drink my favorite beverage too, coffee! Coffee hours outdoors after church were the best. The children could run around. It was a beautiful setting under the trees on the patio, seeing Long Island Sound.