Harry and Debbie’s home and gallery were featured in an article in the
Baltimore Sun on Sunday, February 28th, 2010.
Pictured above are artists Harry and Deborah Richardson with their cat, Izzie.
The article was written by Marie Gullard. 18 photos were taken by Baltimore Sun photographer Barbara Haddock Taylor.
Dream Home: Creating a Masterpiece
On the side lawn of his cottage, at the end of a long driveway, Harry Richardson gestures broadly to first-time visitors."We live on 20 acres," he says proudly. "And at the end of it, there’s a lake."
Those who know him can easily see where the artist gets a lot of the inspiration for his watercolors. Even on a cold winter’s day, several dozen tall pine trees, their trunks casting long shadows on the deep snow, follow the rolling hills downward to Lake Linganore. Up at the crest of these hills, Harry Richardson and his wife, Debbie, a painter and glass artist, beckon guests to the back entrance of their Frederick County home, the original part of which dates to around 1800.
Inside, natural morning light brightens a large kitchen in this addition to the original cottage. Beams fall onto cabinets that were taken from a neighbor who did not care for the sound of the wood’s name — wormy chestnut. But here in the Richardson’s cottage, the wood is appropriate for what they call their "Early American comfortable" style.
"In 1975, I paid $62,000 for my stone cottage and about 14 acres," Harry Richardson said. "Imagine that! You can spend that much on a luxury automobile these days."
Since that time, he added two parcels for his total of over 20 acres. Additions to the house came in 1978, in the form of kitchen remodeling and two rooms for studio space adjacent to the original first floor and a partially below-ground area for his wife’s studio.
"I did a lot of the work myself with the help of friends," he said. "I used native fieldstone and recycled vintage flooring and barn beams. I even drew up the building plans myself. This is called sweat equity."
The original stone cottage was a German-American architectural style often referred to as "two, two and two," referring to the two rooms on each of three floors, including the cellar. What was once the main room or parlor is now a dining room with a large stone fireplace that has a life-size painting of a rifle over the mantel. Another feature in the room is an original, oak dough tray cabinet, a buffet-type piece of furniture with a top that lifts up allowing the bread dough to rise.
In 1987, Harry Richardson built a 26-by-32-foot, two-story gallery and frame shop on the property just yards from the main house. Materials, including cedar clapboard siding, cost about $25,000, which he asserts is amazing by today’s prices.
"Here again, I drew up the plans and did a lot of the finish home remodeling work myself," he said. "I hired my neighbor to help with the heavy framing and roofing."
It is in the main-floor gallery that the couple exhibit their work, and while it is open by appointment only, twice a year they host an open house. They also sell their work at craft shows. For the most part, though, they revel in hearth and home. "We live a simple life here," Debbie Richardson said.
The Richardson’s early 19th-century stone cottage is embellished with additions of cypress clapboard siding milled with a Colonial lap-bead. The roof shingles are fiberglass but have been built to replicate the original wood shingles. The house, as well as a separate gallery/frame shop, sits on over 20 acres of land that rolls to the banks of Lake Linganore in New Market, Frederick County. The cottage is also a registered Frederick County landmark.
Colonial cottage-style furniture comprises the decor of the original house and its additions. Many of the pieces are antiques bought at shops, shows and auction. In the living/family room addition, for example, leather sofas sit perpendicular in front of a wood-burning stove. A coffee table that Harry Richardson fashioned out of a walnut slab adds to the grouping, as does an antique pine corner cabinet dating to 1820 and a rocking chair from 1870 — a family heirloom.
The Richardsons display personal collections throughout the cottage. Debbie Richardson’s antique glass jar collection sits on several windowsills, aglow with light passing through the variety of their colors, some reflecting onto the walls and floors. A large watercolor portrait by Harry Richardson of his grandmother on the front porch of her farmhouse hangs in the couple’s dining room. At one time, the piece was exhibited in the Corcoran Gallery of Art.
To return to Harry’s home page, click here www.flickr.com/photos/richardsonart/
Tagged: , Harry Richardson , Deborah Lovelace Richardson