Thursday, May 15, 2008

West Quoddy Head Morning

We've had uncommonly good weather for the last several days here in the Maritimes. Dry, cool -- perfect for painting outdoors. The timing is good, since I'm photographing a series of painting demonstrations for the new book.

(Update: See the sequence shots of the demonstration here.)

Today, I went out to West Quoddy Head State Park over in Lubec, Maine. Just a few minutes from my home on Campobello Island, the park's biggest attraction is the lighthouse. Thousands of tourists visit it each year. But for me, the attraction is the series of bold cliffs that stretch down the coast. If you lean out far enough from the hiking trail, you can get a serious case of vertigo.

I've got a couple of favorite rocks I like to paint here. I set up my easel at an overlook, about a five-minute walk from the lighthouse, which features one of them. This rock is like a castle's parapet:

Usually on this side of the Head, there's a stiff wind. Not so today. As you can see, I was even able to set up my umbrella.

This time of year, the Park gets very few visitors. I saw just one person while I was painting, and I think it was one of attendants, who was getting things ready for the summer season. My only other company: the waves lapping at the rocks 60 feet below me.

Here's the painting from today. For the record, I did 90% of the painting outside with Faber-Castell Polychromos pastels, followed by some touch-up in the studio with Mount Vision pastels. The painting was done on Wallis Sanded Pastel Paper (white), using a Guerrilla Painter 9x12 pastel setup.

"West Quoddy Morning"
9x12, pastel, en plein air

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