Friday, May 31, 2013

Road Trip: Mount Desert Island and Pemaquid Point – Days 1, 2

Pemaquid Point Light
Each year, the Pastel Painters of Maine gathers at famously scenic Pemaquid Point to paint.  This year, I realized I had some room in my schedule, so I decided I'd go.  I was delighted when they asked if I would also present the traditional Saturday morning demonstration and do an afternoon critique for them.  So, yesterday, with Trina's blessing, I packed up the car and headed down the coast.

The Margaret Todd 9x12 oil
I wanted to spend a day on Mount Desert Island, so I made sure to arrange a night at a friend's house.  (I stayed with Gail Ribas, director of Acadia Workshop Center; she and her husband have become good friends of ours over the years.)  I arrived in the fog, but by the time I got to Bar Harbor, the fog had started to “scale,” as the locals put it.  I wanted to paint boats on my visit to MDI, so I was happy to find the schooner Margaret Todd at dock and not scheduled to leave until afternoon.  The fog made for a particularly mysterious scene.

Thurston's 9x12 oil
After a little lunch, I wandered on down to Northeast Harbor, which usually has some good boats.  But,  it is still early in the season, and the sailboats aren't really out at their moorings yet.  I prefer to paint working boats, anyway, so I drove to Bernard, near Thurston's Lobster Pound, where I can almost always find a hard-working boat.  I found this scallop dragger sitting at dock.

By the end of the day, I was beat, but the weather had turned out fine, so I took a nice hike at Ship Harbor before heading to Gail's.

This morning, I headed out at the crack of dawn for Pemaquid.  Hot weather was forecast, and I was shocked when I got all the way to Waldoboro, where you turn off the main highway to follow the peninsula to Pemaquid,  and the car thermometer already read 81 degrees – and it was only 9 a.m.!  But it was breezy and cool at the lighthouse.  I unpacked my gear and headed down to meet the other painters.

By the way, I painted in oil all day at MDI, and I decided to use up my paint and paint in oil my first day at Pemaquid.  (I'll return to pastel tomorrow for the demonstration and for the rest of the weekend.)

Pemaquid Fuel Oil House 9x12, oil
After my first painting, which was of the “fuel oil” building, I checked into my room at Hotel Pemaquid.  This is a beautifully-kept historic hotel with a carriage house.  The carriage house is functioning as our studio, should the weather turn.  From my second floor room, I have a good view of the ocean.  I could probably even see Monhegan Island, if the air weren't so thick out over the water.

Bell House 9x12, oil (painted with a knife)
I worked through lunch and did a second painting.  This was of the brick bell house.  (You can tell I am fascinated by these little structures; they could almost be hermit homes.)  Afterward, at the afternoon critique session, I caught up with my friends Caren-Marie Michel and Nita Leger Casey.  We all had dinner at the little restaurant next door.  This is a really great group – serious painters who know how to have fun.  I'm looking forward to tomorrow!

Hotel Pemaquid

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