Sunday, June 2, 2013

Road Trip: Mount Desert Island and Pemaquid Point – Day 3

View from the Light of the Pemaquid Lighthouse
Our second day at the Pastel Painters of Maine retreat (my third day), started off with a sunrise walk around Pemaquid Point.  Sunrise here is early – 4:57 a.m – and things were pretty quiet.  Around 7:30, I headed out to breakfast with a few folks at the adjacent restaurant (Seagull Gift Shop and Oceanfront Restaurant).  But as I went out, I met three painters coming in.  They'd already been out and painted before breakfast.  These are dedicated painters!

Pemaquid Point View 12x18 pastel
I was scheduled to do the traditional Saturday morning demonstration, so after breakfast I had a chance to scope out a few possible locations I'd identified on Friday.  The shadows had moved just as I had expected, so I settled on a spot and at 9, gathered the troops.  I don't think I've ever had so many painters in the field watching me paint.  I believe all 31 of them looked on from a variety of perches including picnic tables, folding chairs and stools.  The demo went well, and after the others departed for their own choice locations,  I was able to spend the rest of the morning on it.

View of  Painters from the Light of the Lighthouse
Done with the demo, I took a break.  I'd been painting in the shade and, believe it or not, I was actually chilled.  (Meanwhile, a few miles inland, temps were reaching 90.)  I moved into the sun and toured the lighthouse.  I got some great shots from the light – 30 steps up a spiral staircase plus seven steps up a ladder – of the painters.  Then I ate a quick lunch and checked e-mail.  We have no cell reception here, but we do have a great wi-fi connection.

Pemaquid Rocks Study 9x12, pastel
I was also scheduled to host the 4 p.m. group critique, but I wanted to get one more  painting in plus a much-needed shower.   I set up in the shade of the “fuel house” with a view of Pemaquid's spectacularly linear rocks reaching out into the water.  This was a quick, intuitive sketch for  me.  I used a black Conte stick to draw with first, and then laid pastel loosely over these gestural lines.

By 4, I was ready for the troops.  Paintings were laid out, and for an hour, we had a great discussion on the paintings – what worked, what didn't.  I was pleased with the overall high quality of the work.  Although this is a pastel group, several of the members also work in oil, watercolor and other media, so there were a few examples of these as well, which gave us an opportunity to expand our discussion.

Dinner followed quickly after.  This time, we headed five miles up to New Harbor and to Shaw's.  Shaw's reminds me of Thurston's in Bernard, only this place is bigger and with more going on.  It's also  where you take the Hardy Boat cruise to Monhegan.  New Harbor is a very scenic bay inlet with very  paintable buildings and boats.  Since I forgot my camera – how could I possibly do that? – I will have to go back in the morning to take some reference photos and perhaps to even paint a bit.

Weather for the proposed Monhegan trip tomorrow looks iffy.  NOAA is calling for seas of 4-7 feet and has already issused a small craft advisory.  Unfortunately, I need to be home sooner than later, so I'm not going to Monhegan, anyway.  But, I do plan to paint in the morning.  Many in the group are spending another night.  Even if we couldn't paint tomorrow, I would go away satisified.  We've had two very beautiful painting days!


Kim Vanlandingham said...

These are fantastic.

Michael Chesley Johnson, Artist / Writer said...

Thank you, Kimberly!

Sonja Oldenburg said...

These are so gorgeous, I would love to paint plein air in a place like this.