For the past couple of weeks I’ve been in Port Clyde, Maine. I’m staying at a house my good friend and talented painter Mary Erickson leases for two months in the summer. She rents rooms out to other artists and the house becomes an energetic, community art camp. Renowned painter Don Demers came up last week and the house was full of his students including a lovely, lively bunch of ladies from the Carolina’s who cooked fabulous meals and entertained us all with humorous southern stories.
The days are long, and for us dedicated painters addicted to sunlight, usually begin at 5:30 a.m. as the first blush breaks the horizon and ends after sunset around 8 in the evening.
This is my third year in Maine. The first two I drove all over the place wanting to see everything. One of my first visits was a pilgrimage to the Olson house.
It takes me two or three years to get to know a place and figure out what I want to express about it in my work. This year I decided to work around Port Clyde and Tenants Harbor and in so doing have met many interesting people. Tony and Joan who summer here on their Grand Banks trawler, graciously invited me aboard and while there an Englishman rowed over from his sailboat and we were invited to tour his yacht. It turns out he owns a prestigious art gallery in London and deals exclusively in Old Master paintings.
The brilliant author, budding plein air painter and all around fascinating Catherine Steiner-Adair has a summer cottage here and has been painting with us every chance she gets. She was on book tour last year, speaking about her insightful and timely book: “The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age”.
The locals here are so welcoming and I’ve received many invitations. Glen the gregarious plumber collects everything he can and stores it in his fish shack. American Pickers would have a field day in it. The window boxes of friendly flowers adorning the tiny post office match Sandra the postmasters smile who greets me by name now when I drop in to mail my Mary a letter.
I bumped into Jamie Wyeth coming off his boat with the awesome name “Dreadnaught”. He dresses in in a black coat and mismatched 18th century stockings and is quite nice.
I’ll post some of my work and thoughts on plein air painting in my next missive. Right now the light is getting good and I’m heading up to Turkey Cove.