While in Maine, I was sitting on the front porch with Bob Bahr, a writer for Plein Air magazine, and telling him that I finally found a UPS truck. He knew I’d been looking for one for several days and wanted to hear the story. I was pleasantly surprised to see it published in Outdoor Painter.
I meant to ship my egg tempera painting Companionship to Crossnore Gallery before I left for Maine last month. The painting of a pair of cows came from cruising around Avery county in North Carolina a couple years ago. I’ve written before how I was on a hunt to find the elusive Charolais cows.
The framed painting sat on the easel for viewing, and when I went to box it, I realized I hadn’t signed it. . . Dang it! In order to do that I’d have to break an egg and grind pigments. Figuring I’ll just sign it and ship it from Maine, I put it in the back seat of the car with my egg tempera supplies.
I signed the painting in Maine, and boxed it up to ship, figuring I’d take it to Staples in Rockland, as they ship UPS. I went online to create a shipping label and discovered that I couldn’t insure it by shipping it through Staples. I would have to print the label with delivery receipts and have a UPS employee sign. Which in a rural area meant finding a UPS driver. So I made up the label and lacking a printer, emailed it to Staples and drove an hour round trip to get it printed.
With the package ready to ship, I drove around for a couple of days hoping to catch sight of a brown truck. No luck. On a rainy day I went to the Farnsworth museum and coming out to the car, saw a UPS truck just pulling away and turning the corner down the one-way main street. Jumping in the car I tore out after the disappearing taillights.
Turning on to main street I saw no brown truck. Now the main street in Rockland is one way as are all the side streets leading off of it. I slowed down at the first intersection and looked down the road. No brown truck. Did the same at the next few corners and then I went up and down the one way roads. No truck. It was becoming as elusive as finding the cows were to paint.
Finally I gave up and headed back to Port Clyde.
I drove around with the box in the back seat for a couple more days and asked around town if they knew when the UPS truck came by. It depends, folks said kindly, he could be here or there. The Port Clyde postmaster even came outside to tell me he might be down Horsepoint road at such and such a time. . . He wasn’t.
Highway 131 being the main road out of Port Clyde, I reckoned if I positioned myself near the end late in the day, I might have a chance of catching that truck.
Which is how the plein air oil painting of the Robbins-Anderson farm, South Thomaston Waiting for UPS, and the article in Outdoor Painter came to be.
The egg tempera painting, Companionship is available at Crossnore Gallery.
Inquire at the studio about the plein air oil painting,Waiting for UPS.