Painters at Turbat’s Creek

Turbat’s Creek in Cape Porpoise is a piece of southern Maine coastline that has the same look as 40 years ago. The cluster of traditional fish shacks is still there. The water in the creek is cleaner now than it was then. 
It’s a favorite spot for painters. When you visit you will know why.
Island View, 16×20, oil

At low tide the creek is so shallow you can wade through it and walk out to the nearby island.

All kinds of old dock pilings poke out of the sand on the edge of the creek near the fish shacks.
It was sunny and warm on this day. I chose this location for a meeting of Plein Air Painters of Maine. When I arrived Ellen And Flo were already busy painting.
Flo had a big solar umbrella that kept both her and the easel out of the direct sun, so she could see her colors clearly.
Barbara arrived and tucked herself in under the shade of some small trees for a good view of the back of the fish houses.
Carol went out on the pebbly beach near the harbor. Painters were all over the place! It was a hub of productive activity on the creek today.
I spied a nice patch of marsh grass with tidal pools looking toward Vaughn’s Island. 
I sketched my design in pencil.
Next I painted in the view on my panel in burnt sienna. I marked my dark areas and looked at the shapes I was placing. 
I put in colors and kept building the shapes in a three dimensional form as I went.
The day started out perfectly clear. In the early afternoon clouds began to fill the sky. 
It was actually nice to have some relief from the sun. The cast shadows made the landscape look more interesting.
When I had arrived at Turbat’s Creek in the morning the tide was low and still going out.
Recently I’ve been painting larger on location. Today I was painting a mid-size painting and finished most of it on site. 
My husband Marcus arrived by mid-afternoon and set his easel up by the boat launch near a fish shack. 
Painters arrived and departed all day long, some came early, others came late in the day depending on their preference for lighting conditions.  Suzanne arrived to paint the late afternoon light from a nice vantage point on the the rocky beach. 
There were many visitors coming by all day. It was great! I saw friends I hadn’t seen since last summer. I’d stop to talk to them then continue on with my painting. 
The sun dropped lower in the west, and the colors on the land, sky and water were beautiful. This is my favorite time of the day to paint. 
Long shadows stretched across the sand.
I had recorded enough information to call it a day. I can finish the painting in the studio.
I went to over to the beach to tell Suzanne I was heading home.  She and I were the last painters left. 
Suddenly a police car and big red truck towing a boat pulled into Turbat’s Creek Road. I  had to move my easel out of the boat launch area – fast!  
The police launched the boat in the water and took off for Vaughn’s Island – hot on the trial of some outlaw reported to be over there. 
It was an exciting day at Turbat’s Creek. I was happy to head home with an almost finished  painting! 

Spring Fever

Its happened ! Even here up north where we still have 3 feet of snow in the woods and all over our lawns…it was 52 today and the snow is almost gone from the marshes…

On the Mousam River in Kennebunk, ME the high tide left bits of ice stranded up on the edge of the marsh. The open ocean is just on the other side of that small peninsula.
I decided this afternoon was perfect for sketching. It was so beautiful I wanted to go to as many locations as I could. 
When we stopped at the Rachel Carson marshes in Kennebunk it was low tide.  
It so nice to be out when its  peaceful and calm. There was just a hint of breeze coming up the mouth of the river from the ocean.
Sketching with charcoal on multimedia paper is my latest thing. I like to try different materials and mediums. I’m going to paint these sketches with watercolors back in my studio.
The tides this winter changed the shoreline of the river. Small islands are forming along one edge. Nice shapes…I’m going to paint these for sure! 
Sketching trips like this are great.  I get to scout old and new locations, see the changes and see what catches my eye.  My equipment and supplies are so compact I can carry them in one hand. 
I am a student of the sketching /drawing school..I can never sketch or draw enough.  It is such a liberating activity… free of the pressure to have to make something…
…and I end up really seeing things, sketching them over and over and seeing them differently each time…   
You get to to know your subject intimately, all the nuances of light, weather, temperature, chroma, value… 
It becomes something of yours…something beyond a depiction of a place.  
Marcus drove us around on this sketching expedition. We were traveling instinctively. He turned down a road that took us to the end of the peninsula we earlier saw from the marshes.

At low tide you could walk out to Strawberry Island.
I set up my paints for a quick oil sketch of the sun on the water.
Marcus sketched leaning against the side of the car.

The challenge of this situation was the back lighting and unbelievable reflection on the water.  It was blinding.
I wanted to do a small sketch with just yellow, red, blue and white and mix all my lovely sensitive grays from them.  I’m teaching a color class and want to show them what a limited palette can do.

The last stop on our wander was the town dock in Kennebunkport.

The parking lot was empty. In summer this place is packed with trucks. It was quiet, the harbor was empty, almost all the lobster boats were gone…in dry dock somewhere.
 The tide was coming in and the moon was rising.  It feels like spring.


SEE Videos at PAINT EAT SLEEP

Kennebunkport, Artists & Wet Paint

A whole bunch of artists arrived this past week to paint in Kennebunkport, ME and a few of its the neighboring communities.  Turbot’s Creek was a favorite spot.

I painted out there with John Caggiano  and Lucia deLeiris. 
This is looking east out toward Vaughn’s Island, which you can walk to at low tide.  

On another much foggier day I painted along Shore Road in Kennebunkport . Here is the beginning of a painting overlooking the coast. 

Below me set up in nice spots among the rocks painting rocks and surf was Phillip Frey, Stefan Pastuhov and…

of course Stapleton Kearns doing a favorite surf and turf scene.  These guys are the greatest to paint with!  

After three days of painting, the opening on Saturday evening at The Gallery on Chase Hill was a big event. Here is the crew from Heartwood College of Art one of the sponsors of the event.  

Amy Bouchard the gallery manager doing some last minute things like making sure I had my name tag! 

It was a mob scene.  At times you couldn’t even move into the next room , it was wall to wall people.
Phillip Frey, me and Leonard Mizerek.

 
I went out to the porch with Nancy Davidson a friend of my husband’s for 22 years!   

The crowd inside was so dense that the party had expanded to the porch where I joined Stapleton who was sitting on the steps.

Lucia, Stefan, Stapleton and I relaxing on the front porch next to the sculpture garden.   
Here’s one of the paintings I did during the week.  Its the building on the Kennebunkport town dock that is going to be torn down and replaced this coming winter.  All these fishermen stopped by to talk to me while I was painting it.  It was a great week of painting!  

Day I ~ The Plein Air Painters Invitational ~ Kennebunkport

The Maine Art Gallery hosted the Plein Air Painters Invitational as part of Arts in the Inns in Kennebunkport, ME. Thirteen painters arrived from all over the country to paint for 3 days in the Kennebunks and Cape Porpoise. My day’s painting schedule started with a bright location in the marshes at Rachel Carson.

For a sketch at Parsons Beach at midday the light and clouds were already changing.

When I parked in the afternoon to paint on the Mousam River it was overcast.

While painting a quick sketch of the Pineapple in dry dock the sun peaked through around 6pm.


I started my last painting of the day at the mouth of the harbor in Kennebunkport at 800 pm. During the day I painted 6×8’s, 8×10’s and 9×12 ‘s. It was a long day.

Day IV ~ The Opening & the Luminaries

The opening was in the Gallery on Chase Hill, a great spot overlooking the harbor. Marcus came so I’m in some of the pictures. Here I am with artists John Caggiano and Lori Putnam.

John caught up with his old friend Stapleton Kearns. He and Stapleton go back 30 years. They both lived and had galleries on Bearskin Neck in Rockport, MA. John’s galllery is still there at # 66. Stapleton now lives in NH.
A pause with Stefan Pastuhov. Stefan hails from Linconville, ME.

Gallery manager Amy Boucher stopped to visit with Anthony Watkins and me. Anthony painted a portrait of artist Lucia deLeiris in the garden of the Nonatum just before he arrived at the opening!

Artist Kathy Delumpa Allegri of Portland OR. might be the artist who traveled the farthest to the invitational. Here she is with some of the watercolors she painted during the week.

To see the paintings on view in the Gallery at Chase Hill http://www.maine-art.com/OnlineShow.asp

Day II ~ Champagne & Artists in Kennebunkport

Thursday was sunny and warm for the Tattinger champagne reception in the evening on the lawn of the Breakers. Four artists painted the view from the lawn during the reception, Leonard Mizerek , Joan van Roden White, Stapleton Kearns and myself. Here artists Lori Putnam and Anthony Watkins chat as Leonard Mizerek (in the background wearing the brimmed hand) paints lobster boats in the harbor as guests head over to watch him work on the painting.

Three tents housed the food, drinks, guests and paintings on display.





Artists Anthony Watkins, Stefan Pastuhov and Paul Goodnow chatted with Stapleton Kearns as he painted a view of the harbor from the lawn’s edge.





Here’s my 6×8″ sketch looking at Kennebunkport Harbor. I set up my EasyL behind Stapleton and looked to my right for a clear view of my subject. I set my timer and painted for 20 min. to keep it fresh and keep me focused as artists and collectors watched us paint and chatted with us .

Day III ~ Turbats Creek & Walker Point

Turbats Creek is a real treasure ! It’s a piece of Maine that used to be the norm around here. Up north you can find fish shacks but I didn’t know there were any around here till Paul, John & Stapleton painted them on Wednesday.

While painting at Walker Point the fog drifted in and out from a big fog bank out over the open water.





The view looking south from Walker’s Point toward Thunder Hole.



Turbats Creek has a village of fish shacks on stilts that at high tide are sitting over water. They are used as cottages for the summer months. Awesome places! A local told me they are called “sweep outs”.



Three of us were painting down by the boat launch. This location was so popular this week I think 1/3 of the painters went to paint there.