Willek, Marian and Dennis drove up to Maine to paint surf with me along the Marginal Way in Ogunquit. Willek is a Renaissance man which I sort of suspected and Marian confirmed. She’s been painting with him for maybe… 15 years?
When we finished our morning paintings decided to head over to Perkins Cove. Willek went to his car and fetched this priceless little item that he had made. He wanted to give to me. Here he is showing me how to use it.
Tis a simple wooden cigar box.
Open it and you are gazing at a palette with a thumb hole.
Behind the palette is a black mirror with value viewer, a miniature copper brush washer, an adjustable brace to angle the lid/easel to your specifications, a plastic one hand flip bottle to hold your mineral spirits, a big clip to hold your panel on your easel/lid and plastic wrap to put over your wet paint on the palette when you need to move to another location!
Here is this little cigar box pochade in action holding one of my 6×6 square panels. Do I love this or what? !!!!!!
Of course here is Willek using his cigar box while sitting on the dock and half in a dory in Perkins Cove in the warm afternoon sun. He’s one of a kind ! I love this guy !
I am trying out new materials to see how they behave. I am used to doing watercolor sketches on cheap 60 lb. paper. I liked these papers so much I just had 7 sketchbooks made out of stacks of my paper at Kinkos. So great! So I will be sketching and painting on cotton this summer. Here are a few tests I did on 140 lb. and 300 lb. Arches, Somerset & Rives BFK paper. Paints are Daniel Smith watercolors.
Rocky coast & pines, Schoodic, ME. on Rives BFK 140 lb.
Catching some wind on the Damariscotta River, Damariscotta, ME. on 300 lb.Arches.
Golden grasses & scrub pines on Drakes Island, ME. on 300 lb.Arches.
Rain clouds at sunset, N. Berwick, on 300 lb. Arches.
Bright sail on John’s Bay, South Bristol, ME on 300 lb. Arches.
I live about 15 miles from Harris Island. It’s a great area in York Harbor , ME where two of the town docks are located. Now that the bridge is being repaired on route 103 the road is closed into town so its a perfect quiet place to paint with only a few cars and trucks driving to the docks.
It was a warm sunny morning with snow clouds moving in from the west around midday. Here I’m looking east out to sea with a view of the tip of the island at low tide. The deepest channel forms a curving river pattern in the sand. I did a sketch here.
On the other side of the road there is another bay. I turned and painted this about an hour and a half later. It was filling up fast with the incoming tide.
Here’s the sketch I did before the tide and dark clouds moved in.
Shortly after 4:00 pm I moved to one more location a bit farther up the road.There was this large piece of snow on the western side of this small tree covered island in the marsh.
I set up and quickly painted a 20 min study. I had only a small amount of time as I had to head off to teach a sketch class that night.
Here I am still set up in the last bit of light before I packed up and drove off.
Think this might be some of the last snow on Harris Island for this winter. I’m not holding my breath, its March and we do get big snow storms in March. Here’s the sketch with a bit more paint on it. Still not finished.
We just had a monster storm in Maine with rain & 90 mph winds here along the coast. We had 7.5 ” rain in the coastal plain over night, inland they got hit with heavy snow. The big wind and the water combination was wild! 150 roads were closed in our county.
Two days after the storm departed it still kept sending bands of snow and rain in off the ocean. I went over to Israel’s Head in Ogunquit to paint the surf. This is the surf at the mouth of Perkins Cove as the tide is going out.
There is usually some wave action on the rocks on the Marginal Way. Today it was quite lively and even a bit too rough for the usual surfers. Nobody was out on their boards. It started to snow heavily so I moved inside the car to do some sketches.
View of surf hitting the point from Perkins Cove. This one is watercolor pencil & watercolor on 90 lb. paper.
The point awash in foam. Never seen so much beautiful white frothy foam – made you want to jump in it. This sketch is ink, water color pencil & watercolors on 125 lb. paper.
More rocks and foamy waves.
A big one hits the ledge and delivers a sloppy foamy crash.
After the foamy crash, now pulling back into the briny deep.
The following day the clouds were beginning to break up so I went to Moody Beach and Wells to see what was happening. The weather was better – no sideways snow so I could set up and get a painting in before dark.
It was low tide and still the surf was crashing.
Here’s a quick wave sketch I did.
As I packed up the sun was peaking through tiny openings in the clouds as more of that big storm headed out to sea. Its really nice living& painting in this land of big sky, big water and big weather!
Sanctuary Arts & Green Foundry is an art school and foundry in Eliot, Maine. The school offers great classes for adults and children. The foundry is a fine art sculpture and teaching facility that is famous for fabricating the Robert Indiana HOPE sculpture for Obama at the Democratic National Convention.
This is where I am teaching a sketchbook class for the winter semester. The main building was a church. Christopher Gowell a well known sculptor, owns and runs the school.
Here is the main entrance to the class rooms and studios . Steven Lee sculpted the head planter near the door.
Here is the large studio where I hold my class. The windows are 2 stories high. There are lots of sculptures in various stages of completion.
Here are my wonderful students hard at work. They are sketching with ink. This class prepares them for sketching and painting while traveling or out and about in the world. It’s about how to do art while smack dab in the middle of your life and end up with something nice. The class helps one establish good habits for sketching and painting. Its about learning to see and developing a good critical visual sense.
This is a multi stage exercise using parts of landscapes images to depict form and compose a design. Here the students were using watercolor on ink sketches completed earlier.
Here we are doing an exercise that we would do after coming in from a day of traveling and sketching when we couldn’t paint on location. We add color or water to ink or watercolor pencil sketches using our notes and fresh memories of what we sketched that day for reference.
These exercises are fun and require their full attention. And water soluble, move able ink is one of the best things an artist can use for quick, great value sketches. Here is one of those great watercolor pencil sets with 100 + colors. For color notes on location it can’t be beat… unless you have the time and a spot where you can to set up and actually use your paints!
I headed over to Cape Neddick last week to paint the ice on the river before it all melted. Its tidal so its dramatically different as the tide rises and falls.
Here is where I set up along the road. I am looking east down the river toward a small harbor, the open ocean is just beyond. It was a beautiful day.
My friend Heather lives in the neighborhood. She took this picture of me doing a small sketch looking west up the river with the sun dropping lower in the sky.
Here is the river and its collar of ice as it heads up into the woods. It is so difficult to paint facing into the sun but I wanted to do it as I know there are only a few days left before these spring like temperatures melt all that great ice.
I am really concentrating here trying not to let the glare off the snow blind me. It was so brilliant that sometime I could barely see my pallette or painting. When a cloud floated by I’d try to see if I was getting my color relationships to read.
Here’s the sketch I did in the field. I have’t worked on it in the studio. I’m thinking I might use as a reference for a larger painting.
Cape Neddick is right next to Ogunquit so I went over to the Marginal Way next to see what was cooking.
The snow on the rocks was gorgeous. There was big surf crashing as the sun dropped down behind the trees. I was running out of light so I did a quick sketch . The temps were dropping fast and the wind was picking up.