Perkins Cove

Perkins Cove is just south of the village of Ogunquit.  Its a tiny harbor that is well protected and active all year.  Marian, Willek,  Dennis and I set up facing west along the harbor.  

Here is the view that was right in front of me as I set up.

The boats were coming in for the day and the lobster men were mooring their skiffs on the docks below me.  Willek went down to check out the view from water level.    
Marian and Dennis set up to paint on the walk way above the docks, a nice place with benches running the length. They had plenty of space as its off season. In summer its crowded with tourists.   
Willek asked the guys if he could sit with his feet in their boat. No problem.  The dock he was on was constantly moving. 

Here’s a picture of my painting as I was getting ready to work on the water. 

Right after I took this picture all heck broke loose.  A sport fishing boat pulled in, tied up right in front of me and about 10 or more guys got off with about 300 (or more) pounds of fish. It was chaos. People were swarming around me.  Piles of fish on ice were being loaded into big coolers on the dock.  Big guys were hauling the coolers up the stairs to their truck.  I had to move my easel.  Packed it up for the day. Marian, Willek, Dennis, Marcia and I headed off to dinner at the Old Post Road.  Awesome food!    We had a good day. Sketch is on canvas panel  8×10.   

Painting on Marginal Way, Ogunquit, Maine

Marian, Willek and Dennis headed up to Maine to paint for the day with me.  We were hoping for big surf as our subject matter.  This is the view from Israel’s Head looking south on toward Perkins Cove.   

No such luck!  It was as calm as a lake.  Such is the life of plein air painters 
Marian set up facing north looking toward the rocks with Ogunquit Beach in the background. 

Willek & Dennis of course went out farther into the big craggy stuff and set up on the edge.

Willek is down on the rocks on the side of a crevice which in rougher weather would be dicey.

Dennis was on the side of the path tucked into the hill side. A least he could step back and not worry about falling off. 

A couple of big guys who were walking by were so impressed with Willek’s start that they wanted his biz card so they could see the painting when he was finished.

Here Marian is working away .  It was calm and peaceful so she even had her umbrella up! 

I decided to paint this view of the rocks. 

Here is my start. See Marian holding her hat? Well, a big wind came in and blew her umbrella inside out and then it was gusty for the rest of the time. A front was coming in.

This is where I decide to stop on this painting.

I went and found Wilek packing up .

And Dennis cleaning his palette. We then headed off to pick up some lunch and set up in our afternoon location, Perkins Cove.  

Mackerel Cove

I spent the afternoon painting in Mackerel Cove on Baileys Island. This is a busy working harbor, all year round it is packed with boats going in and out all day. 
I set up on Abner Point Road and had a good view of the wharf and lobster coop. 

It was sunny and warm when I started to block in the wharf and small cove.
Soon the wind picked up, the temperature dropped, I could see my breath and I pulled on a wool sweater(& my wool mitts).  I had to stand behind my car and paint to stay out of the wind. 
At the top of the cove there was a tiny beach and park that local families came to walk and sail kites. Boats were pulled up on the beach.
This small shack sat on the edge of the cove.  I fell in love with it.  It was so old and hadn’t been touched in years. 
Here’s a quick sketch I did of it in my book.  Marker & watercolor 60 lb. paper.
For my last painting of the day I decided to paint a boat that was moored at the wharf. 
Here’s the beginning of the sketch. The boat was driven off while I was painting it.  Typical and not the first time my subject was taken away while I was painting it in plein air! 

This is the view of Mackerel Cove at sunset from Harpswell Island Road as I was getting ready to head back home.  

Lands End on Bailey’s Island, Maine

On Bailey Island if you keep driving by Mackerel Cove and go straight you will end up at the southern tip of the island.
It was getting late but I was so close to lands end I had to go and get in a few sketches and maybe a few nocturnes before I headed back up to Brunswick for dinner. (There is no food to be had unless you go up to Brunswick.)  
It was lovely at lands end- it was very quiet, just us and a local elderly couple sitting and watching the water from their truck. 
The sun had set and the light was gorgeous.  I walked around and sketched rocks, land, water and any shape and arrangement of forms that caught my eye.
This statue is out on lands end, in memory of all the lobstermen who have such hard lives on the water.  I have a deep place in my memory bank for this lobsterman.  What a classic. Its bigger than life size.  Every time I see him he’s so familiar…that’s what you do with something you first saw as a youngster.  

 I am so at home in this place. The way the land reaches out into the water, the way all the paths of water travel up into all the bays and coves on the land.   I just want to stay here and set up my studio.  Ok now I have to photograph all the watercolors I did of this place and post them! 

Watercolor Workshop en plein air at Canterbury Shaker Village

I have a few workshops coming up in some gorgeous places….


The first one is The Sketchbook Journal – sketching and painting with watercolors in Canterbury Shaker Village, Canterbury, NH. 
The workshop is May 22nd & 23rd.  


This workshop is great for all levels.   

You will get a chance to try a number of techniques. Materials list available.


  The setting is spectacular with great open meadows, interesting architecture, and big sky action. 


Of course these pictures were taken a few weeks ago, when we are up there painting all the leaves will be out, the flowers will blooming and sheep will be dotting the hillsides…



Come paint some juicy paintings !  



To see more samples of some of plein air watercolor sketches check out  Field Sketches
You can get all the details for the workshop at  Canterbury Shaker Village

Spring in Cundy’s Harbor

Cundy’s Harbor is a small harbor a little way down on the peninsula from Brunswick, Maine.   The sun was warm in this spot and we were protected from the breeze off the ocean that was chilly.

I set up on the back lawn of the public library. No leaves on the trees yet so I could see the harbor pretty easily .
This is the view looking south down the length of the peninsula toward the open ocean. A few boats were in the harbor.  There were many empty moorings. I did a quick 20 minute sketch. 
Behind me was a dock that had a stone tank built along side it . I think its for holding lobsters before taking them market. I’ve never seen one of these before – no one was around to ask.  This harbor is not busy year round. 
 Here I am starting a sketch of a dock on the north side of the harbor.
Here’s the sketch on its way to being finished, 8×10 oil on panel.  This was it for the morning location. After this I packed up and headed over to Abner’s Point for an afternoon of painting.

Willek’s Pochade Box

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 ! 

Wet Paint & Thick Paper

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. 

Winter Painting on the Water

Sometimes when storms are coming there is a relative calm and the wind dies down. Its fairly unusual to not have wind either off shore or on shore along the coast.  Its warmer and easier to paint with out the wind. This day was one of these rare quiet days . I grabbed my paints and headed out in the late afternoon to see what I could find.



The first place I stopped was at the mouth of a small river in Cape Neddick where it opens into a bay . You can see how cold it is, the salt water has ice on it.  But there were too many big snow banks to find a place to park.


I decided to go to York Harbor which is often very windy .   It was peaceful and calm – so rare.  


As you can see I was minutes after new snow. Fresh snow was on everything forming nice patterns and forms. A row of empty docks looked like a little train. 


Way out over the ocean was a band of yellow light where the sky was clear, the heavy bank of clouds hadn’t reached it yet. 

I did a quick sketch of that warm light and the river bank before it got too dark. By the time I took this picture the clouds had moved in. It was starting to snow. Have to grab these moments when you have them.

Painting on Harris Island

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.