It was a perfect Marginal Way evening. I headed over with all my painting gear to the Beachmere Inn. When we arrived the tide was high and the waves were foaming around the rocks as I set up my easel just off the foot path on the Marginal Way. I really like painting at this location late in the day. If the tide is right and the sun is out the colors are wonderful.
It was a quiet evening with thunderheads on the far distant western horizon. It was still and there wasn’t even a breeze off the water. People stopped to chat with me as they strolled along the path on their way to dinner in the restaurants in Perkins Cove.
The rain clouds stayed in the distance, they never arrived at the coast. Right before sunset the clouds cleared and the sun lit up the rocks, waves and beach just before it disappeared behind the horizon.
Last week when I was out painting I toned a bunch of small canvases. I started to think about painting a big landscape on a small canvas. I want to paint a series of small landscapes of the big open spaces around me.
I often paint with a group of painters from Plein Air Painters of Maine. When I’m out painting with them I usually have a plan. I use the outing to learn something, paint subject matter I don’t usually paint or try out new things. My new thing is experimenting with different surfaces, treatments and approaches to applying paint. I’m painting on canvas, linen, paper, museum board and panel. Some of the surfaces are treated with acrylic gesso others are alkyd or oil and some are toned a medium value with a thin coat of oil paint.
I can see that I am painting very fast on these toned surfaces. The oil paint goes on easily and it looks great. I’m in a groove with these small ones. And I used to dislike painting small! Interesting how things change.
The weather in Maine can change in minutes. Things don’t linger here on the southern coast. Its one of the things I love about this region of Maine. The coastline in my neighborhood is often hit hard by weather blowing in off the ocean. We don’t have islands off shore blocking the impact of the weather and protecting us from full impact.
I like weather. I like to experience stormy weather. I like to paint the drama that unfolds before me. Some of my best paintings happen when the wind and water are pounding. It isn’t easy to paint in these conditions. If I have done my homework I can paint in almost any extreme conditions. Its that preparation that makes all the difference. Its all about being in a certain mental state and having all my tools and equipment close at hand.
“Storm Clearing”, 16×20. oil Available. $2500. Info Here.
There is something dreamy about a summer sky. When I was little I used to lie down on open lawns and in country meadows to watch the sky. I was happy lying in the grass with the smell of wild flowers and songs of crickets all around me. The clouds would billow and break as they drifted above me. Summer was a long, lazy vacation of wandering and exploring nature. Do you see why I love painting skies?
I’m thinking these days about how I paint and what I paint. I’m thinking about painting in a “flow state”. Its like diving into a river. More on this in my next post.
“Summer Day” 14×18. oil. Available. $2,000. Information here
We are in the middle of classic spring weather here in Maine. Its cold, windy and it changes fast. Storms race through, drop rain and clear out fast. The cloud patterns are gorgeous ! The clouds blocking the sunlight create beautiful contrasting colors across the landscape. The wind can be wild on these days. Sometimes I have to take cover behind any structure I can find. Here is a start of one of my newest paintings. I set up my easel behind a barn on the edge of the marsh. At least in this location the easel didn’t fly into the air. It is so great to be out painting!
Most of you know that I spend a lot of time painting outdoors. This new food painting series has taken me indoors. It’s exciting and so much fun!
I’m accustomed to people stopping by to see what I’m doing at the easel outdoors. But sitting next to me having dinner while I paint?
Music is playing and the room hums with conversations. I’m standing there in the midst of it all making a painting. Concentration. Focus. Mental acuity. I start the painting, I build it, I finish it, I pack up and walk outside… then I exhale.
York Harbor is a quiet spot created where the York River meets the sea. The village is small and the walk along the rivers edge is a great place to visit. This is one of my favorite painting locations. In the warmer seasons the sun sets over the river as is flows from the west.
A fresh breeze was blowing from the west when I set up on the edge of the marsh to paint the trees and clouds. It was beautiful as the clouds raced overhead. I was sheltered from the wind in a perfect spot. The brilliant blue sky showed through holes in the clouds. Then the wind changed direction …I think it had to do with the high tide coming in. A fabulous day!
In early summer there are foggy mornings along the coast . The chilly sea air mixes with the warm, land mass to create moody cool mornings. On this morning I was out in the marshes early, as the cold sea air moved across the land. It was gorgeous and peaceful as the gulls winged over the marsh grass and the sun warmed up the air.
Clouds Over the Dune, 28×32, oil $8,960. Available.
I love this kind of weather! It was a sunny day with big, puffy clouds sailing across the sky. A storm earlier in the day had blown out to sea. I parked near the footbridge on the Ogunquit River. The gulls were spiraling up into the air riding the thermal currents high over the dunes. Heavenly!