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Ocean Breezes at Wolfe’s Neck Farm

The morning air was fresh and cool as we headed up the coast to Wolfe’s Neck Farm. This place is gorgeous.It is on a penninsula east of Freeport, Me.
I’m one of eight painters participating in a plein air event at the farm for ten days in June. There is a multitude of subject matter to choose from. I could paint here for a week and not run out of great views .
This is an old working farm. A little blue tractor was parked in the driveway when we arrived.

Across the road a pasture full of buttercups was the home of a small herd of Belted Galloways.

Down the road a bit the open view of the bay with islands sprinkled across it was spectacular !

On the opposite side of the road was a view of a small tidal river,open meadows, woods and farm houses on the hills in the distance.

There was so much to choose from and so little time. I set up and started painting a view of the bay.  I liked the feeling of the huge expanse of water and sky.

The tide was coming in fast. Marcus set out to explore the edge of a cove.
It was so quiet. No one was around. We were surrounded by fields, woods and water. It was  hard to believe how close we were to Freeport the shopping mecca and the headquarters of L.L. Bean. 

I blocked in my design choosing to paint the tide half way in.

The air was filled with the songs of birds that filled the meadows and trees. 

The sun was moving high overhead in the sky toward noon. I had to keep moving my easel so the panel and my palette were in the shade. The light was really bright.  
Marcus returned from his hike and settled into a comfortable chair to do a drawing of the dirt road and high, hilly meadows on either side. 
I kept developing the painting, adding more color notes.


The light and shadows on the trees and rocks along the edge of the cove was really nice before noon.

Shortly after noon we were suddenly surrounded by visitors. My quiet spot was a hub of bustling activity.  A small group drove by quietly and slowly to view my painting…

 A grandfather out for a walk on the beach with his little grandson stopped to chat and look at my work. 
The next door neighbor of the farm brought her dog for his daily swim.  She came by to see what I was doing.  
I kept painting, getting all the information I needed. I was no longer in a secluded, quiet place. It was the rush hour for recreation!

A man arrived with a folding boat on his car. He set it up, loaded his lobster traps in it and set off down the creek out into the bay.

As the tide came in a large group of horse shoe crabs swam in on it and gathered along the edge of the creek. It was a spot they really liked.

I stepped back to get a good view of my painting. When I’m painting I always step away from the painting to give me a better perspective on what I’ve done. I saw I had enough information on my panel to stop. Now I could bring it home and put the finishing touches on it in the studio.  

I thought it would be a good time to drive around other areas of the farm to scout out painting locations for the rest of the week. As I looked up the river the tide was almost all the way in.
 
The buttercups in a meadow across from the barn were amazing.  This meadow has millions of them this year. Usually there aren’t any at all here. 
A farmer brought in a new group of Belted Galloways in a big truck.  After they were unloaded he walked around the meadow with them talking to them. He was  helping them get comfortable in their new location. 
I sketched at different locations all over the farm until the sun started to drop in the western sky. 

The tide was going back out…it was so nice to see the patterns in the acres of sand.

The islands formed moody clusters in beautiful muted colors. Everything was in shades of gray blue, violet and rose.
As the sun sunk below the distant trees we called it a day and headed down the dirt road toward home.