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Evening at Friendship Harbor

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By sunset many of the lobstermen were back home after a long day of hauling traps. This one skiff waited for it owner as the last bit of daylight lingered.

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Mist and Surf

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It was a misty lavender tinted day when I painted this picture in Friendship, Maine.  The wind was blowing hard pushing the clouds out to sea. It was choppy in the harbor and waves were crashing on the rocks. 

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You are What you Consume

Everything you hear or see goes into your mind.  It stays there even if you “forget” it. 

Watercolor Plein Air Sketchbook Acadia, ME

Its like sound waves in a wall. The sound from Beethoven’s music he played in a concert hall in 1800 are still in the walls. What does this say about what is in our minds?
Watercolor Plein Air Sketchbook Acadia, ME

One time when I was out painting with a group a fellow painter wanted me to paint standing behind him.  I told him I wasn’t  interested in painting that specific view. 
Watercolor Plein Air Sketchbook Acadia, ME

 He responded by saying that the intent of his suggestion was not for the landscape but to provide me the best view of his easel and what he was doing.

Watercolor Plein Air Sketchbook Friendship, ME

He thought hat I could learn a lot by watching him paint.  Now this is a very kind and generous thought. But…

Watercolor Plein Air Sketchbook Friendship, ME

 …what if I do not want to paint the way he does, or want my paintings to look like his… 


I was thinking about having all this extra unwanted stuff in my brain… 
 I’m having trouble enough trying to paint what I do want to paint … without adding all this other stuff to the mix. 

I also don’t watch TV…but this probably doesn’t surprise you.


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Friendship Fish Shacks

Friendship Fish Shacks, 6×8 watercolor
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I paint in Friendship, Maine in the off season, when there are no summer people around. I’m noticed by the locals as I’m the only person on the docks. Everybody else is going out on their boats.
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Friendship Boats & Traps

Boats and Islands, 6×8 watercolor

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Friendship, Maine is one of my favorite towns on the midcoast. There are so many lobster shacks on the harbor it looks like a village on stilts. 


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Friendship, Maine in December

It was a cold and gray Monday morning, a chilly 14 degrees as we headed up the coast of Maine.

When we arrived in Camden there was ice on the harbor and the schooners were wearing their winter coats. 
In the summer you can’t see the water in Camden harbor because it’s so full of pleasure boats…not true in winter.
The docks were quiet and the sky, land and water colors were muted and silvery.
I stopped by Camden Falls Gallery for a visit.  My paintings will be shown there this summer. Its namesake is a crashing waterfall at the head of this picturesque harbor.  
On our way down the peninsula to Friendship, Maine the road twisted and turned as we passed farms and rolling fields covered with fresh snow.  

In Cushing, Maine I spotted this incredible old farm. It looked like no one had touched it since the 1950’s. It is in the neighborhood of the famous Olsen farm from Andrew Wyeth’s Christina’s World.”

Even on a gray winter day there is nothing as beautiful as a midcoast Maine pennisula.

Friendship has a great harbor with lots of large and small islands. 

All along the edge of the harbor are docks and buildings for lobstering.

A change was coming in the weather. After an overnight snow storm and frigid morning, a warm wind started blowing off the water. 

The bright colored lobster traps glowed in the muted light.  

I walked around sketching different views.

Whitecaps appeared in the harbor. The wind really started gusting.

I knew I couldn’t set up on the docks to paint. 

The dock community in Friendship is amazing. There are all kinds of buildings on the docks out over the water.  

I parked my car near the town landing. I found a perfect spot to set up my easel out of the wind.  

Some of the fishing shacks on the docks are brand new and well kept. 

I did several sketches from the view in front of me . 

I wanted to paint the soft colors of the small islands in the harbor.

The clouds were breaking up and the sky was getting brighter.

I kept it small and simple.

There were stacks of traps everywhere with their colorful floats tied up in bunches near them.

The floats were very interesting to look at. Their colors were eye popping…

…compared to the muted blues and grays of their surroundings.

To my eyes It felt like their colors were lit up from within especially after looking at all the subtle grays of the landscape.
Even the traps which are very colorful, looked slightly grayed next to the psychedelic float colors.
The afternoon started getting brighter with spots of blue sky holes in the clouds.

The wind was still totally wild. But I didn’t care.

It was warming up. I kept painting.
There are many scenes waiting to be painted in this neighborhood. 
 A fishing shack had rows of floats hanging from the ceiling.
The docks reach out into the harbor one after the other all the way down the point. 
It looked warm and cozy inside the small lit buildings. 
Some of the shacks were heated like little houses.
Others were simpler, more like storage sheds.
It really feels like a little fishing village out there, though no one lives on the docks.

The sun set just after four.  The best and brightest light of the day came right before twilight.
As we left Friendship the Christmas lights were coming on in the village.
Someone had taken two of their boats out of the water, parked them next to their house…

…and dressed them in holiday finery !
It’s time to celebrate Christmas in Friendship, Maine.

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Real Lobstermen like Art

My friend Libby told me I had to go and paint up in Friendship, Maine.  Well, she is right.  Its a gorgeous place, a busy working year round harbor and the people you find there are gems.

These are photos from my scouting trip up there this spring.  The harbor is awesome. The bay is sprinkled with islands. I’m heading back up there to paint next week. I’ll post what it looks like in summer!


I invited my sister Marcia with me on this trip so she could see a bit of Maine off the beaten track.   Lib took us to all her favorite places.  We started with Martins Point. This worn out house with its freshly painted boat was a Maine classic.

This is the town dock. The gray building has a workshop in the back of it where someone is painting lobster buoys .  They hang from the rafters like icicles.

Meet Derek and Vincent.  They are lobstermen out of Friendship.  Derek owns a nice big lobster boat and offered to take me out for a trip to the islands for a 12 pack of beer.  These guys work very hard.


The place was packed with dories.
The wharves were lined up one after the other as far as you could see. The harbor was packed with working boats. A lot of people fish out of this port.
 Derek & Vincent liked my sketches.  They had an eye for art.  They jumped out of the truck to get a closer look at my sketchbook. They both knew Andrew Wyeth.They went to parties at his house and Derek took care of an island for him. They know everyone around there and on all the islands.  Derek informed us that Vincent in his younger years was famous for being a champion athlete – best in the State. Derek lives simply, he doesn’t have a computer or phone at his house.  He does have electricity, an alarm clock and a cell phone though.

I set up and sketched like mad before the sun set.  I loved this  lobster trap table I found – it was the perfect  height for me! I am looking forward to next week.