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Spring Fever

Its happened ! Even here up north where we still have 3 feet of snow in the woods and all over our lawns…it was 52 today and the snow is almost gone from the marshes…

On the Mousam River in Kennebunk, ME the high tide left bits of ice stranded up on the edge of the marsh. The open ocean is just on the other side of that small peninsula.
I decided this afternoon was perfect for sketching. It was so beautiful I wanted to go to as many locations as I could. 
When we stopped at the Rachel Carson marshes in Kennebunk it was low tide.  
It so nice to be out when its  peaceful and calm. There was just a hint of breeze coming up the mouth of the river from the ocean.
Sketching with charcoal on multimedia paper is my latest thing. I like to try different materials and mediums. I’m going to paint these sketches with watercolors back in my studio.
The tides this winter changed the shoreline of the river. Small islands are forming along one edge. Nice shapes…I’m going to paint these for sure! 
Sketching trips like this are great.  I get to scout old and new locations, see the changes and see what catches my eye.  My equipment and supplies are so compact I can carry them in one hand. 
I am a student of the sketching /drawing school..I can never sketch or draw enough.  It is such a liberating activity… free of the pressure to have to make something…
…and I end up really seeing things, sketching them over and over and seeing them differently each time…   
You get to to know your subject intimately, all the nuances of light, weather, temperature, chroma, value… 
It becomes something of yours…something beyond a depiction of a place.  
Marcus drove us around on this sketching expedition. We were traveling instinctively. He turned down a road that took us to the end of the peninsula we earlier saw from the marshes.

At low tide you could walk out to Strawberry Island.
I set up my paints for a quick oil sketch of the sun on the water.
Marcus sketched leaning against the side of the car.

The challenge of this situation was the back lighting and unbelievable reflection on the water.  It was blinding.
I wanted to do a small sketch with just yellow, red, blue and white and mix all my lovely sensitive grays from them.  I’m teaching a color class and want to show them what a limited palette can do.

The last stop on our wander was the town dock in Kennebunkport.

The parking lot was empty. In summer this place is packed with trucks. It was quiet, the harbor was empty, almost all the lobster boats were gone…in dry dock somewhere.
 The tide was coming in and the moon was rising.  It feels like spring.


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Fishing in Kennebunkport

I‘ve been out straight a bit lately so haven’t had a chance to post what I’ve been  up to. So I’ll try to catch you up .  

I headed over to the Kennebunkport docks – its now become one of my favorite places to paint because its small, quiet and I can get really close to my subjects.

Everybody over there is really nice and the lobstermen are mellow and ok with me painting there. 
They come by to talk to me and check out my paintings.

I was doing a quick sketch of a lobster boat as the weather was iffy and it was beginning to rain. The dock was pretty quiet as the lobstermen had all come in for the day. 

Suddenly this huge fishing boat pulled in right next to me and started unloading fish.

These guys showed up in the parking lot to meet the boat. Two guys on the boat started loading fish into crates that went into a refrigerator truck next to me. 

They didn’t stop moving for half an hour , just packing fish into crates. The unloaded 4,000 lbs. of fish,  huge fish of all types.   

These lovely smiling people are Knute and Lindsey the couple who own the boat. Knute is the champion fisherman- he leaves port at 4 AM and fishes 35 miles out !

They came by to talk to me as they saw me painting and taking pictures in the midst of the unloading frenzy.  Lindsey is a painter too! Marcus & I really enjoyed talking to them.  I meet such nice people when I’m out painting.

Here’s the sketch managed to do.  Next I’m going to paint the fishermen unloading the fish!