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The Cape Elizabeth Land Trust Paint Out

This past weekend I participated in the Land Trust’s annual paint out.  It is a one day event so we hope for nice weather.  It was a gorgeous day!

It was very warm, even in my lucky spot on the ocean at John’s Cove.

 I was the honored guest artist of Anne & David who offered me a choice spot on their porch overlooking a view of John’s Cove. 

I painted from 9am till 3pm and finished three  9x12s and one 11×14.  I decided to paint several paintings so I would have a choice of a favored one I would sell at the auction that evening. 

The auction was held at Breakwater Farm on Cape Elizabeth.  I parked in front of the house when I went to drop off my painting. 

This farm is beautiful . Its huge and old with acres of woods and fields rolling down to the ocean.

I walked down the lane to the meadow where the tent was set up for the party.  This was the welcome sign by the lane. 

The crowd was just starting to arrive . They are all supporting purchasing open land and keeping Cape Elizabeth from getting over developed. This area was once primarily farms and forest. Now it’s a popular bedroom community of Portland, ME. 

The path went down a slight slope along the edge of the meadow toward the ocean.

It was still early so I was there in plenty of time to set up my painting in the preview area along the edge of the tent. 

The bartenders were busy setting up one of the bars getting ready for the arrival of the guests.

The tent started to fill up with the first guests with their bidding cards all ready to buy some great art. 

The brass quartet sounded fabulous in the ocean air.

It was a really hot afternoon so the wine, beer, lemonade and water were consumed in liberal amounts.  The icy cold beverages were great.  Of course I was so parched I couldn’t stop drinking water.  The bartenders were so sweet they knew I was an artist and had been out all day painting so they kept me well supplied with icy drinks.

The early arrivals start to examine the paintings, deciding which ones they want to bid on. 

Here are a few samples of the paintings completed during the day.  This is an old church that is a landmark in Cape Elizabeth. 

Cape Elizabeth is a a large area and has lots of ocean front.  This large painting was done almost completely with a palette knife. The artist is Mike Marks.

Cape Elisabeth has a substantial amount of marshes. This marsh view was really popular with the bidders.  It found a happy home and a few were sad it wasn’t going to their home.  

The caterers were serving up piles of delicious food during the viewing. That’s their tent on the left.  They had a generator running all the stoves and ovens.  It was quite an operation.

A fresh water pond picture of a forested area in Cape Elizabeth. This is a pastel by Ellen Pellitier. 

The light house at Two Lights.  There are possibly  three light houses in this neighborhood…

An old original cape style home common to New England and Cape Elizabeth, oil painting by Berri Kramer.

This is the cloud scape I did of John’s Cove. Little did I realize until after I finished it that the white building I painted on the distant peninsula was Breakwater Farm and the location where the painting was going to be shown! 

The crowd was arriving in full force and having a wonderful time There were so many people they ran out of chairs. Its nice to be so popular!  
One hundred feet away from the festivities you could cool off in the sea breeze and view the islands scattered across the bay.    Just think this meadow is only a few miles from Winslow Homer’s beloved Prout’s Neck!  Small world.  

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Plein Air at The Kittery Town Dock

I have been teaching plein air classes in my neighborhood since May. This session is once a week from 6- 9 pm. We have great late light and awesome weather!  
Kittery, Maine is a beautiful small town on the southern most point of the state.  If you live in Kittery you have a number of great places to go swimming if you can stand the cold water. 

The town dock is packed with dories and skiffs and the harbor is stuffed with boats, both working and pleasure.  

Everybody set up in their favorite location on various levels of the docks and set to work sketching and painting. Lisa looked for a shady spot under the docks as she had already been painting out in the sun for hours before class started.   

The activity at the docks was bustling as people came in from their boats and others had just arrived and set up to fish off the docks. The air was cool and refreshing. The Stripers are running.  

Here’s Marcus on a lower level dock sketching away. He’s an absolute beginner and so proud of what he is doing that he shows it to everyone who will look. The complete opposite of most beginners!

Here he is trying out some water colors – I had to really encourage him to try them as he has never used any watercolor in his life and is just starting to get used to sketching en plein air with ink and markers. 

More of the dozens of dories & skiffs. On the other side of this wharf are about a dozen pontoon motorized skiffs.

Late light on the lobster boats and sail boats in the harbor. To the east behind the boats is Fort Foster that guarded the mouth of the Piscataqua River and the port of Portsmouth, when this whole area was part of the state of Massachusetts. There are very old forts all along the coast of Maine and New Hampshire. 

Nancy was set up nicely up high on upper level of the dock painting the dories below her and the view to the east.
The last pleasure boats were coming in and packing up their sails as the sun dropped low. We painted till it got dark and the salt mosquitoes came out.  They were the worst! Need to find a super repellant for them the regular stuff didn’t work. 
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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! 
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Watercolors & Sketching in Cape Porpoise

Cape Porpoise is a tiny harbor with an active fleet of working boats. Its in my neighborhood so I go up there a lot to paint boats and anything else that catches my eye.
I decided this year to spend some time painting boats and harbors.  I’m living in the middle of them so its good to take advantage of this great scenery.

Emile Gruppe in his book “Gruppe on Painting” writes its difficult to do good harbor compositions so I’d like to get good at it. Watercolor, 6×9, on 90 lb. paper.

Another watercolor sketch, 6×9 done with my water brush and Koi half pan set on 90 lb. 

There are some good spots to set up near the harbor , but parking is at a premium , no space on the skinny two lane road on the peninsula.

Here’s a sketch of lobster boats and some of the small islands that are scattered around. I like doing these water color sketches as it gives me a chance to try out a variety of things do it super fast, then go on to the next one. Its about looking and seeing, drawing, then seeing more each time you look.   6×9, watercolor on 90 lb. paper.  

Here is a favorite spot looking east toward the harbor and the channel. Only about 2 cars can fit in the parking area that is on rocks at the high tide mark on the clam flats. 

These are a couple of lobster houses from across the harbor’s deep water channel.  When the tide goes out the mud flats stretch in all directions. 7×10, watercolor on 90 lb. paper.

This is the view from the town wharf looking back up at the village of Cape Porpoise.  

 6×9, watercolor on 90 lb. paper.

I often stay there till dark, sketching and painting as the sunsets can be quite dramatic across the water from the town wharf. Lucky me, no accident that I live in Maine!

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Kennebunkport, Artists & Wet Paint

A whole bunch of artists arrived this past week to paint in Kennebunkport, ME and a few of its the neighboring communities.  Turbot’s Creek was a favorite spot.

I painted out there with John Caggiano  and Lucia deLeiris. 
This is looking east out toward Vaughn’s Island, which you can walk to at low tide.  

On another much foggier day I painted along Shore Road in Kennebunkport . Here is the beginning of a painting overlooking the coast. 

Below me set up in nice spots among the rocks painting rocks and surf was Phillip Frey, Stefan Pastuhov and…

of course Stapleton Kearns doing a favorite surf and turf scene.  These guys are the greatest to paint with!  

After three days of painting, the opening on Saturday evening at The Gallery on Chase Hill was a big event. Here is the crew from Heartwood College of Art one of the sponsors of the event.  

Amy Bouchard the gallery manager doing some last minute things like making sure I had my name tag! 

It was a mob scene.  At times you couldn’t even move into the next room , it was wall to wall people.
Phillip Frey, me and Leonard Mizerek.

I went out to the porch with Nancy Davidson a friend of my husband’s for 22 years!   

The crowd inside was so dense that the party had expanded to the porch where I joined Stapleton who was sitting on the steps.

Lucia, Stefan, Stapleton and I relaxing on the front porch next to the sculpture garden.   
Here’s one of the paintings I did during the week.  Its the building on the Kennebunkport town dock that is going to be torn down and replaced this coming winter.  All these fishermen stopped by to talk to me while I was painting it.  It was a great week of painting!  
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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.   

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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.  
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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.  

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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! 
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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