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The Pines, Look Park

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I grew up in a town in western Massachusetts where there is a lovely park I spent a lot of time in as a child.  On a late summer trip last year I painted in the park near an out door theater named “The Pines”. Its named after these amazing, huge, old pines that were planted all around it.  These are beautiful majestic trees. Under the pines you feel like you are in a cathedral.  

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Tall Pines Late Light

I’m really beginning to think about why I paint en plein air… why, after 5 years of painting all most exclusively out doors its so hard to come back indoors… 

I get to be in the most awesome places… often with very few people around and with a great variety of wildlife. Once upon a time you only found fishermen and hunters in these places … its clear to me that for them the “sport” aspect is only part of the attraction…


When I go out painting for a week or more, I don’t bother with the news or internet. I call home daily to report on my travels and painting progress. If I’m not too tired, I read art books before I fall asleep.  I don’t have a habit of watching TV.  Did I mention that I don’t watch TV at home either? I don’t miss it . Ever.


When I return home from a painting trip I can catch up on everything important in about 30 minutes…the bank crash of 2008 happened when I was out west in Idaho painting in the Teton Valley with Scott Christensen’s advanced group… someone heard about it one night and told the rest of us the next day…


Did it affect our painting?  Can’t say it did. We were totally immersed in painting the land and the challenge of doing it every day, trying to grow beyond our limitations…the world with all its information didn’t disappear, it was waiting for us on our return home.

The perspective I gain from this process of entering and reentering the landscape is one that is a connection that lasts beyond the temporary…The earth is old. It was here before I was  and will be here after I’m gone, I’m visiting for a short while … 

I am very lucky. I can leave my house, drive 10 or 20 minutes in several directions and arrive in a quiet place where nature dominates the landscape. I’m not saying I don’t like painting in cities. I sometimes do. Its just that on life’s journey I somehow ended up in this beautiful place called Maine.
  
And I’m glad I did.

The photos above are from my recent trip to Vinalhaven, an island off the coast of Rockland, Maine. The last twilight picture is a view from the west side of the island looking toward the mainland with the first lights coming on in Rockland, Maine. 
Tall Pines field sketch 11×14, oil on canvas panel.

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