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Antique Cars in Plein Air at Par Sem

I was invited to be the artist-in-residence at an antique car show for a museum in Maine. What a delight!  The Parsonsfield Seminary Museum is a treasure.   The place is sublime.
The museum grounds were packed.  It was a perfect summer day. 
Antique cars arrived from everywhere.

The lawns filled with all kinds of cars…

And trucks!

The deep cool shade of the old maples was fully appreciated by the visitors.
The cars of the sixties are very popular among collectors now. 
Hot rods were fancy and in wild colors.
There were over 150 cars all parked in groups of ten year spans. 
This was a new plein air experience for me.  Wow! I’d never see so many antique cars in one place before.  Which ones to sketch?  It was overwhelming.  How to choose? So many great models . So little time! 


This convertible sparkled in the sunshine.  Did I forget to mention these cars are so clean and shiny they look like mirrors?
Here was the first sketch of the day .  I did it in ink and watercolor.  Fast.  Good lesson, I  knew I needed to the do the next ones in pencil so I could correct lines if needed as I was having to move fast and wasn’t familiar with the different lines and shapes.  Plus onlookers gathered fast, even before I could get started. They were interested and excited.  
Next, I decided to just stop, “park” myself in the shade and get going.  Here’s the setup.  The antique cars had complex shapes and curves. 
Here’s the little 1930’s car I sketched. 
I was sketching just across from  the gazebo where a great band was playing. Live music all day!  Imagine an artist in plein air serenaded all day- it was delightful. 
I sketched this car after the owner came and visited with me while I was painting the sleek convertible on the other side of the campus.  What a sweet car! Such personality. 
I stayed in one spot, just kept turning my chair and sketched next car.

 
Everyone began to gather for the awards ceremony.  
This car won a blue ribbon! The husband of Wendy Newcomb  is the owner, what a blast!  He knew what I was dealing with painting en plein air.
This was the oldest car at the show.  A 1917 Model T.

In late afternoon the museum campus sits with a few cars left after everyone else has headed home.  The only hint of the big event were a few tire tracks left on the grass. 
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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.
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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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The Gear for Sketching & Watercolors on the Run

Here is the bag I carry for sketching and watercolors when I am traveling and teaching.

It is made for plein air painting by Judsons and can be carried as a back pack, shoulder bag or hand bag. It has a flat compartment in the bottom that fits watercolor kits and carries them flat, not vertically so no wet paints run…
It is small yet fits every thing I need plus lunch, a water bottle and bug & sun spray

Here are some of the supplies I carry, custom sketchbook(Rives BFK), water bottle, pencils, markers, pens, paper towels, glass water jar, blue folding water bucket, Koi watercolor paint set. 

Derwent watercolor pencils, sponge, plastic watercolor mixing tray, pen, small watercolor sketchbook(125 lb.), black nylon paint brush holder. 

Homee watercolor palette, medium sketch book (90 lb), large sketch book (9×11, 90 lb.) watercolor set and palette. 

My mixing areas and water color set. Paints are Daniel Smith tubes.  I can carry extra tubes with me but for day trips don’t need to.

My pencil, pen, marker container with contents, brush holder with brushes and water bucket unfolded.

Derwent watercolor pencils (36) and sample of plein air sketches using them. 

The Sakura Koi set with water brush, additional water supply in bottle and sample of plein air sketch from this kit. 

This is the smallest kit I carry if I want to go really light and leave the bag behind. This is enough to do really great sketches and water colors on location !

Here is the bag repacked with the palettes sliding back underneath.   

Here I’m ready to go .  It probably weighs about 6-8 pounds.  The heaviest thing I am carrying in this is the water so I keep a gallon of water in my car incase I’m not in a place to find easy access to water.

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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