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YOU ARE INVITED To a Plein air demo!

To a Plein air demo in the Garden

Tea in the Garden ~ Mary Byrom Demo
Hosted by the Hartwell House Inn
312 Shore Road
Ogunquit, Maine 03907

And if you can’t make it to Ogunquit on Saturday afternoon you can watch it live on Facebook!  Here is the link to watch it.

Ocean Park Art in the Park
WET PAINT SALE  ~ Wednesday July 19th
14 Temple Ave
Ocean Park, ME 04063

Castine Plein Air Festival
WET PAINT SALE ~ Saturday July 22nd 4-6pm
Castine, ME 04421

PLEIN AIR CLASS ~  Meets Tuesdays 2-5pm
Let me know if you’d like to join us !

IN THE NEWS : PLEIN AIR MAGAZINE is publishing a feature article about me and my paintings!
It will be in the print edition and online. I will let you know when it hits the news stands!

Yes, we are organizing for the pre-launch!

I am launching a new online landscape & plein air painting course.

Preview videos will be posted on Facebook & Instagram & Youtube pages.

* Video: How you start a painting determines your success
* Video: How to make solid design decisions

PHOTO Credits:
“Late Afternoon Surf” 4×8″ oil.
Mary Byrom painting in plein air

MY NEW PAINTINGS are on display at:
A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words, Exeter, NH
Shore Road Gallery / Beth Ellis Cove Gallery, Ogunquit, Maine
Kennedy Gallery, Portsmouth, NH
Mast Cove Galleries. Kennebunkport, Maine
Beachmere Inn on the Marginal Way! You are welcome to visit and see them in the bistro. Available for purchase at the Inn.



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I like painting at the waters edge. I stand in the sand or on the rocks, inhale the salty sea air and make decisions based on the weather, the time of day and how much time I have to paint.  If I am free to stay as long as I like I will often stay until dark. As we move toward fall that is happening earlier and the temperatures are cooler. It’s my favorite time of year – warm days and cool nights!  Photo: Marcus Gale


The best time of the year is here! Late summer and fall are a perfect time to be painting on the coast. So before I forget, here is a gentle reminder for all of you painters out there who were buried in summer activities, travel, and house guests.
The Tuesday afternoon class is starting on September 6th. Plein air. Info in the links below.

This class starts Tuesday, September 6th, 2-5pm, and runs for 6 weeks.  If you want to attend this plein air class Please let me know ASAP to reserve your spot.   Space is limited. Advanced registration is suggested.  Six week session~ $220
Locations : EACH WEEK A NEW LOCATION –  Beautiful locations in the southern Maine and New Hampshire Seacoast region. Register for 6 week session here.


I love this weather. The sticky heat is over. I can spend a day in the sun now without feeling like I’ve been in the Sahara desert all day.  Plus the crowds will soon be a bit thinner. I don’t know if this is true or not, but this summer the coast has felt really crowded.  There are always throngs of people, but it feels like there are more cars. We noticed this for the past few years, but it never really reached our front door until last year.  Now it’s a regular thing to have traffic jams in the small towns near the coast on the weekends. Everyone is trying to avoid the turnpike!  There is such a hustle and bustle that it has made me feel like slowing down to smell the roses !

I’m simplifying and slowing down and looking around.  And slowing down my painting process.  I’m a fast painter and I like painting fast on location.  For a change I’m trying a whole bunch of new things. I’m doing more studies in gray values and I’m designing more notans, which I love doing.
“Rocks, Sea, Land, Mountains”   Acrylic 8×18   Photo: Mary Byrom.

I am painting in pastels, acrylic, watercolors and oil. It is so much fun! And I’m thinking more about the process. I respond totally differently to each medium. It’s very instinctive and I don’t try to do something to it,  I try to work with the nature of the medium itself. Each medium lends itself to different effects. Pastels and watercolors like to move into soft edges easily. Acrylics are wonderful for hard edges and texture. And oil paint can go in any direction. I am seeing how using one medium can affect how I use another.  I love doing this!

“Lake, Mountains, Clouds”  Pastel sketch 6×6  Photo: Mary Byrom.


3:30-7:00 PM
An invitational event – Ogunquit Plein Air, hosted by the Marginal Way Preservation Fund. A small group of plein air artists will be painting in selected locations along the Marginal Way in Ogunquit, Maine. A wet paint sale will be held on the lawn of the Beachmere Inn, Ogunquit, Maine from 3:30-7:00 pm. Tickets to the event may be purchased here.

“Rough”  Acrylic 3×6  Haiku series  Photo: Mary Byrom


A 6 week plein air class in the NH Lakes region (Laconia area) is beginning October 13th – Nov 17th. Registration is now open. This class is filling.
If you are interested in participating in this class please contact me.
This class is a rare opportunity to study with me in the mountains. It is totally gorgeous in this area in the fall !

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Big Sky Summer Paintings ~ Maine & New Hampshire

Summer Day

There is something dreamy about a summer sky. When I was little I used to lie down on open lawns and in country meadows to watch the sky. I was happy lying in the grass with the smell of wild flowers and songs of crickets all around me. The clouds would billow and break as they drifted above me. Summer was a long, lazy vacation of wandering and exploring nature. Do you see why I love painting skies?

I’m thinking these days about how I paint and what I paint.  I’m thinking about painting in a “flow state”. Its like diving into a river. More on this in my next post.

Summer Day”  14×18. oil. Available. $2,000. Information here

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Early this summer I fell in love with waterfalls. 

 In late summer I fell in love with lakes…especially ones surrounded by mountains…

…with big pines and islands sprinkled across them.
Lake Wentworth is a gem.  It is in the “Lakes Region” of New Hampshire where the distant White Mountains are dusky blue in the distance. 
This week is our vacation week which means;  My husband Marcus and I don’t have to be anywhere at any specific time for six whole days ! We grabbed this big open window to wander and paint wherever the impulse took us.
On this perfect late summer day a fellow painter spotted us near a bridge between Rye Marsh and Lake Wentworth.  Frank paints watercolors and spends his summers at his house near by.  When he spied us working away he pulled over to check out our paintings and chat for a bit. 
I sketched a bunch of different views today. I loved the bright open water on the lake in front of us and the intimate scene on the marsh behind us.
Marcus set up and dove into his huge painting of the lake and wind whipped waves.  Marcus is on a “huge” painting trend this summer. They keep getting bigger and bigger.  Pretty soon they won’t fit into the car…we will need to get a trailer for them!
 We had a great view facing west across the water. I knew the light would change drastically as we moved toward sunset. To be ready for anything I set up two easels  and palletes waiting to go at a moments notice.
The bit of land we were parked on between the lake and the marsh was very narrow. I had to pay attention. If I stepped back from my easel too far I’d fall into the marsh! 
I looked in the direction of the sun and started a small study of the lake, islands and mountains back lit by brilliant sunlight. 
The smallest brush I am using today is a 10 bright. I’d use the edge and corner of the brush for small spots.
I keyed in my painting and only put the colors I was using on this limited palette. 
The sun dropped down in the west and the light started to reach the “luscious” level.  I finished the “sun on the water glow” and put the wet panel in the car. 
I moved to a new canvas and started painting the marsh behind me that was now face lit by the setting sun.
The wind was calming down, and the surface of the water became still. The colors of the trees and grass were warm and golden in the setting sun. 
 I didn’t have a lot of time left to paint this scene.
There was barely a cloud in the sky as the sun set over the distant mountains.  
Small breezes skipped randomly across the water.
Up close to me near the shore line it was very still and the water was a deep inky midnight blue.
I had the colors on my panel and most of the scene painted as the sun disappeared behind the mountains.
People drove past us on their way home from work.  A few lights came on in cottages across the lake. We cleaned up our paints, put the new paintings in the car and headed back through the woods toward home. 

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Painters at Turbat’s Creek

Turbat’s Creek in Cape Porpoise is a piece of southern Maine coastline that has the same look as 40 years ago. The cluster of traditional fish shacks is still there. The water in the creek is cleaner now than it was then. 
It’s a favorite spot for painters. When you visit you will know why.
Island View, 16×20, oil

At low tide the creek is so shallow you can wade through it and walk out to the nearby island.

All kinds of old dock pilings poke out of the sand on the edge of the creek near the fish shacks.
It was sunny and warm on this day. I chose this location for a meeting of Plein Air Painters of Maine. When I arrived Ellen And Flo were already busy painting.
Flo had a big solar umbrella that kept both her and the easel out of the direct sun, so she could see her colors clearly.
Barbara arrived and tucked herself in under the shade of some small trees for a good view of the back of the fish houses.
Carol went out on the pebbly beach near the harbor. Painters were all over the place! It was a hub of productive activity on the creek today.
I spied a nice patch of marsh grass with tidal pools looking toward Vaughn’s Island. 
I sketched my design in pencil.
Next I painted in the view on my panel in burnt sienna. I marked my dark areas and looked at the shapes I was placing. 
I put in colors and kept building the shapes in a three dimensional form as I went.
The day started out perfectly clear. In the early afternoon clouds began to fill the sky. 
It was actually nice to have some relief from the sun. The cast shadows made the landscape look more interesting.
When I had arrived at Turbat’s Creek in the morning the tide was low and still going out.
Recently I’ve been painting larger on location. Today I was painting a mid-size painting and finished most of it on site. 
My husband Marcus arrived by mid-afternoon and set his easel up by the boat launch near a fish shack. 
Painters arrived and departed all day long, some came early, others came late in the day depending on their preference for lighting conditions.  Suzanne arrived to paint the late afternoon light from a nice vantage point on the the rocky beach. 
There were many visitors coming by all day. It was great! I saw friends I hadn’t seen since last summer. I’d stop to talk to them then continue on with my painting. 
The sun dropped lower in the west, and the colors on the land, sky and water were beautiful. This is my favorite time of the day to paint. 
Long shadows stretched across the sand.
I had recorded enough information to call it a day. I can finish the painting in the studio.
I went to over to the beach to tell Suzanne I was heading home.  She and I were the last painters left. 
Suddenly a police car and big red truck towing a boat pulled into Turbat’s Creek Road. I  had to move my easel out of the boat launch area – fast!  
The police launched the boat in the water and took off for Vaughn’s Island – hot on the trial of some outlaw reported to be over there. 
It was an exciting day at Turbat’s Creek. I was happy to head home with an almost finished  painting! 
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Art Happenings in Boothbay Harbor, Maine

Boothbay Harbor is a real happening place in the summer! Marcus & I stopped by on a Friday evening for the opening of a show for PAPME at allen david Gallery.

The last time I visited Boothbay Harbor was years ago during wintertime. Yikes, what a difference in the summertime. It is a destination for sure ! 

The harbor is packed full of pleasure boats. This large yacht sailed in, tied up and left some of its sails up. I think it was getting ready to depart for a sunset cruise.

No one was around. I would have loved to set up to paint it, but we were on our way to an art opening.
So much to see and so little time. The docks are full of signs promising to show you whales and everything else out on the open sea.

On the dock tucked in among all the boats advertising their ocean adventures was an enterprising young man.  Ben Schell is a caricaturist. He’s so busy he’s looking for a back-up relief artist!

He found one! He was talking to Michael James White, an illustrator from Sarasota Florida who just happened to be summering nearby at his good friend’s home.

Michael immediately took me to meet his friend Rick Dickinson, a painter who has a nice gallery across the street from the wharves. 

Rick and Michael were delightful!  The painting world is a small world. Michael is a neighbor of Marcus’ brother Tom in Sarasota and Rick attends Ingbretson Studio in Manchester, NH. 
We couldn’t linger for long as the opening was starting at allen david. 
When we arrived the band was playing away and the art lovers were pouring in.
Our friends Ellen and Al arrived in great spirits with their dear friend.
It was a perfect summer evening.
Ellen was in a elated mood. When she arrived at the opening both of her pieces were already sold!  Bravo! 
Go here for more painting adventures!
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Midsummer Marshes

Summer marshes have a certain mood. They are full of misty air. Painters call it atmosphere.
The distant tree line often has a thin veil of blue color over the far away green leaves.  The shadows of the nearby trees can even be blue violet.
Egrets, 8×10 oil on panel
There is always lots of water in the marshes. I call them a water world. They have salt pans, creeks and rivers, everything is tidal. The place is a big sponge.
I live very close thousands of acres of marshes. Its great to go there its like instant wilderness in a highly inhabited coastal area. I make many sketches of the marshes.
Its very quiet in the marshes. I don’t quite understand why. Its close to the main roads that travel up and down the coast but the sound of the cars doesn’t carry out into the marshes.

It may be all the sea grass. I think  the grass acts like cotton batting. You hear the wind blowing in the grass next to you but some one trying to talk to you from twenty yards away has to shout to be heard.
My neighborhood of marshes stretch in a linked green necklace along the southern coast of Maine from Kittery north  to Cape Elizabeth.
On the southern side of the Piscataqua River in Portsmouth, New Hampshire they stretch miles south into Cape Ann, Massachusetts.
The Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge owns many of the marshes in Maine. They are keeping them open and in their natural state so the wildlife is abundant. There are millions of birds in the marshes, some live there others are just passing through when they migrate.
At the Refuge headquarters in Wells there is have a mile long trail of groomed paths and boardwalks that follow the edge of a high peninsula of land bordered by the Merriland River and Branch Brook. When friends and I paint there, we hike in with our gear and set up along the trail.
At the refuge really large trees grow right next to the marsh. There are hills of high land through out the marshes.  Large pines and hard woods grow on them. I found a shady spot with a view. There was a nice ocean breeze keeping it cool.

The rivers and brooks running through the refuge are deep channels that empty and fill rapidly with the tides.  
The salt pans are another entity entirely. They sit full of water all the time. The tides have no effect on them. They are very shallow.
They sometimes  look like lots of little ponds sprinkled across the marsh. A favorite painting spot of mine is Rachel Carson land along the road to the harbor in Wells. 
Some of the bigger salt pans are connected in irregular patterns and filled with lots of miniature islands.  
I ‘ve never tried to walk out among them. I’d need to wear some really tall rubber boots. I’ve seen scientists out there and they sometimes sink in up to their knees in the mushy places.  
The tide comes in really fast on Branch Brook at the Refuge.  As we were painting we could almost see the river banks disappear inch by inch.
The board walk down to the edge of the river is a popular spot for bird watchers. Visitors come from all over the world to this spot. 
Ellen, Libby and I visited the refuge headquarters last week. Ellen sketched before she set up to paint.
 I went to work and got my design painted in before the tide changed too much.
While Ellen and I painted Libby stretched out on a bench at the overlook reading and enjoying the sun.  She actually fell asleep it was so quiet and peaceful !
The incoming tide swept through the marsh grass at the river’s edge.
When we are painting together Ellen and I often discuss what we are painting.
I’m working on painting a series of the marshes in a variety of seasons and weather.  
I painted at this location a few years ago. This island was in my first large marsh painting.  As we were finishing up the tide was almost at peak high tide.
I’m lucky that I live close to this beautiful location.
Summer is definitely the easiest time to come here to paint, but winter is my favorite. 
Salt Pans, 24×24 oil on panel
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Waterfall on the Wildcat

  This summer I am having a love affair with waterfalls. 

It started a week ago at the Mill Yard in Amesbury MA. where Marcus performed a music concert

…and a nice crashing waterfall (that once powered the mills) cooled the summer evening air as I painted it.

The following week I discovered a number of waterfalls on my way to painting locations in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. 

 Early Saturday morning on my way north to Pinkham Notch I stopped in the village of Jackson, NH. 

There the rushing waters of the Wildcat River flow over rocks and ledges creating Jackson Falls.

 This is a popular spot and has been since since the 1800’s. A bathing pool was built into the river for summer visitors to enjoy the cool waters.
 The river runs right through the center of the village and is designated a national  “Wild and Scenic River” .

The Jackson Historical Society is located in the village near the river.  This old snow roller was sitting right next to the river. 
 I knew what it was ! I first saw one of these in a painting of a winter scene by Rockwell Kent.  Interesting how much you can learn from viewing art. 

The trail to the lower falls of Jackson Falls is well marked and cared for by volunteers. 

A little gazebo sits in a park on a grassy spot along the trail.

As you walk closer to the falls the land gets rocky.  A small bridge crosses over a stream of water that was diverted into a channel away from the center of the falls.
The water is cold, sparkling and crystal clear.

When I reached the end of the trail to the lower falls, I was looking up at gushing plumes of white frothy water cascading over a huge sloping wall of rock.

To paint I had to balance and carefully prop myself in between a couple of large boulders.  
The falls created a lovely sound of rushing water.
I was practically sitting in someones very nice back yard! The trail provides a public right-of-way along the edge of private property.
I was safely tucked into an area full of deep cracks and crevasses in the rocks. I had to wedge my gear carefully between the boulders and set my watercolor box on top. 
The water was several feet away from me, constantly splashing, bouncing and flowing by.  

It was very peaceful to sit still and concentrate on capturing the moving shapes of the water.

People climbed out on the rocks above me from the upper falls. The more adventurous ones climbed up and down the falls jumping from rock to ledge. 
For myself, I had enough to focus on painting and staying balanced on the boulders…and not fall down in between them!

I was careful to not make sudden moves that might send my supplies down into a narrow deep crevass.

Sitting was best in this situation.There was really no obvious place to set up an easel in a spot that I liked. The grassy level spots are all further down the river. 
I loved the place. So do a lot of other people…there was a flow of visitors enjoying the falls the whole time I was there. 
Jackson Falls, 9×12 watercolor on aquarelle.

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Maine Plein Air Surprise

While driving around Wells Harbor checking out the views and looking for Maine plein air painters…

…. I spotted a guy painting way out on the walk way…I went over to say hello…

Heck !  It was Erik Minzner !

What a delight ! I know Erik thru FB and this is my first 3D encounter…in my own neighborhood!

Erik has the new rollsroyce of easels… a gloucester style designed easel named the “Stapleton Kearns” and made by “Take-it-Easel “ hand made in Vermont. He gave me a guided tour of all its great features.

His slim 16 x 20 paint kit and palette sits on top of the cross braces. 

He carries the rest of his gear in a basic tool carrier.

What a strong sleek beauty!

The great new Eric Tobin designed feature – really handy.

And of course because Erik’s a big guy he has a big umbrella…a solar beach umbrella that he clamps on to the easel.  A great set up for a painter who gets out there to paint. 
When my cheap gloucester copy wears out I’ll definitely get one of these !

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Plein Air at Wolfe’s Neck

Two plein air paintings I did at Wolfe’s Neck Farm are for sale this week at the farm.

 Early Summer Tide
OIl on panel 10×28 

Grazing at Sunset 
Oil on panel 9×12

To buy now contact : Wolfe’s Neck Farm
….or you can attend the Art Fest and take part in the SILENT AUCTION on June 18th.