I headed out to paint on the coast this week. We are having an early spring. I wanted to paint in an old coastal neighborhood where you still can find some of the original farm houses that were built before the the region became “vacation land”. In most of these locations if the neighborhood hasn’t been modernized, the farmhouses that are close to the water are usually near some of the older summer cottages that were built after they were already there. The architecture in these neighborhood enclaves is rich and varied. Off season during the fall, winter and spring the streets and houses are quiet. Most of the owners use their houses in warmer weather. Off season we can usually find space to park and there are always plenty of interesting subjects to paint.
The line of vintage cottages mixed in with a few modernized buildings along the road facing the water at Short Sands. Photo: Mary Byrom.
This week it was perfect. We had our first taste of spring temperatures and it is early enough so that the tourists aren’t back yet. As is typical in spring in coastal Maine it was down right chilly on the water. As we set up our easels it was cloudy and gray, the colors of a perfect Andrew Wyeth painting. By the time we had settled into painting the clouds blew out to sea and sun came out. But with the chilly wind off the water you could only really stay warm if you were standing and painting in full sun.
Here I am set up painting on the edge of an old sea side neighborhood along of one of its narrow streets. Photo: Barbara Carr.
I’m painting large paintings in the studio right now so when I set out this day I wanted to painting something quick, small and compact. The houses were beautiful and I thought about painting them but I didn’t have any large panels with me. I am usually focusing on my Haiku series these days when I’m not painting a big one. So my car studio was stuffed with little tiny panels and no larger ones. After sketching for a bit I decided on a street scene of a narrow, old lane that stretched up a hill toward the ocean with cottages and wild brambles along the edge.
A small street scene of cottages and bits of wild under brush. Photo: Mary Byrom.
If you like to spend time in nature and are interested in painting outdoors but are not sure you will like it a good way to check it out is to attend a plein air demo. Some people like to paint or draw but feel shy about doing it in a public place. Others don’t have the equipment and want to see what it is like before investing in a lot of stuff they might not end up using. The best way to check it out is to watch someone and see how it is done. Come to one of my plein air demos this summer and see for yourself. This might become a new hobby for you. Of course I think its much more fun than golf or fishing, but then I’m baised !
IF YOU WOULD LIKE ME TO DO A DEMO OR TEACH A PLEIN AIR WORKSHOP AT YOUR LOCATION: Note: I’m visiting art groups and associations giving demos and mini-sampler classes. I’m traveling and giving plein air workshops as well. If you or your group would like me to give a workshop please don’t hesitate to ask for details and dates. I have available dates for summer and fall.
PLEIN AIR DEMO –
MAY 28TH 4-6 pm
2016 SEASON OPENING FOR BETH ELLIS GALLERY
Location: BETH ELLIS GALLERY
294 SHORE ROAD
PLEIN AIR DEMO & INSTRUCTION
JUNE 16TH 4-7 pm
Location : LIL’S, DOWNTOWN KITTERY, MAINE
Hosted by : THE KITTERY ART ASSOCIATION
CLASS SIZE IS LIMITED.
2016 summer classes “en plein air” begin on May 3rd. I will be teaching a new easy plein air method in a 5 week block of classes. This easy method really helps beginners get comfortable with plein air painting and it helps experienced painters improve skills dramatically. It’s a tried and true method and its great to see how fast it works.SIGN UP HERE FOR 5 WEEK SESSION.SIGN UP HERE FOR ONE SINGLE CLASS
MAINE SUMMER WORKSHOPS
JUNE 18 2016 10-5
JULY 9 10-5
AUGUST 6 10-5
SEPTEMBER 10 10-5
OCTOBER 8 10-5
All workshops are in southern Maine in the coastal towns of Kittery, York, Cape Neddick, Ogunquit, Wells, Kennebunkport and Cape Porpoise. Painting locations include quintessential Maine places including beaches, rocky coastlines, harbors, marshes, farms, historical homes and classic small villages.
These are one day plein air workshops. All workshops begin at 10am with a one hour break for lunch. The day will start with a demo and a short talk on the specific aspects/advantages/challenges of the location. Guidance will be given on choices of subject matter tailored to each student’s individual painting experience. Students can expect to complete one or more paintings.
Register for a workshop here. Price: $100.
I look forward to seeing you!