Friday, June 24, 2016

Doing "Nothing" on the Seaside Deck

I recently went back to the inn at Spruce Head for a night (after having been there on June 4 (backtrack to the post of June 8.)  I returned so I could sit again on the shaded deck & gaze, & smell the flowers & feel the sea breeze. And to sink into the quiet & peaceful rhythms of the tides & the seabirds & the light & the changing colors. The sketch above is actually a sketch drawn after I got back home. It was based on the rather scribbly & energetic sketch, below.
The difference is interesting to me. 
Below is the first sketch from the previous visit, also different.
Each one is my true impression, but none are attempts at accurate drawing. Sometime I would like to make some accurate  studies of landscapes using perspective among other techniques. But, these sketches are just my way of using my journal to observe & to connect with a place where I love lingering. They are almost an excuse to be able to sit & do "nothing"...

Monday, June 20, 2016

Acadia National Park: Love All Over Again

Acadia National Park is turning 100 years old. I started a new Moleskine accordion in her honor. I'm going back as soon as I can to fill a few more pages. 
I first fell in love with Acadia in 1968, when I hitchiked to Bar Harbor from Orono with a friend. My last visit was recent, & there have been many, many visits inbetween. There were different eras, different companions, different activities, different seasons, & different me's. Each time I grow more deeply in love, each time there is so much more to explore & so much to revisit. How can it be that two million tourists visit each year, & yet it feels so intimately like my own special place?
I'm not 100, but I am delighted to be growing older with Acadia. I am seeing changes, one of which is more of a focus on preservation with the involvement of newer, younger stewards. The Park needs continued loving care. They say that the current generation of young people is more connected to technology than to nature. However, we did see some delightful families, enjoying the magic. The Park also presents some wonderful Jr. Ranger & Explorer programs for kids.
A little about the sketching process: The new Rigger's Bag (from Hamilton Marine in Searsport) sat on my 3 legged folding stool while I stood to draw. Best arrangement I've found so far!! It also works in the car & has made a difference for me to be able to spontaneously stop & sketch with watercolor more often. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

It's Lupine Time in Maine

Every year in June, I gaze at lupines, lupines & more lupines out my back windows. I take many photos at different times of day because their hues & intensities change according to the light & weather, and because I know that these violet colors are only here briefly. But, it wasn't until I finally did the little painting that I felt I really saw them as I searched for lupine paint colors, as I danced my brush in lupine strokes.
The photos do capture a more accurate image, I suppose. What is striking about fields of lupines is their amazing violet color bands, set off by contrasting colors. The blossoms are beginning to turn to seed, but then the seeds will pop & fly & more lupines will appear next year! 
These lupines were at the Craignair Inn in Spruce Head, just at the edge of Penobscot Bay. It's a lovely & typical midcoast Maine wildflower scene. Yellow buttercups are more plentiful than ever this year, or is it that I'm just seeing them more?

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Spruce Head, Maine

I had a lovely vantage point for watercolor sketching 
from the deck of the Craignair Inn. 
I was at a French Immersion workshop at Spruce Head.
(Those are purple lupines in the foreground: 
Do you know Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney?)
My "studio" ~ Note my new "Riggers Bag",
 bought at Hamilton Marine in Rockland. 
An artist at Camden's Rockport Blueprint had recommended it. 
Shop local! 
The fog rolled in at, sweet & soft...

The 4 sketches below are in the smaller Moleskine,
the 2 above are in the larger Moleskine watercolor book.
Some people used a free period to go
 for an after-lunch walk. I stayed on the deck. 
During a walking "treasure hunt" activity en français,
 on the nearby small island, (joined to Spruce Head by 
what I think is a natural walking bridge), 
stayed on the deck because of my aversion to ticks &
because of my sun sensitive skin. 
And, because, 
it was my lovely vantage point for watercolor sketching!
Lovely gardens surround the inn. It was
hard to tell if they are cultivated or wild. 

A little stone elf & stone flower greet you near the entrance.

Even though it was just for the day, it was a perfect vacation~ French, art, and the Maine Coast!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Cafe Figure Sketching

 Trips to Portland always include 
early morning cafe sketching
and writing notes in the Old Port.
Costumed characters.
Great theater for the price of
a non-fat vente latté.
The notes are as important to me
as the sketching.
It is also my Figure Drawing class.
While so many others are on their devices,
I am on my sketchbook.