Friday, September 9, 2011

Plein air Maine with artist partner Summer 2011

This July 2011 my fellow artist Jan Blencowe and I decided to get away from our homes in Ct and our obligations and commit ourselves to painting a different scenery all day each day for four days. Jan and I are both serious dedicated artists and work productively together. I created a 5 day paint trip to Acadia National Park in Maine for us to work and enjoy painting together. We took with us my hubby Daryl (who would be the one to fix our easels, bring us what we forget, find the right size panels, and bring us food and drink etc.) and our photographer friend Lou Zucchi who found new inspiration photographing coastline, increasing his own skills and creativity and keeping company with Daryl.
At 6 am each day we were ready to leave our motel (Robins Motel in Bar Harbor, Maine) a no frills economical artists' place to stay.  We were packed and ready with our art supplies and prepared for any weather (yeah right!)  You can never be fully prepared for any situation that could arise while plein air painting or any weather condition that God can orchestrate for you!  Actually I think Plein Air Painting is much like life itself!  It is HOW YOU HANDLE IT THAT COUNTS!
I had been to Acadia National Park in Maine about 13 yrs ago with a dear artist friends, Michael and Dot Stoffa, wonderful painters from Rockport Mass. and fell in love with some of the areas that had taken me to. So I was on a quest each day trying to find these places that had inspired me so long ago. The park had many winding road and one way situations as well. So there was a great deal of driving and backtracking to find our way to locations that we thought we might like to paint. It is good to get some information from other artists(if they are willing to share) some of their favorite places to paint to save time. Wasting time is not something either Jan nor I like to do.
We found some locations out of the way of the normal tourist routes. We would jump out of our "Art Van" each time we saw a spot that sang out to us and we would set up our easels as fast as we could to record what we felt about what we saw before us.
Primarily a portrait painter, plein air can be quite challenging but very exciting. It is catching the light, feeling an emotion about what you see out of doors and making quick judgements concerning your own painting process.
When things were forgotten, dropped, spilled, lost the frustration took away from the natural creative flow. When the wind picked up and took our umbrellas, knocking over our supplies or easels, we had to hold on , pick up, wipe off, adjust and just continue on. The sun and atmosphere has you on a timer and you have to get it done.
This is Jan who finally sat down on the sand with her supplies to ground herself and finish her work after a gust of wind picked up her umbrella off her easel and threw all of her paints, canvas etc etc. over her head and into a distant area off limits to anyone ! Needless to say she had to retrieve her umbrella out of this marshy field and wipe herself off and get back to the business of painting and making art!
I was located a distance for her and while standing at my easel the wind picked up my container of turp and splashed it right on to the little wet oil painting I was working on. I had to paint while holding on to my easel and umbrella in order to continue.
That morning we were a mess, paint, sand and turp all over us. And we went on to the next two locations for the rest of the day.

This was one of the spots we always passed as we went the wrong way and had to backtrack. It caught our attention and out we were along the side of the road. This was a square surface I brought with me and it seemed most fitting. I painted in oil and Jan in acrylic. The energy you feel painting next to one another is contagious and stimulating. Painting out of doors made it that much more exciting.

This was a great little spot on Schoodic Pt. where we watched the sun go down. Peaceful and almost in a trance we painted there for an hour and a half (battling mosquitoes and a few bees) Jan's version of this spot was accepted into a Regional Juried Exhibition at Rockport Art Association Oct. 2011 and juried by artist Don Stone. I was accepted also but with a pastel portrait.

This was the spot I was looking for so that Jan could see what inspired me 13 yrs. ago here. It is Blueberry Hill and there is just a 360 degree view to paint here. We hunkered down for a day here and the time flew by. I suggested to Jan that she do a tripdicth, two separate paintings that fit together as one. This excited her and she just painting up a storm with it. You can see it on her website.

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