Thursday, May 19, 2016

Painting "My Dream of Maine"

Everyone has a dream of what Maine means to them. For some it’s the lakes, for some it’s Katahdin, for others it’s the shore. For me, it’s the boats and harbors. The first time I saw these houses in Cozy Harbor, I’d been to a paint out with the Plein Air Painters of Maine and the Plein Air Painters of the Southeast. Plein air painting, popularized by the impressionists, means painting outside in the landscape, painting the scenes around you. We’d had a great time doing just that at Hendricks Head Light on Southport Island, near Boothbay Harbor. Someone remembered Oliver’s Restaurant in Cozy Harbor, and so we headed over there for lunch. Oliver’s is great, I recommend it.

One of the great things about painters getting together is the sharing of not only ideas about painting, but also places to paint. And so we moved on to a part of Cozy Harbor I wasn’t familiar with, the road that goes to Pratt’s Island. And once over the bridge to the island, looking back we saw the red lobster shack and houses. Several paintings were done on the spot, but there wasn’t room for all of us. I came back the next week, and set up my gear. My first painting focused on the red lobster shack.

 “Cozy Harbor Inlet”
11”X14”, oil on linen panel, 2014

As I was finishing my first day’s session, the most beautiful gaff rigged catboat sailed up to the little dock. And it had a red sail! I snapped a quick photo, and I knew I was going to have to do another painting of this scene, and include the boat.

“Bright Sail, Cozy Harbor”
16”X20”, oil on linen panel, 2015

I love this scene. The houses on pilings, the reflections of the pilings, the abstract arrangement of the roofs, the little red shack, the idea of boats coming by, people getting on with their daily work, and enjoying living by the sea. So last fall, I started looking for another view, and found it while standing on the bridge. Only quick photos were available from that vantage point, and I came back several times to view it at different tide levels. Armed with the previous paintings, and my new reference photos, I painted a third version, and I’m not sure that I don’t like it best of all. I’ll probably be back there again this summer, and who knows what might happen?

“My Dream of Maine”
20”X24”, oil on canvas, 2016

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