Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Scaling Artistic "Heights" in Maine

Maine is absolutely an artist's paradise - so many great artists have painted here: Edward Hopper, Childe Hassam, Robert Henri, and Winslow Homer. And that's just the H's. Let's not forget three generations of Wyeths! It's exciting, exhilarating and humbling to be among the hills, cliffs and ocean views that inspired such brilliant artists.

Spectacular views are punctuated with simple cedar shake houses. It's a throwback in time. There are no cars at all (just a few trucks) so all travel is on foot, carrying gear! We scrambled along ... and up and over ... the rocky coast. I thought I was scoping out a place to paint, but... not so much. It was hard enough to manage a camera and small sketch book. I finally settled down to draw the amazing rocks and part of the cove below.

Above Lobser Cove, Monhegan ©2014 Dorothy Lorenze
This drawing was started on site but finished later from photos - so windy on those rocks! It felt great to sketch again. While we were in Rockland we had enjoyed a gallery walk and my vertical hatching was inspired by the graphite and ink drawings of Robert Pollien whose work we admired at Dowling Walsh Gallery.

Drawing was my toe in the water, so to speak, for making art on Monhegan. Plein air is not exactly my comfort zone - give me a studio where the objects are placed just so and the light doesn't move, and I'm happy! Outdoors with blowing winds, shifting light and moving water it's a whole different ball game. I was feeling a bit timid.

No excuses. You can't turn a corner on this island without bumping into an artist, so it's pretty hard to let yourself off the hook. People are painting everywhere! There are many welcoming artist's studios, as well. I had a long chat with seascape master Don Stone in his beautiful studio. He was such a generous and encouraging gentleman. I can understand why his students think so highly of him.

Monhegan exudes art and there's a lot to take in. So, after a day of blissful wandering, I settled down to paint. Now I'm working on finishing those plein air paintings (and gaining the courage to post them!) More to come!

Thanks for stopping by to see my artwork.

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