Swan’s Island

The third weekend of June I packed up with some of the Plein Air Connect Group and headed to Bass Harbor where we took the ferry over to Swan’s Island. We were invited to stay at the home of Jessica Harrington, a very generous invitation. We met up with our hosts and fellow painters, Arriah Vanier and Greg Cyr. The house is located near a narrow strip of land  called “The Carrying Place”. It is flanked by ocean on both sides, Back Cove and Toothaker Cove.

Carrying Place, Swan's Island, ME

Carrying Place, Swan’s Island, ME


I painted Back Cove which is a huge tidal basin. I started at low tide and was warned that the ocean comes in very fast with the tide change. Even so, I was not prepared for just how fast it was. Granted, I am not native to Maine with its’ extreme tidal differences, but I have become used to the change in tides and watching so I don’t get caught somewhere being separated from the mainland by the ocean. But it seemed as if I was just looking down to mix some paint and when I looked back at the scene the ocean had covered all the sand and rocks. I will have to finish this painting in the studio.

IMG_0303We had great weather so decided to do a sunset painting at West Point. I set up and thought it was a good spot, but then the sun tracked differently than I expected and the mosquitoes were out in force. Still, a fun night with fellow painters.

This was chosen by Jessica as a thank you. We had each picked a painting and she chose the one she wanted.

Sunrise at Town Pond

Sunrise at Town Pond

Sunday we had decided to do ‘The Race”. The race is from Robert Henri where the challenge was to do as many paintings in a day as you could. We had been reading and discussing his book over the winter and thought it would be good for us to take up the Mill Pond Cove  challenge. We did and it was. Sunrise, morning, afternoon and sunset. Up at 4 am for the first painting, back for breakfast, paint, lunch, paint, supper and paint the sunset. Tiring, but in an odd way addictive. I stopped thinking about halfway through my third painting and the last sunset just wanted to get through it to finish. At the same time, I couldn’t wait to get back out and start again the next day, feeling a little more connected to how the paints and the scene work together.


The Quarry

These paintings are all studies done on location.


I had to leave a day early as my daughter and husband were arriving for a visit. But I was able to get a good start on my final painting. The ferry ride back was again smooth and uneventful. I am so grateful to Jessica for the opportunity to paint in such a spectacular area.

Sunset at Solomman's Cove

A Beautiful Order Reflecting Peace

We have been painting together for over a year now and decided it was time to do a show and display our hard work. Kay Carter, Nora West and facilitator Michael Vermette along with myself have painted at Mt. Katahdin, Monhegan Island and various locations along the coast of Maine. We put in a few paintings from each spot and it turned out to be a great show.

Opening of our show "A Beautiful Order Reflecting Peace"

Opening of our show “A Beautiful Order Reflecting Peace”

The Plein Air Connect Group paints every Tuesday rain or shine (except extreme weather). We also have a book discussion every other Saturday morning. We have been through “The Artist’s Way” by Julie Cameron and a few others. This year we have concentrated on Robert Henri’s book “The Art Spirit”. It is a collection of letters and teachings and the wisdom of Robert Henri. Our show is taken from the book where he expresses his opinion on order. “This thing that I call dignity in a human being is inevitably the result of an established order in the universe. Everything that is beautiful is orderly”. There is order in painting, in nature, in the human spirit, etc. We found this to be his common theme.

The show will be up through the Bangor Artwalk on June 14, 2014. Please drop by. We’d love to show you what we’ve been up to.

For more information on my plein air painting with the Plein Air Connect Group, visit Michael Vermette’s website. He writes a great newsletter/blog.