I feel fortunate to have received an artist residency in Maine, where I have been for a little under a week. I have never been to Maine, though it has honestly been a "bucket list" goal of mine to one day visit and paint its rocky coasts. I am out on the island of Vinalhaven, which sits across the mainland town of Rockland.
If you are an art buff you may have heard of the artists' colony on Monhegan Island. I haven't had the opportunity to visit there yet, but from what I have been told it is very beautiful. Vinalhaven is also, in fact, quite magical and beautiful. It is different from Monhegan in that it has an active lobster fishing community, with about 1200 year-round residents on the island.
There is no very direct way to get here, so my options were to fly and rent a car and then ferry over from the mainland, or drive the whole way up. Given all of the art gear I would be taking with me, I opted to drive, which took me 13-14 hours from Virginia split over 2 days. I had many raised eyebrows from people when I said I was driving up, but it did save me some money, plus the hassle of shuffling and shipping all of my gear around. The down side of this option was that it will shave off a few days from my stay on the island, which I am already starting to regret, since it is so, so enchanting here. I stayed in Rockland for a day and a half, and got in a visit to the Farnsworth Museum, which was celebrating Andrew Wyeth's 100th birthday and had a great show of his masterful drawings and watercolors.
I am now in Vinalhaven, and having been here for only 2 1/2 days I am realizing that 2 weeks is a really short time for a residency. Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled to have the opportunity, and in fact, it would be hard to be away from my family for much longer than this. There is just so much to explore here; the harbors and boat yards, the nature preserves and hikes, and takes a few days just to get one's bearings.
It also takes me time to familiarize myself with new terrain, especially since the sun rises at 4:30 in the morning. Oi! But I'm getting there. The first day I had a couple of wipers, but finally painted something that started to make me feel like I was developing a better understanding of this landscape. This is not the greatest shot of the painting but since I'm on the road it will have to do. I will probably do a little clean up to this piece as well:
The above was my first view at this site, but the next morning I took a hike along the trails higher on the rocky cliffs and came upon this magnificent panorama :
It's raining today so I haven't been able to get a good photo of just the painting, and this pic is a little bit dark, but this gives you an idea of my work in situ. I will try and post again before I leave, but I have just a week left to go. Maybe on the next rainy day....