Thursday, August 13, 2015

"Ice Pond House" oil 9 x 12

 In the twelve years we have been going to Monhegan, we've met some wonderful people.  Some live on island, some visit the same weeks we do each summer.  We love our annual visit to the Island, and love our annual visits with other vacationers, from upstate NY, from mainland Maine, from points farther south.  Often, we have connected over our children, and enjoy seeing the maturity another year brings.

One friend used to rent the "Ice Pond House", not to be confused with the "Ice House" which was the shell of an actual ice house on island, and has since collapsed, its site being reabsorbed into the vegetation alongside the Ice Pond itself.  
A few years ago our friend asked me for a painting of the Ice Pond House.  I never got a good photograph of the painting until we visited our friend at her home on the mainland last month.  Monhegan's Ice Pond House is lovely, no electricity, exposed studs throughout, and a big living room with a balcony above onto which open the three bedrooms; a real cottage.  It is filled with original art and collections of things from over the past century.  Wonderful. 
I added a couple of pictures from the Thompson Ice House Museum in South Bristol, ME.  We visited there in the winter years ago and attended their actual ice cutting.  It was fascinating.  There was a basket of vintage ice skates.  You could pop on a pair, and skate at the far end of the pond while the near end of the pond was being sliced and carted away by horses, onto an arrangement of pulleys by which it was loaded and packed into the ice house itself.  Fascinating, and all happening on a -4 F day.  I imagine Monhegan's Ice House was used similarly, though I don't know if there were horses.   

Thanks for reading.  I love your comments.  Oh, and check out my fledgling math blog Fractions Aren't Half Bad.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

"Christmas Cove Rocks" watercolor & ink 8 x 11

The southern tip of Monhegan Island is defined by beautiful, powerful, rugged rocks.  When staying on the island, I listen in the morning for the sound of waves from that direction, although I'm sure there is a much more accurate way of predicting interesting surf along the southern end of the island.  Perhaps wind direction... I don't know.  It's a small island, so I listen, and can hear the waves through the 1/2 mile of forest between me and the rocks.  Sitting on those rocks is absolute joy, all senses activated by the movement of surrounding air and water.  I wish I had a recording of the sounds accompanying the visuals.  I can hear them when I look at the painting, deep booms when waves crash into narrow crannies, splashing sounds of surf and spray on the rocks, and the silky withdrawal of the water back into the sea.

Thanks for looking (and listening)

Friday, July 31, 2015

"Foggy Harbor" watercolor & ink 11 x 8

Our Girls Just Wanna Paint theme this month is fog... I am visiting Monhegan, where the fog has been undulating through the harbor all week, in and out and up and down, tinted yellow and green and purple, receding, advancing.  I tried to capture it as it obscured all but the edge of my beloved Manana. Didn't quite achieve the affect I was going for, but close.  Will experiment some more.

Thanks for looking.

Monhegan Sketchbook July 30 - oil barge, geraniums, etc

Each week that we are blessed to be on Monhegan, my daughter and I choose a day to be up and out early.  We head to the Barnacle for breakfast, and time together.  Today, as we chatted, an oil truck backed down onto the dock.  This is a first for me in the dozen or so years we have been coming to the Island.  The dock is busy, pick up trucks picking up and delivering luggage and goods with each ferry arrival all day long.  But, I had never seen an oil truck.  Its scale was all out of proportion (just realized I've used "proportion" in my last two blog posts; start of school must be approaching) to the landscape, the architecture, and certainly the narrow road and dock.  
Turns out, an oil barge was coming from the mainland to refill the oil truck with diesel fuel, which is used to run some generators up behind the lighthouse.  Live and learn.  The oil barge was long, low, and sleek; and someone told me double-hulled as is the rule since the Exxon Valdez spill.  Again, live and learn.  

Thanks for looking... and reading.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

"Monhegan Sketch Book" July 29 and a sunny selfie

Today I sat on the rocks above Swim Beach in the sun and added watercolor to some sketches from yesterday. I'll finish up tomorrow, but it was a joy to paint and listen to the hubbub on the crowded beach this hot July afternoon.

 The beach was filled with many children, and families with the singsong accents of our country's south.  Children on paddle boards, in small kayaks, on floats.  The water is COLD, but there seems to be an inverse proportionality to age and tolerance for cold water, as in, the younger you are, the higher your tolerance.  Toddlers toddle in, single digit-aged children head in with a little hesitation, then have to be ordered out eventually by adults witnessing their shivering bodies and blue-tinged lips; pre-teens have to contend with peer pressure so they hit the water a little more slowly, then simultaneously, with a lot of squealing.. and up the line.  Adults that I have witnessed are more likely to try but turn away; or just not try at all. 

Today's high point was watching a pair of toddler girls on the beach.  They were both naked, and loved the water and sand and excitement of their older siblings' activity.   At one point, the two girls looked twenty yards up the beach and saw an inflated raft. They toddled across the wet sand with great purpose, each grabbed part of the raft's rope and they dragged it down to the water. (Did I mention they were on the young side of 2 years old, and it was an adult-sized inflatable raft?)  Toddlers are not known for cooperative play, and these two weren't speaking in sentences yet.  I didn't hear them utter a word.  They formed their plan while exchanging a conspiratorial glance, and off they went.  It wasn't their boat, and it was a new beach to them.  These two girls may be future world leaders.  Very impressive.  

I added a "selfie" here from our rented house, late afternoon.  The sunset was glorious, and cast a golden glow into the living room.  

Thanks for looking; thanks for reading.    

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

"From Nigh Duck" - new view of Manana pen & ink 6 x 12

Today I made my way down to "Treasure Beach" or "Sea Glass Beach".  There are a couple of paths that lead there, and isn't far, but what a lovely spot!  And, a new vantage point for watching the shadows extend along Manana.  I climbed up on a flat rock and did some drawing while listening to the birds squacking on Nigh Duck nearby.  I'm going to find my way there again tomorrow a little later in the day to paint.

Finished today with a long read/nap/read on the deck with the intermittent thought that the air was perfect... the kind of air that kisses your skin, makes you think about a light sweater, which you never act on because it was a fleeting thought replaced by the next thought which is the feeling of being so blessed to be alive.  That kind of day....

Thanks for looking.

Monday, July 27, 2015

"Majestic" two ways...

I inherited a lot of art supplies when Mom passed away 9 years ago.  Mom was a prolific painter, accomplished in oils, watercolor, and pastel. I have been using her brushes, oil paints, easels, paint panels, sketchbooks, pencils, charcoal, taboret, and a library filled with art books.  However, I have never used her pastels, though I have inherited a lifetime's supply, and loads of pastel paper in a variety of shades.  So, I brought two small sets of pastels to Monhegan for the week, and began to explore today.  I reproduced a small watercolor in pastel, laying in darks first and using some alcohol to set them.. then layering on top.  It was fascinating, and a brain bender, and good grief, I have a lot to learn so please excuse my heavy-handed start... I am intrigued!!!  

Stay posted for some more experiments here on my blog... this week.

Thanks for looking!!!