Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Little Red Boat

Carvers Harbor is a lobstering community on Vinalhaven Island. The harbor still stinks like dead fish sometimes, and the lobster boats take up every inch of the harbor - though, this year, there was one pricey-looking sailboat anchored in the middle of them all. When we went ashore, a lobster boat was secured to the public landing for repairs or a paint job when the tide went out, and the locals still barreled through town in loud pick up trucks.

The fishing boats weren't working - it wasn't the season yet so all was quiet on the water. Linda Bean's operation across the way would make our spot a non-stop roller coaster ride when they are. We saw a bald eagle causing a loud commotion with the local gulls as it tried to feast on a carcass - we assumed it was a carcass anyway. We couldn't see what was hidden behind the rocks about 500 feet from where we were anchored for the night. All we saw was a lot of gulls dive-bombing this huge bird when it landed. Eventually it gave up and flew off.

The town is changing - there's a new pricey dress shop, and a city coffee shop with WiFi. There was a restored VW station wagon in the town landing parking lot among the local beaters, and the local grocer now offers gourmet and artisan foods along with the boxes of regular mac and cheese.

More than a couple of old fisherman's homes and shacks around the harbor have morphed into Martha Stewart summer homes. It's beginning to look a bit like Maine Home - boring.

I think all people deserve a chance to work, make a good living, send their kids to college, afford health care, take a vacation, and even make a fortune from the sale of their waterfront shack. But I really wish folks from away would simply appreciate the way places like this look - which is what drew them in the first place, and leave nothing of themselves except the money it takes to keep them looking the same. It's like donating to your favorite museum, except the things you're preserving are still alive.

Little Red Boat • 8"x 8" watercolor framed to 12" x 12" • $200

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Sometimes the light can be so astoundingly bright on a summer day here in Maine that when you retreat to the shade, the memory becomes something other worldly. When I paint a memory, it's a meditative process and oftentimes I end up with something quite far from reality. These days it's usually a peaceful scene. Is this a form of escapism?

I looked up escapism in Websters on-line to find out if it was the correct word for my particular situation. It turns out, Websters has three definitions for three groups of people.

Definition for people like me: habitual diversion of the mind to purely imaginative activity or entertainment as an escape from reality or routine

Definition for English language learners: an activity or form of entertainment that allows people to forget about the real problems of life

Definition for children: a habit of thinking about purely imaginary or amusing things in order to escape from reality or everyday matters

This whole thing is a bit unsettling because it occurs to me that I may indeed be addicted to painting as a form of escapism.

Escapism • 8" x 8" gouache framed to 12" x 12" • $200

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Stop on Potato Island

The last time we cruised Penobscot Bay, we made a stop on Potato Island.

Because we have the boat we do, we could nose the Claudia through a series of rocks that lie just below the surface at the higher tide as we made our way onto the beach. It's also because of the rocks and the white, white beach, that the water surrounding the island is an exquisite myriad of blues. When you look down into it, the reefs off islands down south come to mind. Of course the temperature of the water, as you step into it to go ashore, snaps you right out of that little fantasy and back to Maine in a major heartbeat.

From a distance the beach is the whitest sand you've ever seen - but it's actually not sand. My first visit ashore was in sandals, thank heavens, because the beach is shredded bleached shells and a little prickly on the foot.

There's nowhere to go on the island really - it's just a bump in the bay, but one of the those bumps that's just too beautiful not to be a part of for a half hour or so that is lunch.

Lunch Stop on Potato Island • 8" x 8" watercolor framed to 12" x 12"• $200

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Midnight Moonlight Sunflower Red Light Green Light Ho Down

So, I was contemplating these sunflowers the other day. Their arms and heads made for the most perplexing arrangements. It appeared as if they had been whooping it up - dancing maybe, but then, for some inexplicable reason, were suddenly forced to freeze in mid-flight.

I came up with two possibilities: They either have a big full moon ho down - and then freeze at first light, or were playing red light green light with me.  It's a tough call.

The Midnight Moonlight Sunflower Red Light Green Light Ho Down • 8" x 8" watercolor framed to 12" x 12" • $200