Back in the saddle again

Behind Main Street on the Megunticook River, oil on canvas, 12X16, by little ol’ me.
 I felt this morning as if I’d been thrown by a particularly fractious horse and was having a hard time dragging myself back into the saddle. That was compounded by a cold rain which put paid to my first idea for a subject. That was to drive out to Aldermere Farm to paint Belted Galloways in front of Mount Battie. (Neither cattle nor mountains have rigging, tidal changes, or any claim to carefully measured angles.)
Hey! I thought you said we were giving up obsessive drafting today!
In pursuit of a sheltered painting spot, I ended up on the Riverhouse Footbridge over the Megunticook River. This was hardly the place of soft shapes I’d been dreaming of, but it is a view I’ve wanted to paint for a while. Essentially, it’s a different view of this scene, which I painted earlier this month.
Reason #6345 why I love my easel: it can set up in a minimum of space on a narrow footbridge.
“Nothing ever came from a life that was a simple one,” Flogging Molly howled in my headphones as I worked. That seemed appropriate. One day up, one day down—the secret is to never be so much in the moment that you forget the long view. Yesterday, I forgot how to paint. Today I liked what I painted. Tomorrow… well, who knows what tomorrow will bring?
This was such a complicated thing to draw that I never got past the “laying in paint” phase to see it as a whole. I suspect it will need tweaking before I submit it in the morning.
A man came by and asked me what these plants were. “I see them on the beach, I see them everywhere,” he said. “Um, the things on the beach are rosa rugosa. These are cherry tomatoes,” I answered. I definitely pegged him as ‘from away.’
On Saturday, I paint in a two-hour “quick draw,” the results of which will immediately be auctioned off. Will I be able to get out of this obsessive phase I find myself in before then? I sure hope so.
When the fairy lights come on, you’re done for the day.
(This was Day Four of Camden Plein Air, Camden Falls Gallery’s annual paintout and wet paint auction. From Monday, August 26 through Monday, September 2 participating artists from around New England and the mid-Atlantic region are painting picturesque Camden Harbor and the surrounding area. New work produced during this event will be displayed in the Camden Falls Gallery throughout the week, and a Wet Paint Auction will be held on Saturday, September 7 to benefit four local non-profit organizations.)
Join me in October, 2013 at Lakewatch Manor—which is selling out fast—or let me know if you’re interested in painting with me in 2014. Click here for more information on my Maine workshops!

Carol Douglas

About Carol Douglas

Carol L. Douglas is a painter who lives, works and teaches in Rockport, ME. Her annual workshop will again be held on the Schoodic Peninsula in beautiful Acadia National Park, from August 6-11, 2017. Visit for more information.