Storm flags

Just yesterday I wrote that I was looking forward to heading to NYC this weekend, where the breathing wouldn’t be as bad as it is here in the Genesee Valley. Hah!

It turns out that New York is under a Tropical Storm Watch. Joaquin is approaching hurricane strength and may or may not aim for northern New Jersey and the greater New York area. It is (relatively) rare for cyclones to make landfall in New York. When they do, they cause a lot of damage, because there’s just so much stuff to knock down. Hurricane Sandy, the second most costly hurricane in American history, hit the city just three years ago this month.

My kit on a rainy beach in Rye, 2008.

My kit on a rainy beach in Rye, 2008.

Rye’s Painters on Location is one of my favorite events of the year. I’ve painted in it in all kinds of weather, from drenching rain to blazing sun, but never in anything approaching a tropical storm. It’s hard to imagine placid Rye harbor kicking up its heels, but perhaps we’ll see that for the first time.

Brad Marshall and I had been planning on boating out to Hen Island. Heavy rain wreaks havoc on all kinds of paints. If there’s enough blowing mist in the air, oil paints emulsify and become sludge. Even if we can find a view in all that rain, our umbrellas will be useless in high wind.

The weather was perfect in 2013.

The weather was perfect in 2013.

By now, the organizers have ordered food and wine, hired the auctioneer, assembled a regiment of volunteers and paid to publicize the event. All I have to worry about is a non-refundable round-trip ticket.

Tropical storms are notoriously fickle. Like the organizers, I will carry on as usual, but with one eye on the sky. However, I will change my packing strategy. I am traveling with a light wind-breaker and a pair of sandals. This evening I had better run out and see if I can find a good rainsuit and Wellies.

Daisy du Puthod painting on a miserably cold September day at Rye Playland, 2007.

Daisy de Puthod painting on a miserably cold September day at Rye Playland, 2007.

The current plan is that I leave tomorrow morning. Wish me well!

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.