I have a crush on a boatyard

My block-in of this scene.

My block-in of the boatyard.

It is still cool enough to chill one’s bones, but one sees hints of spring everywhere. A ladybug sunning on my screen door and yellow willow shoots belie the cold breeze off the water. At Rockport Harbor I was flummoxed by another sign of spring: a crane dropping the fishermen’s dock into the water from the spot where I’d been working.

It is heartening to see all these changes and even the Massachusetts license plates, although they mean the end of easy parking. Winter’s back is finally broken. I was able get in a few hours work from a nearby vantage point before the light moved on. It had the advantage of being on terra firma, which meant no more brushes sacrificed to Poseidon.

As far as I got with my Rockport painting. It's getting there.

As far as I got with my Rockport painting before the light changed.

As I drove home for a hot lunch, my cell phone rang. Renee Lammers called to ask if I wanted to paint. I had planned on finishing my second painting from Wednesday, but an opportunity to paint with Renee is never to be missed. I jettisoned the journey back to Beauchamp Point and we headed to Rockland.

On Front Street, a schooner was pulled up into a dry dock straight out of a George Bellows painting. I asked about the ancient-looking winch. “That’s a double-geared winch from a quarry in Deer Isle,” the man told me. Or perhaps he told me something similar; I was in a fog of love. But I did understand that the great set of gears had once been steam-powered and then converted to gasoline. Here it was in 2016 hauling boats out of the water so a crew could scrape and caulk and paint. Mainers are thrifty.

Renee Lammers painted a 5X7 of this boat.

Renee Lammers’ sweet study of the American Eagle in dry dock.

Renee chose to paint on a very small copper panel; I pulled out a 16X12 linen board. Needless to say, she finished about the same time I was done blocking in.

Me in heaven. (Photo by Renee Lammers.)

Me in heaven. (Photo by Renee Lammers.)

I love old machinery, fine joinery and wooden boats. Watching them scraping reminded me of happy spring days up at Wilson Harbor on Lake Ontario. My father had a 30 foot wooden sloop, a queer old thing in a time that was enamored with fiberglass. How I wish I had that boat now!

This is the angle I aspire to paint, but it's a bit in their way.

This is the angle I aspire to paint, but it’s a bit in their way.

Tomorrow I’m heading to Presque Isle to deliver paintings to the Reed Art Gallery (more on that later). But Monday is supposed to be another beautiful day. I plan to go back in the afternoon, and again and again until they’re sick of me. More paintings than I can ever finish—what a wonderful place to lose myself. Or find myself. Is there a difference?

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 www.watch-me-paint.com/ for more information.