On Friday, Brad Marshall and I had only a short time to paint before he had to head back south. We decided small watercolor sketches were all we could pull together in the time we had. Sandy Quang is my former studio assistant and is now working at Camden Falls Gallery this summer. She joined us with her sketchbook before work. Since we weren’t using easels, the simplest thing was to dangle our feet in the water and draw the lobster boat on the next dock.
Across the harbor, another painter was working away at his easel. It was George Van Hook. I called him on my cell phone to say hi, since my voice would never carry that far over open water. He was ready for a short break so he came over and joined us on our dock.
I never know who I’ll see at Camden’s Public Landing, but there’s always someone I know—a sailor, another painter, or a Camden or Rockport friend just enjoying the sun. And I’m always meeting new people, too. For me, plein air painting is often about balancing the party with the need to do serious work.
Later that day, my husband and I joined painter Bobbi Heath and her husband aboard their lobster boat for dinner. Moored in Tenants Harbor, we were surrounded by wildlife. An osprey took up residence on the mast of a neighboring boat, chirruping to his mate who flew nearby. Suddenly he dropped into the sea like a rock, and rose with a fish in his beak—and then he was gone, bringing home the bacon. A seal poked his dappled nose out of the water nearby. Black Guillemots—a kind of puffin—potted around us as we ate. The light dropped and the evening breeze picked up, and we glided back to shore under a sliver of new moon.
Today I start a series of wild perambulations, which include Acadia National Park, Scotland, and an Alaska-to-Nova-Scotia painting trip (plus three more events in Maine). I expect to be home for good in mid-September. On Saturday I finished the painting above, which is of a Parker dinghy built on Deer Island, NB. That allowed me just enough time to pack and get to the Schoodic Institute, where I met up with this year’s workshop students.
After dinner at the Commons, Ken and Corinne Avery and I spent some time looking at aurora borealis predictions. Turns out these can’t be made very far in advance, but there was some possibility of solar-wind activity last night. The partly-cloudy sky was predicted to clear by 11 PM.
My first realization is that I need an app for this. My second is that they exist. Since I’ll be spending much of the next month traversing prime Northern Lights territory, I need to figure one out.
Alas, the aurora borealis didn’t show up. It’s a whole new week, however, and the Perseid meteor shower is expected to peak on Thursday and Friday. Who needs sleep? I do, of course. But I feel the likelihood of a spectacular night-sky event in my bones.