Friday, June 24, 2011

Salt, Seaweed and Quiet in East Boothbay

I've wanted to paint with Plein Air Painters of Maine since I first found them while searching for local painters on the internet...

It is the only plein air group that paints regularly in the state of Maine. 

They paint every week somewhere in midcoast or western Maine. I went up to Boothbay to paint with them.

  There is only one road from southern Maine to the midcoast region. It is coastal Route 1, a small two lane highway with spectacular views. 

The midcoast region of Maine is very different from southern Maine where I live.  In the south one is close to the open ocean. We have crashing surf and lots of wind.  To reach the open ocean in midcoast Maine you have to drive down a long pennisula before you see it.

When we arrived at the PAPME painting location on Boothbay Shores along the Damariscotta River we discovered Suzanne Brewer painting on the beach!  

We parked the car nearby, set up and went to work. 

The sun was warm and the cool breeze off the water was pleasant. 

The area was quiet. We saw a handful of walkers and bikers. Every now and then a car drove by. Working boats went up and down the river and in and out of Ocean Harbor. 

Marcus set up next to me to paint with acrylics. Brave guy ! He has no experience painting, never mind painting outside.  He is hoping to become good enough to enjoy it and maybe become a Sunday painter... like Winston Churchill who enjoyed plein air painting as a way to de-stress from his overwhelming responsibilities.  

Painting en plein air can be very calming. Its so demanding that you have to give it your full attention and forget everything else.   Zen mind, painters mind!

Boothbay was a new location for me so I decided to paint 4 small field studies of 4 different views.

There  was a nice variety of things to paint without even moving from our spot. 

Now that it's almost the summer solstice the sun feels like its at high noon for hours.

Marcus focused intently as he placed the different colors on his field sketches.

As the sun shifted into the west I finished my sketches and started to pack up.  A SUV drove up and a woman got out and said "Mary?" It was Corinne McIntyre a founder of Plein Air Painters of Maine ! She heard that I had arrived after she left that morning so she drove over to meet me!  

She  offered to  take us on a tour around the tip of the pennisula and show me other painting locations. We drove the entire loop road on the pennisula. The views were gorgeous. Islands were scattered across the water.

Corinne showed us a nice trail along the water to great painting locations on Grimes Cove.

This area is a very old seaside summer community.  The roads are right along the water. You can park right on the edge of the sea and enjoy the view. 

Three trees is a distinctive and well known spot.

Before we left East Boothbay we stopped at Corinne's home and Ocean Point Studio/Gallery. It was chock full of her paintings of Boothbay and midcoast. What a delight ! I'm heading back later this summer to visit her and paint some of these lovely places.

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