Sunday, October 2, 2011


Gull Cove

We arrived on Monhegan Saturday with a smooth crossing and gorgeous weather. Alex and I are enjoying two new painters in our house this year. Sue Braswell an old painting partner of mine from the Art League in Alexandria and Linda Brandon a fellow portrait painter of Alex’s. Fellow Maine Landscape Guild artists Mary Walsh and Eliza Auth will be coming next week to the island. Nancy Bea Miller has gone off to grad school! Judy Carducci, Greer Jennison, and Carrie Lewis have also joined us and they are staying at the Monhegan House.

Island life of course can be fun. I had totally forgotten that my phone actually goes dead in it quest to search for service. We really feel like official islanders as we have now outlived the propane crunch. It gets down to basics. If we want to cook then we don’t bathe or have heat!

Maine Landscape Guild Members Diana Ansley and Alexandra Tyng with new members
Sue Braswell and Linda Brandon.

This is the View of Manana and the Johnson house where we are staying.

Sue and I got to work painting this scene and then we did the truck below

Light rain today so we have been regrouping, stretching canvas, and finally washed our hair after seven days! Propane arrived last night. We went to the museum and the curator, Jenn Pye, pulled out some wonderful Alice Kent Stoddard portrait paintings for us to see. She Studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts with Thomas Eakins, and William Merritt Chase. Like many of our Maine Landscape Guilder's she was an artist from Pennsylvania and lived on Monhegan as well.

Alex and Linda were so inspired they had a paint off this afternoon in the fog.

Linda Brandon

Alex's Sketch of Linda

Linda Painting Alex

Alex sits for 30 minutes and Linda paints and then Linda sits and Alex paints. Each have very different approaches to capturing the face. It is amazing to see the faces emerge. Painting, a fire, and tea can’t get much better.

Gorgeous day and Sue and I took advantage of weather to paint the expansive view from White Head to Blackhead.

Deep fog this morning lasting most of the day, but we were all anxious to paint. Sue and Alex at their easels.

Alex in Gull Cove

Fog in Gull Cove

Gull Cove where Alex, Sue, and I painted the lovely pool of water, the cliffs, and the rolling surf. The sun broke through in bits and pieces creating these layers of soft hues.

Heavy Rain today and great for a much needed rest. We spent several hours discussing painting and photography with our painting friends Judith Carducci, Greer Jennison, and Carrie Lewis. We also had time to see their plein air work in oil and pastel.

Our painting friends and Alex, Sue and Linda are leaving Monhegan. I am off to the Red House where I will be joined by my friends from Mt. Desert. I swim with a great group of women all summer in a fresh water lake and they have wanted to come and see Monhegan. So we will have four “Swimmahs” from Mt. Desert with a fifth one arriving in a day. There is only one artist, but we have knitters, quilters, cooks, and great communicators!

Trial number five is a sweet little trial. It is very hard to find as it is off the road and begins literally under the low arching branch of a tree. It is lovely with its meandering path and walkways. In the low lying areas there are tree branches tightly strung together like the rungs of a ladder. As you walk across them, the water squishes through the branches in places. The end of the path is full of wild lavender asters and clumps of red Rowan berries.

I needed to finish the rocks in the foreground of my fog scene and began a new painting of the waves crashing below White Head. Mary Walsh a fellow member of the Maine Landscape Guild was painting there as well! The waves were impressive and you could see how one could be swept out to sea in a moment.

Fog has descended

I woke up to a clear sky with stars hanging over the Island Inn. From my room I did sketches and took photos of the Island Inn at night. There were just a few lights and the five stars ascending in an arc from the inn. Can’t wait to work this painting out and if it is clear tomorrow I may just have to get up and do a nocturne! Judy Carducci did a wonderful nocturne of the Monhegan Church in pastel.

Sara Fraley has joined me painting on the rocks at the end of Gull Rock at Burnt Head. Sara is an abstract artist and enjoyed the inspiration of these rocks and the crashing sea.

A cozy little perch!

The rocks and surf at Burnt Head and the end of Gull rock

Kathy, Paula, and I at the Monhegan lighthouse

Nancy Beachcombing

Dinner at the Red House

Last full day on Monhegan and I could see soft pink clouds drifting out my window and the sunrise drew me in. At first I thought I could never get my paints set up and catch the light so I thought I would take pictures and do color notes on canvas. When I checked my pictures, the color was so off from the freshness of the sunrise. So I began to paint and before I new it, I had captured the morning. I must have just woken up the moment the sun rose as I had time to finish the color study.

Just a few of my favorite things!
These are some of the awesome rocks at Pebble Beach on the north end of the island.

Fairy Houses in Cathedral Woods

My last painting from our porch is the view from the Red House to the Island Inn. I have been studying this scene for several days trying to find the best light. The morning light is too cold and midday is too flat and I have finally decided to paint it at 4pm to 5pm when the light is warm and golden.

It was a wild night with waves crashing in the cove beneath my window. The ferry ride will be interesting!! Trap Day is tomorrow and the island is showing forth in a group effort to mass all the traps on the dock to be loaded on the lobster boats. Truck after truck arrived on the dock as we were waiting for the ferry with brightly colored traps with new lines and freshly painted buoys.

A Lobsterman with his traps ready to launch for the season

Unloading traps on the dock for the opening of Lobster season

Traps loaded and ready to be set.

Farewell Monhegan until next year.......

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