Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Plein Air Painting in Acadia National Park Mount Desert Island, Maine

Plein Air painting has its challenges!! We not only deal with fading weather, but heat stroke, animals, insects, and property rights. Many times we just head off with the intention of painting. Sometimes it pays off, but more often you don't have time to really think about your composition.  This year Alexandra Tyng and I spent a day scoping out painting sites before we began.  We went on a cloudy day to photograph and plan our painting sites.

  1. The Tarn next to Dorr Mountain proved to be a lovely site. We paid special attention to the light when we scoped out our sites and decided when each site would have the best light. This was a morning paint.

     2.   Several years ago I was taken by a photograph Ed Elvidge took of the view from McFarland's Hill.  It had a great view of the mountains around Eagle Lake from a high vantage point and you could even see a ribbon of Eagle Lake.  We first checked maps to look for McFarlands and discovered it was near the National Park Headquarters.  We went to the Park Headquarters and asked them if they knew how to climb to McFarland's.  They told us it was the hill behind the headquarters and there was a gated park road leading up near the top.  We found the road and hiked to the top.  There was a huge blueberry field with weather instruments.  We were not sure if there was any danger in going through the area so we descended back to the park headquarters to see if it was safe.  We were told it was, but we should check with some near by neighbors for permission in case we were on their land. We climbed back to the top and found a gorgeous view from the very top.  The field was covered in blueberries and low shrubs.  That afternoon we checked with the neighbors and learned it was all park land.  We were so excited we had found the site, it was on park land, and we had permission to paint!!  As we left the neighbors cautioned us about the deer ticks

A few days later on a clear day we hiked up and painted.  I was able to think about my composition and stretch the size canvas I would need.  We painted in the late afternoon and the light was lovely as the shadows began to fall across the fields.  Ironically, with all the planning and searching for this lovely site, it was sieged with deer ticks.  We wore boots and velcroed our pant legs and even painted on sheets to lessen our chances of picking up ticks.  It was all to no avail as we both found several ticks on us.

3.  Our third site was in Acadia National Park's Ocean Drive.  We checked out several sites, but loved the rocks in Otter Cove with the view of the notch between Dorr and Cadillac.  Alex began on the top of the rocks and I climbed down to almost the water level close to the side of the cove.   It was a bit precarious!!

Below is the view of the Otter Cove and the massive rock formations

As the tide came in I had to move to a higher elevation!

We painted three afternoons at Otter Cove and tried to capture all the subtleties of the cove


Diana's Vantage Point!  Day 3

All is weather dependent....so we still have a few good days to find time to finish these paintings.  

1 comment:

Alexandra Tyng said...

I loved reading your version of our painting adventures!