In late September I could not leave Maine without travelling again up to Millinocket and Baxter State Park to paint Katahdin Mountain. Last year we arrived at the peak of the fall color. This year only the maples were showing their color and the Indian Summer in Maine was continuing. My friend, Paula Vogel, has climbed Katahdin over 30 times and even attended Girl Scout camp at Camp Natarswi just at the base of Katahdin. We are both drawn to the mountain and wanted to capture it from all sides and weather conditions. This was the view from our cabin at Twin Pines!
Many of the magnificent views of Katahdin are down rough and remote logging roads. The logging trucks travel at speeds of 100 mph and we hired Bryant Davis a Registered Maine Guide of Maine Quest Advertures to take us on the back roads. This year he took us in to the controversial newly proposed National Park by the former co-founder of Burt's Bees. Roxanne Quimby has purchased over 100,000 acres in hopes of creating a new National Park. (See Boston Globe article "A Feud as Big as the Great Outdoors" 11/17/2013) We went to a spot within the proposed park to the "Lookout". It had an expansive view looking back at Millinocket Lake in one direction and to Katahdin in the other direction.
|VIEW TOWARD MILLINOCKET LAKE PAULA SKETCHING AND I AM PAINTING|
|VIEW OF KATHADIN FROM THE LOOKOUT IN THE NEWLY PROPOSED PARK|
We had traveled over 18 miles up and down rocky roads to this little piece of heaven and I took advantage of painting both views. As the sun set we were joined by locals for the sunset cocktail hour!
We worked to the last light and travelled over the dusty road and were back at our cabin by 7:30. A spectacular day ending with dinner at River Drivers. Just as we thought the day was done we were mesmerized by a perfect view of
the Super Moon and the scarlet eclipse which was magnificent from Millinocket Lake. In the morning I woke up early to capture the sunrise and caught the moon setting as the sun was rising.
The light changed dramatically by the minute and it was difficult to capture. I just had to decide what moment I wanted to remember and capture. Every direction was a painting and every view changed.
Mid-day Paula and I kayaked out to some of the amazing islands on Millinocket Lake and even took a swim! We knew artist Frederic Church's camp on Millinocket Lake was nearby so we kayaked up the shore, but with no luck.
|THE ISLAND WE CIRCLED|
Bryant Davis picked us up for another afternoon in search of views of Katahdin. He is a wealth of information on every aspect of the area. This time we were on black top and found several wonderful views off of the interstate and up in Sherman and Patten. The remaining effects of tropical storm Joaquin were approaching the area and we were losing the good weather. We were captivated by the cloud formations from the incoming weather.
|NANCY DAWSON, DIANA ANSLEY AND PAULA VOGEL LOOKOUT AT SHERMAN|
CLOUD COVER OVER KATAHDIN
KATAHDIN AND CLOUD FORMATIONS
We lost time following the weather, and double backed through Patten to this view to paint and painted till the sun was setting.
|CRYSTAL LAKE AND MOUNT KATAHDIN OIL SKETCH|
The clouds followed us back to Twin Pines for the evening show over Millinocket Lake.
Overnight the raindrops began and the day was grey. On our way out we found the road to Frederick Church's camp on Millinocket Lake. Frederic Church painted on Mount Desert and stayed next to my family home on Mount Desert in 1855. He sketched the view from our house and I have always been fascinated with his work. Frederic Church's visit is recounted in a month long diary account written by Charles Tracy one of the twenty-seven members of the party visiting Mount Desert. My family the Somes were invited to a party for the villagers and it was described in the diary. Frederic Church initially came to Mount Desert following in the footsteps of his teacher Thomas Cole who visited in the 1840's. So I was excited to see the cabin he eventually made on Millinocket Lake. Church's home "Rhodora" was named for the species of Rhododendron that grew near the cabin. The house is in tact, but the contents according to the current owners were given to Olana Church's home in the Hudson River Valley.
The ice house where the current owners Ray Woodworth and Jen Hall live. The Woodworth's have a long family history with the property and an appreciation for living off the grid.
The small cabin on the left is the original cabin owned by Frederic Church and his wife. Church stayed here from 1878 to 1898. His caretaker Eugene Hale rented the cabin when Church was not there. In an old advertisement for Camp Rhodora it stated "Ladies can be perfectly comfortable here. Bathing, cold spring water, ice, cow, etc, A grand view of Mt. Katahdin and the Lake."
Interior of the Church cabin looking toward the lake
Church's son Louis added on to his father's camp with the above cabin.
View from the kitchen
If you look carefully the mantel has the profile of Katahdin set in with rocks.
Louis and Frederic Church's camps. The rock wall was added when the lake height was raised. Church entertained at the camp and had other artists visit such as Sanford Gifford and Jervis McEntee. Jen Hall said the island to the left from the camp was where the servants lived.
The weather was not cooperating, but we found the beach where this work was painted by Church right in front of the house!
The Woolworth family bought the property from Church's heirs and are restoring each building. One of our favorites was the lake side lean to.
There was a bathhouse on the property and the tub is now full of flowers and it has been turned into a bedroom with washboards for the headboard and decorated with bowls and pitchers for washing. All is still very rustic, but there are modern outhouses, water is pumped in, and the lake is perfect for bathing.
Just had to take this amazing birch tree
Another Guest house called the Honeymoon suite
Vegetables are everywhere and the apples are the size of croquet balls!
This was a sweet garden with succulents growing inside of old boots
It was amazing to step back in time to a place full of history and the aura of a great painter still remains at Katahdin!
Frederic Edwin Church