Paint Schoodic

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Rye Painters on Location 2008

Here is my set-up along the shingle.
Well, dang me, I managed to delete my own painting from Rye from my camera. (That’s what I get for photo-editing when overtired.) Hopefully, the Rye Record will have a copy of it.
However, my experience at Rye was (as it seems to be every year) wonderful. I decided to paint at a small rocky promontory at Edith Read Sanctuary behind Playland. A young man was there fishing for porgies and bluefish—he was disappointed that the surf was making his day off so difficult. He gave up fairly quickly, but not before modeling surf casting for me and showing me pictures of his two young sons on his cellphone.

I sketched him a bit thinking I could integrate him into my painting but it seemed too contrived. In retrospect I wish I’d redesigned my composition around him, but he was gone by then, and photo reference violates the spirit, if not the rule, of this paintout.

Rye has changed its format this year to include two days of painting. There are many painters who can put together a polished, credible entry in four hours. I am not one of them. I paint for every hour available, struggle back and forth from overdone to fluid. This was no exception; at 2:45 on the second day, fellow painter Sally Lyon kindly helped me hoist my stuff back off the beach to my car to get it framed and wired by the 3 PM deadline.
Along the coast, the tide goes in and the tide goes out. You can freeze it in a photo, and that makes for simpler painting, but in plein air you work essentially from imagination and memory, substituting the rocks that show for the rocks that are submerged. I love the freedom of this approach, but it can be quite disconcerting the first time you try it.
It has rained all summer in the northeast. This weekend was no exception. By the end of our first day, it was pouring buckets. It killed me to quit, because the light was low, lovely, and moody, but I generally quit when the medium and rain are emulsifying in the cup.


This photo, taken the Mill Pond as I left, shows the rain and failing light. A few minutes later, when I saw cygnets following a swan beside Manursing Way, it was impossible to even take a photo.

The second day, back at the beach, the surf was down and the light was flat. I attempted to recreate the prior day’s darkness and moodiness, but I should have followed new conditions (one never knows).

That morning, I saw a seal potting along the shore. Shorebirds such as gulls, cormorants, and herons are numerous beyond mention. What a lovely place it is!

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

What a beautiful place...I need to get out more!