Paint Schoodic

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

The large, angry crustacean is on his way to Maine.

The finished buoy. You can buy this!
When I blogged last month asking for suggestions about what to paint on my 2014 buoy for Penobscot East Resource Center’s fifth annual lobster buoy auction, I received four texts in rapid succession:

“Mom! Paint a giant lobster battling the Kraken!”

“Mom! Paint an enormous lobster destroying a city!”

“Mom, paint a big lobster eating New York!”

“Mom, paint a lobster battling an army in the style of the Bayeux Tapestry.”

The major change I made was adding Black Hawk helicopters.
When your four most severe critics all come up with the same idea at the same time, you have to run with it. And it fit with the idea that I had been turning over but wasn’t sure how to paint.

Signed and titled by the artist, as always.
It’s no secret to Mainers that lobster prices steadily tanked from 2005 to 2014. At the same time, restaurant prices for lobster remained high. That’s a fascinating disconnect—one I think is beautifully explained here—but the bottom line is that lobster costs more in New York because consumers haven’t a clue what’s happening in local commodity markets.  That means there’s an artificially big profit being made, and it isn’t happening on the docks of coastal Maine.

When you live in a Magical Duchy, you don't need to go to the Post Office. You just put your package on the back of the truck and it miraculously gets mailed.
A situation that needs fixing but seems to be out of the range of mortal ken calls for a superhero. Who better than a large, angry crustacean from the Atlantic depths?

I like painting from life, but that's a little difficult in this case.
Last week I was reading about the influence of 19th century Japanisme on western art and thinking I was absolutely free of it. But I have to admit that I owe a nod to Godzilla, and maybe to King Kong as well. (After all, the Empire State Building is somewhere in that mish-mosh.) The Black Hawk helicopters, however, are just modern America.

Looking around for pictures of lobsters last month, I came across this rhyton from the Met, c. 460 BC, in the shape of a lobster claw. Good to know lobsters are an eternal verity.
The auction will be held Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 at the Fishermen’s Friend Restaurant in Stonington, ME. If you’re in Stonington this summer, you can stop by and see all the buoys and vote for your favorite (as long as it’s mine). You’ll also be able to bid on your favorites online. Watch this space for more information.

Let me know if you’re interested in painting with me in Maine in 2014 or Rochester at any time. My Belfast, ME, workshop is almost sold out. Click 
here for more information on my Maine workshops!

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