Dune without Sand Fence, study, Tina Ingraham
While in Phippsburg, ME, this October looking for locations for next year’s workshop, I came across a postcard for a Bath, ME painter. Her name is Tina Ingraham, and she painted a series on the erosion changes at Popham Beach State Park after Hurricane Sandy. This work, Dune Evolution, was shown last winter at the First Street Gallery in New York.
Popham Beach is a place I rarely visit, since it’s not on the way to anywhere. Fort Popham, on the Kennebec River, was originally built to protect the Bath ship-building industry during the Civil War. The beach stretches to the south and west of the fort. It is sandy like those in southern Maine, with long rolling breakers.
|Breakers rolling in at Popham Beach.|
In recent years, erosion has threatened the southwestern end of the beach, with massive dune loss at the state park and the area bordering the park. Ingraham’s paintings document those changes.
Popham Beach was the site of the Sagadahoc Colony, a short-lived English settlement founded in 1607—just a few months after the Virginia Colony established Jamestown.
Sentinel in Sun, 2012, Tina Ingraham
The Popham colonists built the first ship completed in the New World, a pinnace called Virginia of Sagadahoc. Although smaller than many pleasure boats today (being 50’ long with a beam of 14’) it apparently floated well enough to sail across the Atlantic several times, including once on a supply trip to Jamestown.
And thus was launched the shipbuilding industry at Bath, ME, although there are no traces left of the colony or its shipbuilding.
Sentinel V, 2012, Tina Ingraham
The landscape is in constant flux, sometimes from man’s activities, sometimes from the stunning power of nature. Ms. Ingraham focuses on the attempt to save the dunes at Popham Beach, but what is implied in her paintings—but never visible—is the tremendous power of the Atlantic Ocean beating rhythmically on the shore.
I will be teaching in Acadia National Park next August. Message me if you want information about the coming year’s classes or this workshop.