Paint Schoodic

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Monday, February 2, 2015

A winter morning at Schoodic

Electronics just get smaller and smaller. What once took a whole naval base now operates out of this lighthouse at Winter Harbor, ME.
The Schoodic Institute is a relatively new addition to Acadia National Park. The property was operated as a secure United States Navy base from 1935 to 2002. (I’d tell you that they did cryptology, but then I’d have to kill you.) This replaced an earlier site, Otter Cliffs, which was on Mt. Desert Island from 1917 until 1933.

Little Moose Island catching the evening light.
Otter Cliffs was considered the Navy’s best transatlantic radio receiver site due to its isolation and the unobstructed ocean in front of it. Much of the Navy’s early receiver, antenna and noise mitigation technology was developed here under the leadership of radio pioneer Greenleaf Whittier Pickard.  But John D. Rockefeller wanted Otter Cliffs included in Acadia National Park. He convinced the Navy to swap locations. This is why the base at Schoodic had such an over-the-top main building—Rockefeller never did anything by halves.

In addition to fantastic shoreline, there are boreal bogs, too. This one won't look like this in the summer, but I couldn't resist the faerie lighting of the mist-shrouded branches.
We will be visiting at a unique point in Schoodic’s development. It’s still an unknown entity for most people, and the accommodations are best described as “military base chic.” But the Park Service is slowly rebuilding the facility. An area around the park—encompassing a third more property than the park itself—has been acquired for development as a resort. (This development would already be underway had it not been delayed by the Great Recession of 2008.)

Rolling Island seen through a shroud of trees.
Arey Cove at low tide. It looks very different with the tide up.

But for now, we will get to paint some of the best landscapes on the North Atlantic in relative solitude. This week I will post a pictorial essay on what we will be seeing. I hope you enjoy it.
Rockefeller never did anything by halves. This is the administration building for the former naval base.

Let me know if you’re interested in painting with me on the Schoodic Peninsula in beautiful Acadia National Park in 2015 or Rochester at any time. Click here for more information on my Maine workshops! Download a brochure here.

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