In its three short years, Castine Plein Air has shot to the top of my list of events, becoming one of my two favorite shows of the year. Castine is a beautiful town, well worth turning off Route 1 to explore. Its community welcomes artists, and is happy to give us access to their properties if asked—I’ve painted on decks, in back yards, and driveways. The organizers take care of their artists, and they listen to our suggestions for improvements. I can think of no higher praise for a show.
The first year, my hostess took me on a detailed tour of the town. She and her husband have introduced me to their friends, walked with me, taken me on a private tour of the library, and taught me about Castine’s amazing 400-year history. They are also gifted chefs, and could easily be running a 3-star restaurant if they weren’t having so much fun entertaining me.
A big reason I love this show is the quality of the artists. I’m featuring paintings by five of them today (and Mary Byrom, featured yesterday, is another), but it’s a list with no duds.
Michael Chesley Johnson splits his time between Campobello and New Mexico. He works and teaches workshops in both places. He’s both an oil painter and a pastelist. Bobbi Heath winters in Massachusetts instead. She will be teaching a plein air painting workshop immediately before the festival.
A native of Florida, Renee Lammers came to Maine on vacation and decided to stay. She tells her wonderful conversion story here. Chrissy Spoor Pahucki teaches middle-school art for the Goshen (NY) Central School District. She is often accompanied by one of her children, who are aspiring artists themselves. Olena Babak is a meticulous studio figure and portrait artist, so her ability to also do light, loose plein air work is amazing. I met her at the Dyce Head Lighthouse and we later painted on a deck overlooking the sunset.
She and Renee Lammers both painted rings around me that night. But that’s the cool thing about good plein air artists—they know that not every painting works, and that a specific session or show really isn’t the mark of whether you’re a great painter or not.
The full list of participating artists: Josh Adam Leslie Anderson Olena Babak Charles Fenner Ball Poppy Balser Beth Bathe Ellie Boyd Suzanne Brewer Bryan Brown Mary Byrom Cheryl A. Curran Daisy dePuthod Carol Douglas Diane Dubreuil Margaret Ford Paul George Stephan Giannini Roberta Goschke Elizabeth Ashton Hallett Bobbi Heath Michael Chesley Johnson Greg Laderer Ted Lameyer Renee Lammers Debbie Lazar Laurie Lefebvre Elaine Lisle Don McKillop Elizabeth Middour Bruce Newman Chrissy Nickerson Christina Pahucki Carol Tanner Proctor Terry Reed Matthew Russ John Slivjak Janet Sutherland Joseph Sweeney Judy Taylor Paul Trowbridge Michael Vermette Anthony Watkins
Let me know if you’re interested in painting with me on the Schoodic Peninsula in beautiful Acadia National Park in August 2015. Click here for more information on my Maine workshops! Download a brochure here.