Monthly Archives: July 2015

It’s time for PERC’s annual buoy auction

“Squid,” by Julie Reed. “Most Maine squid are shy, elusive creatures, but this little guy has come out to party! He has even brought his own lunch! This buoy is hand knit from wool.”

This is the sixth year for Penobscot East Research Center’s (PERC) annual buoy auction, which grossed nearly $25,000 and included 62 buoys last year. The auction is PERC’s largest fundraiser. “When I started this event five years ago, I never dreamed we would still be doing this fundraiser,” said Administrative Director Bobbi Billings. “Yet, here we […]

Chick-fil-A? You’ve arrived!

The very first Chick-fil-A I ever visited was this one. I was pleasantly surprised.

A few years ago, my brother and I rushed to Atlanta to see a gravely-ill family member. Being raised along the Canadian border, either of us could recite Tim Horton’s menu—with prices—but only knew Chick-fil-A from its negative news coverage. In my home life I eschew fast food, but I do spend a lot of […]

Weekend art in mid-coast Maine

"Sand dunes and saplings," 9X12, oil on canvasboard, Carol L. Douglas. This is in Aldermere Farm's art sale this weekend.

My family had a 50-acre farm in Niagara County, New York. I’m intimately familiar with the work cycle of a small northeastern farm. So when my lodger, who works at Aldermere Farm, tells me, “We put up a thousand square bales today,” I want to just chuck this plein air gig and go work there […]

Maine bush telegraph

Winslow Homer, “Sunlight on the Coast,” 1890, oil on canvas

My friend from Maine was in Amsterdam (the one in the Netherlands) when he ran into someone he knew. “How’s your dog?” asked the man. “I don’t have a dog,” responded my friend. Turns out his wife had just acquired one, and the Maine bush telegraph had sent the news around the world before she’d […]

I learn how Mainers cook scallops

"Bicycles on Water Street," 12X9, oil on panel, by Carol L. Douglas, sold.

The last day of a plein air festival always ends in a kerfuffle. “There’s always drama in framing,” said Ted Lameyer of Castine, who went on to tell me how he didn’t have the right mats and had to swap some from other framed paintings. For me, the drama was simpler: a cracked frame. But […]

Painting al fresco

Start of a nocturne by Carol L. Douglas. I'll work on it more today.

Early yesterday morning I ran out and painted a cute little guest cottage hiding under the skirts of its mother house. Berna Kaiserian had told me about it, and it derailed my carefully-planned day. What a way to go! The owner of the guest cottage is retired New Jersey Superior Court Judge Philip M. Freedman. He […]

OK, so I lied

Rising Tide at Wadsworth Cove, 12X16, oil on canvas.

Remember when I said working artists aren’t party animals? OK, so I lied. Yesterday was the start of the best party of the year, the 2015 Castine Plein Air Festival. The festival opens with an open-air reception on the wraparound porch of the beautiful, historic Castine Inn. Built in 1898, the Inn is a block from […]

The slacker lifestyle of the modern artist

This stunning surf painting by Peter Yesis is currently on display in "From Two Sides of the Bay" at Camden Falls Gallery.

Yesterday I was kicking around the studio in a listless funk. Too many miles, too many long days, too many houseguests. I set out to pay my bills—urgent—and pack a few things for Castine Plein Air, but neither compelled me. At 12:30 I got a call from Bobbi Heath, who was driving from Yarmouth to […]

Traveling light

This is the basic kit I'm trying out. Can I do my road notes with a Winsor & Newton pocket paint kit, a spray bottle and some paper? I think it will be tough.

In less than four weeks, I embark on an odd and interesting trip. Four of us are delivering a small SUV to Anchorage, Alaska. Because it will contain most of my daughter’s worldly goods, I intend to keep my luggage down to a carry-on bag, my laptop, my camera, and, of course, a small watercolor […]

A painting group gets started

Perinton Field, by Victoria Brzustowicz, size unknown, oils

One of the hardest things about relocating to Maine was leaving my painting students back in Rochester. We have formed deep friendships, and I want them to continue painting. That has, actually, happened. They regularly send me photos of their work to critique. This makes me feel as if I’m still somehow connected to their […]