The Maine waterfront works for a living, and that’s one of the reasons it’s so interesting. The lobster traps and buoys stacked on piers, and the dories and dinghies tied to floating docks are the tools of someone’s trade. In general, I’ve found that I get along fine with working fishermen as long as I don’t trespass on their property.
PAPME’s northern chapter met at Port Clyde yesterday. This place is a special case. Parking is restricted because property owners understandably don’t want the Monhegan Boat Line’s customers leaving their cars parked all over the village.
Marshall Point Lighthouse has visitor parking, but it’s too far from the village to paint the harbor. I arranged to meet Bobbi Heath and Renee Lammers on the co-op’s road instead, where we planned to paint on the verge.
Renee knew another site, off Horse Point Road, which had a fine view of Raspberry Island. This spot was just magical. While Renee photographed a dory, Bobbi and I looked at an outstanding fleet of wooden lobster boats. We were about to start painting when a lobsterman came ashore. “Ladies,” he started, and the next minute we were leaving.
We drove back to our first site and our first ideas. Cars were parked on this road because there is a community playground at the corner. I figured we were safe enough in joining them.
By this time it was raining fitfully. The wind was too high for umbrellas, so we just took cover during the wet times. Bobbi took a compass reading for me and I calculated where the light would be if it ever came up. I guessed wrong. When the sky briefly cleared in the afternoon, I realized I had built the light patterns backwards.
Meanwhile, our friends had been driven off Marshall Point by the wind, and a few of them joined us. I wasn’t paying that much attention until the property owner drove by. “How would you like it if I came to your house and painted all over your front lawn?” he asked. His driveway was completely parked in.
Well, in fact, I wouldn’t mind, but I did see his point. He couldn’t use his own driveway. Painters are generally polite people, so my pals quickly folded up and left.
Neither Bobbi nor I were in fact on his lawn, so I felt fine staying where I was. However, any magic there had been had faded in the ringing of his words. I took a few more swipes at my unfinished canvas. Then I too folded my tent and headed home.