For a brief moment there on Wednesday, I was warm enough to doff my jacket. Then Peter Yesis made the mistake of mentioning that this was going to be the nicest weather of the week. An hour later, the wind was kicking up whitecaps on Penobscot Bay and we were thoroughly frozen.
I’ve painted twice at Moose Point State Park. The first time I was there, I completely missed that there was a trail, because the heavy rain was obscuring the view. This time, Ed Buonvecchio guided Renee Lammers and me out to the actual point. It’s a nice hike and there are beautiful contrasting views, including some massive pines and spruces.
I had Zorn’s lovely young fir trees on my mind, but my attempt to paint them was a failure. To me, a foreground foliage screen is one of the hardest things to paint, especially if you forget to include any kind of focal point. I very rarely scrape bad canvases out, preferring to keep them as cautionary tales, but this one got the knife.
I was so chilled by the time I got back to Rockport that my intention of heading out to North End Shipyard evaporated. Instead, I took a hot bath. That meant that if I was to catch the Heritage I’d have to start very early on Thursday. She was scheduled to launch with the 10 AM high tide. I was up at 5 AM and at the shipyard a few minutes after 6.
Painters aren’t fond of rain, but mist is even harder to deal with. It floats everywhere, turning your paints into a thick, unworkable sludge. I hate painting from my car, but I had no choice.
Sometimes when I’m painting complicated architecture, I draw first with a watercolor pencil, but I haven’t been doing that with the boats. In the cramped space of my car, a pencil drawing seemed the logical first step. It’s much easier to be accurate, and I’ll be using this technique for a while.
Next week, the Grace Bailey will be hauled out of the water for her spring makeover. This is another boat I’ve painted at rest in Camden harbor. I can’t even remember where we are in the lineup at this point, but as long as these behemoths keep rising out of the sea, I’ll be there to record them.
Cross-discipline intelligence: A few months ago, I wrote about cleaning brushes. Sandy Sibley of Columbus, NC is an equestrian and painter. She mailed me some saddle soap that she uses for her brushes. I tried a bit in a jar lid, slightly diluted. It cleans thoroughly and leaves my brushes soft and pliable. Thanks, Sandy!