If you are looking for an east coast “plein air” painting destination with panoramic ocean views, well maintained hiking trails, and you want to feel totally immersed in art history and culture, you should check out Monhegan Island. (Monhegan Island clickhere).
I can see why this island is an artist and an art collector destination.
A short ferry ride from Port Clyde, brought Philip and me to a harbor nestled between Monhegan Island and Manana Island. Ray Eugene Phillips made Manana Island his home for many years, living alone, but also knowing that there was a neighborly connection with the islanders across the harbor. (click here forRay Eugene Phillips).
Monhegan is alive with a strong sense of community from the people who’s daily routines contribute to making this island flourish. Walking around the island we pass many local and visiting artists painting, and many Island artists provide a seasonal trail map inviting the public to visit their art studios. Continue reading Plein Air Painting on Monhegan Island -Catherine→
As expected, there were not many out painting on this windy and cold 32º morning. David Farquhar was surprised, and it was a fun surprise to find this picture in The Cape Codder, December 12, 2014 issue! Thank you David for your enthusiasm! -Catherine
“Accepting” Britt’s sunrise challenge was the easy part when I was on Monhegan Island in Maine . The real challenge was capturing the amazing sky that morning. You might see from these photos I kind of lost my way.
I kept painting past sunrise and eventually lost my focus. Soon the sun was up, casting wonderful shadows, and I lost my dramatic sky. I’ll keep my focus on the sunrise next time. Click here to see how Britt captured and kept the dramatic sunrise colors back home on the Cape!
Thank you Britt for the sunrise challenge! -Catherine
The point of this post, for me, is that as we have ventured out into the “art” world, painting outside in public places really opens one up for all sorts of things. One of those interesting things is when people walk by your set up easel and want to see what you are painting. As a beginner, it is really sort of intimidating in a way because the silence can be deafening. Anyhow, this particular day we set up in the West End Lot in Provincetown, looking out over to the wharf and here is the result. Britt
From this lot we had great scenic views and subjects to paint. We ended up facing different directions. I painted facing the open water, and Britt painted Captain Jack’s Wharf. The clouds on this day were amazing. Enjoy the gallery! Catherine
painting two views
Britt facing the wharf
Captain Jack’s Wharf Provincetown
Catherine’s oil painting from the West End Lot, Provincetown
Captain Jack’s Wharf, Provincetown, painting by Britt
As part of the plein air group, and as a definite neophyte in this whole arena of oil painting, I have tried to be intentional about learning more about oil painting through reading books, watching videos, and just by doing it. There is so much information on the internet and in books that I found that I was sort of overwhelmed by all of the information. To direct my learning during the group plein air experiences, I have chosen to focus on one thing in each of the sessions. This particular day, we painted in Orleans at the windmill. My focus was blocking in the darks and the lights. I have read that that is what you are supposed to do — so this time instead of rushing to get a picture on the canvas that remotely looks like what it is “supposed” to do, I instead took my time to really look at the shadows: the darks and lights,and paint those in first. It really helped me have one important thing to focus on. One of the books that I use as my “manual” is Oil Painting for the Serious Beginner, by Steve Allrich.
I tried to block in with a tone that was darker than what I thought was to be the final color.
I liked this flat bottom boat at Mill Pond Landing. Click here for link to Mill Pond Landing. The angle of the boat resting on the hill and the tree trunks made strong shadows. I was hoping to capture these shadows to give the impression that the boat was resting on a hill in my painting. I didn’t bother putting in the leaves. I am learning that there are times I just want to work on one aspect of a painting.
You don’t have to put everything that you see in front of you in your painting. My husband, Philip, always encourages me to “keep it simple!” This way I don’t put pressure on myself to complete a painting in one attempt. I can focus my attention on one or two challenges that day. -Catherine
This is the first time I set out to paint with my painting umbrella. No glare from the sun– extra sun protection for me! It was a windy day and I am glad I purchased an umbrella that has wind vents.
This umbrella has clamps and rotating arms. For me, that meant adjusting, readjusting, and fumbling (hilarious!)… no fault of the umbrella, it is a great design. Painting a boat in the water on a windy day is another challenge because the wind kept turning the boat around! Snow Shore Landing. -Catherine
Sooo, as I attempted to explain in my previous posts, I am working on a specific technique that I have either been reading about or someone has explained to me — last time I was concentrating on not just hurrying and almost panicking to get paint on the canvas and tried to block in the darks and the lights that I saw. This day we were painting at the Taylor Bray Farm and I wanted to add one more layer to my study.
That layer is to think about where the light source is, where it is coming from, and what color is it.
I really don’t get yet how to determine the color of the light — I think I am getting there, but this study is about continuing to take my time to block out the color AND to think carefully about the light.