Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Maine Painting Trip, part 1

Thunder Hole Area, Acadia Nat'l Park, Bar Harbor, ME, 8x10, Jan Blencowe, copyright 2011

 Otter Cove, Acadia Nat'l Park, Bar Harbor, ME, 6x8, Jan Blencowe, copyright 2011

It's been two years since I've been able to take a painting trip but this one made up for the long wait!  I traveled to Mount Desert Island in Maine, to Acadia National Park, with fellow artist and good friend Claudia Post, her husband Daryl and a mutual photographer friend Lou Zucchi.

This was a short trip, just four days, but we used every single moment to advantage. We left at 4a.m. and arrived at Robbins Motel in Bar Harbor about 1pm. We tossed our gear in the rooms and headed straight out to Acadia to buy our passes, explore the park, take photos, choose painting locations and mark them on our maps with notes about what might be the best time of day to paint there.

Around 5:30pm we headed back to the motel and then went to a near by lobster shack for dinner. The lobster was amazing, and the sunset gorgeous but we had all left our cameras in our rooms!! LOL

We went back to the motel and sat around outside in our Adirondack Chairs and planned for the next day's painting.

We got up at 6 a.m. the next day and were on the road by seven. We had tea and coffee in our rooms and ate crackers and fruit in the car on the way to Thunder Hole area in Acadia. We had found a sweet spot with great views from out on the rocks the day before that had a trail off the main walking path. Even though we marked our map we couldn't find the little trail!  The road through Acadia is a one way loop and so we had to drive all the way around the loop, almost an hour, to get back to the Thunder Hole area! The second time we parked and walked further on the walking path and finally found the trail which is down very low and can't be seen from the road which is why we missed it the first time. It all worked out for the best because by 8:00 a.m some of the mist had dissipated and the light was better.

We unloaded our gear and climbed out onto the rocks. We already knew which view we would paint from the previous day's exploration and we started to set up when Claudia realized that her new pochade box was missing the mount that attaches it to the tripod!! Even though it was very hot and sunny Claudia decided she would tough it out sit on a rock hold her box on her lap and without benefit of an umbrella to shade her she painted the scene.

It was great to be out early before too many people were there and the light was beautiful, the salt air refreshing and the lapping of the waves and the buoy bell ringing created a perfect setting. The first painting above is what I accomplished that morning.

When we were done painting about 2 hours later we climbed back to the path and then got to the car, drank a lot of water, and continued along the loop road to Otter Point. We pulled into the parking lot and began unloading our gear. Claudia had to figure out what she was going to do now that she didn't have a mount for her pochade box. Fortunately, she had also packed her half-box french easel.

I went across to find the best view along the trail while Claudia switched her gear around and while she was doing that the van parked next to us had a family in it eating lunch and the gentleman leans out the window and asks Claudia if we were going to plein air paint. So, Claudia says yes, we're both artists up here for a few days to paint etc.Turns out the guy is an art collector. Now, on my car I have door magnets that have my website address and an image of one of my paintings and my name etc. The man says to Claudia, I know that name "Jan Blencowe" I just saw her video on YouTube that showed the progression of a painting from start to finish, the one I posted just before we left!

Claudia promptly gave him one of my postcards and one of her business cards and told him we would be posting the paintings from our trip and he said he would be checking our websites to see them. He was thrilled to have bumped into us.

This is a great example of the power of YouTube and social media in general, it just goes to show how big of a reach you can have if you have a strong web presence.

After our second painting, Otter Cove above, we explored more of the park and took more photos then headed back to the motel, cleaned up and went to dinner, and planned to get three paintings done the next day. We mapped out our route, packed the car with food and supplies and hit the hay, exhausted at 11pm planning to be up at 6 and on the road at 7 again the next day.

The next day turned out to be an adventure and I'll have another post ready for you for tomorrow so stay tuned!!

1 comment:

Joan Cole said...

Hey, Jan, how amazing is it that someone in Maine would recognize you from UTube by the Vistaprint sign on your car door!?! SUUUUUPER!