Sunday, October 26, 2014

Farnsworth & Olson House - The Wyeth Pilgrimage


The Olson House

Maine Re-cap Part 2

Up bright and early on a not bright and sunny Saturday and headed off for the Farnsworth Museum and the Olson House. A quick stop at the museum to get my admission ticket for the Olson House and on my way to Cushing, Maine.
There were so many interesting things to stop and look at, but because my time was somewhat limited, I hurried on.

The house looms up as you round the bend sitting atop what used to be a nearly treeless hill. 100 years ago you could see Monhegan Island from here and the sea captain who built the house (Captain Hathorn) conducted a successful business shipping up and down the river and down the coast. On this day it's very quiet in the fog and misty rain.




I am in the first tour of the day with an older couple and a really nice and knowledgeable docent named Chris. He first gave us an overall history of the house and then we walked through it, room by room. He had some interesting back stories about how the house came into the Farnsworth's collection, local gossip that Walter Anderson was also the town peeping-Tom, and Andrew Wyeth's anger at Betsy for buying a house! He also described what the Olson house was like back when Wyeth painted here (a disaster for the most part), his and Betsy's relationship with the Olsons, and Christina's disabilities.

The house is mostly unfurnished and undecorated - the original furnishings and other items were auctioned off back in the '60s. But the light and autumn colors through the windows (especially on this dreary day) evokes a quiet, austere, rustic, Maine-ness and you can almost imagine Wyeth looking out those windows and painting in those rooms.


Front room on the right

Back of house, second floor, left side
Back of house, second floor, left side

Third floor, right side looking at kitchen chimney. Wyeth painted this view of the kitchen chimney.

Back of house, facing front door

Back of house, looking into first room

Kitchen room where Christina and her brother Alvaro spent much of their time.

Outside - kitchen window

Christina's grave

Christina's parent's grave. Katie Hathorn was the great daughter of the sea captain that built the original two-story house. 

The view from the cemetery of the house

The cemetery with Andrew Wyeth's grave at the front

After absorbing as much as I possibly could I headed back to the Farnsworth to have a look around - check out the exhibits at the Wyeth Center and generally immerse myself in more Wyeth.


Yes, I did. Wasses (Famous) Hot Dogs. OMG Delicious! Mmmmm - Grilled onions! Cheese! I should have gotten TWO! This is the one south of Rockland on Hwy 1.

At the Museum

Stopped at Wyeth Center to see The Wyeths, Maine and the Sea. This exhibit includes includes a selection of paintings by James G. Babbidge, George Bellows, Walter Dean, James Fitzgerald, Rockwell Kent, Fitz Henry Lane, William Edward Norton, William Pierce Stubbs, Frederick Waugh, and Andrew Winter, as well as the Wyeths – and a selection of ship models that include the (ghost ship) Mary Celeste, the seven masted schooner Thomas Lawson, and more.

NC Wyeth

Andrew Winter, Sequin Island Light

Eric Hudson, An Island Harbor


Robert Henri, Monhegan Island

Mary Celeste

NC Wyeth

Jan Domelia, Monhegan Harbor

Frederick Waugh

I would highly recommend this pilgrimage to any artist and painter heading to Maine. I would love to visit again and perhaps on a less dreary, drippy day, drive around and have a look at the rest of the area surrounding Cushing. It is quite beautiful and full of potential paintings!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Where did October go? Bring Back Maine!


Two pastel paintings done at Seal Cove, Oct 2, 2014

It's true. I came back from Maine - bursting with lots of information and memories. Paintings partially finished from a great class with Michael Chesley Johnson, loads of photos to pour over, museum visits to think about and visits with friends and relatives to treasure.

And did I blog about it? Did I say much at all? No, I am ashamed to say, I did not. I got pitched back into the frenzy of deadlines and a new job and catching up with friends and family I didn't see on my trip.

Thursday at Seal Cove

Thursday was so pretty - we went to Seal Cove to paint. The ocean was sparkly and the sun was warm. It was a nice change from the previous dreary days and it was a joy to paint in the sun on the rocks, watching a barge move the moorings around, and listening to the chickadees and the woodpeckers in the woods. (See paintings above.) That's why I like to paint outside - It allows me to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. I even bring my binoculars and bird book.

Highlights of Maine post-workshop

Friday was such a stellar day! My original plan was to go to Rockland & the Olson House, but I decided to spend the day in Acadia Park and head there in the evening.
On Cadillac Mountain

Jessup's Path near Sur du Mont
The Cave at Schooner's Cove
Thunder Hole

Along the Ocean Trail

Monument Rocks


The weather went down hill as I left Mount Desert (no pun intended), so after a few scenic stops I got to Rockland just as the rain started.
Ft. Knox, Maine

Fort Knox. Looks like they're prepping for a haunted house. This is a pretty neat spot. I'll have to make time for it next year.

Speaking of haunted houses...my favorite falling down house outside of Searsport (across from Hobby Horse Flea Market). I always wonder about the stories it could tell.

I got a hotel room (at The Claddagh Motel) and went into Rockland where I had the MOST STUPENDOUS Lobster Mac & Cheese at The Lobsterman's Restaurant. I was so overcome, I didn't even take a picture!

Next up...The Farnsworth Museum and the Olson House.



Thursday, October 2, 2014

30 Paintings in 31 Days - Painting in Maine


Painting plein air has been sort of a challenge this week here in Maine. All the days have been overcast and breezy. Grey/blue/purple clouds, no cast shadows and values nearly all the same.

Today we painted in Manset at the Moorings, a lovely inn that was very accommodating. The view is amazing - a working harbor, the little Cranberry Isle ferry/mailboat going back and forth, a yacht builder hauling boats out for the season, and people going for their last sail of the season. You can see all the way up Somes Sound and across to Bear Island & Sutton Island and the mountains beyond.

Tomorrow they promise there will be sunny skies! Even thought the challenge is technically over, I'll post a few more paintings in the coming days. I have a few I've started, some from photos, some were the second painting of the day.

I'd like to direct you to my Etsy page. Please consider purchasing a painting because, a. Christmas is coming, and these little paintings really make nice gifts, and/or b. the mermaid needs to buy some picture frames for the big solo show and selling a couple of these little guys would be a BIG help!

I'd also like to suggest that you sign up on the right side of this page for emails (not every day), and the follow button to get notifications when this blog is updated (for this month nearly every day, most times, not so much).

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Day 30 - 30/30 Challenge - At Acadia Workshop Center


Another damp and dreary day here in Maine at Acadia Workshop Center. So we stayed on property in case we needed coffee or warming up. For me this is an exercise in editing and finding values in a rather flat and backlit scene (despite the cloud cover).

I'd like to direct you to my Etsy page. Please consider purchasing a painting because, a. Christmas is coming, and these little paintings really make nice gifts, and/or b. the mermaid needs to buy some picture frames for the big solo show and selling a couple of these little guys would be a BIG help!

I'd also like to suggest that you sign up on the right side of this page for emails (not every day), and the follow button to get notifications when this blog is updated (for this month nearly every day, most times, not so much).

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Day 29 - 30/30 Challenge - Lopaus Point


Day 1 of Pastel workshop with Michael Chesley Johnson at Acadia Workshop Center. An overcast day, too breezy down at Lopaus Point to work on the south side with the beach...so here we are at the marsh.




I'd like to direct you to my Etsy page. Please consider purchasing a painting because, a. Christmas is coming, and these little paintings really make nice gifts, and/or b. the mermaid needs to buy some picture frames for the big solo show and selling a couple of these little guys would be a BIG help!

I'd also like to suggest that you sign up on the right side of this page for emails (not every day), and the follow button to get notifications when this blog is updated (for this month nearly every day, most times, not so much).

Monday, September 29, 2014

Day 26 - 30/30 Challenge - Wait haven't we seen this before???


Yes. Yes you have. A little more than a year ago, this is how I kicked off my trip to Maine and the start of the 30/30 Challenge. This is an ink and watercolor pencil drawing of/on the Cross Sound Ferry.
More to come when I get to Maine!

I'd like to direct you to my Etsy page. Please consider purchasing a painting because, a. Christmas is coming, and these little paintings really make nice gifts, and/or b. the mermaid needs to buy some picture frames for the big solo show and selling a couple of these little guys would be a BIG help!

I'd also like to suggest that you sign up on the right side of this page for emails (not every day), and the follow button to get notifications when this blog is updated (for this month nearly every day, most times, not so much).

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Day 20 - 30/30 Challenge - How Cute Am I?

How Cute Am I? Neupastel on watercolor paper, 4.5 x 6

When you're pressed for time, sometimes you just paint what's next to you. That might be an apple or a coffee cup, or a lemon, but today a cat put on her upside-down-in-the-window-how-adorable-am-I? act and I went with it! This is neupastel on a scrap of watercolor paper.

LAST DAY!! I'd like to direct you to my Etsy page where I'm having a little sale. Please consider purchasing a painting because, a. Christmas is coming, and these little 6x6s really make nice gifts, and/or b. the mermaid needs to buy some picture frames for the big solo show and selling a couple of these little guys would be a BIG help!


I'd also like to suggest that you sign up on the right side of this page for emails (not every day), and the follow button to get notifications when this blog is updated (for this month nearly every day, most times, not so much).