The houses in Stonington, Maine continue to be an inspiration. Snow melts and blows away quickly this close to the ocean so I haven’t managed to get out painting on a day with both sun and white stuff, but that’s the next project. Meanwhile, a small painting (16 x 12) of a house with blue awnings on the west side.
And would you like to own a barber shop? Ray’s is for sale in the village. Built in 1887, the combination plumbing office and barber shop has been a fixture for decades. The building has four rental units plus the two shops, and at 3/4 of a million dollars is the least expensive commercial property available on the island – which just boggles the mind. Full of character it might be, but at $845,000.00 I think it’s probably a “tear-down” on Main St. We have plenty of salons on MDI, but only one honest-to-buzz-cut barber shop. I’m going to miss it when it’s gone.
Bangor in the snow: the corner of Merrimac and Water Sts.
The title of this piece is: “Bar Harbor in the summer, mid-morning low tide behind the shops looking toward the Schoodic Peninsula”. I have a friend who is an editor – a gifted person who can make sense of the combined history of the CIA and FBI, or sugar beets, or C++, or potty training. She has been making suggestions for my titling experiment. SP, can you help with this one?
Bar Harbor won’t look like this for long. There was a bulldozer parked just behind me as I made the drawings and photos that resulted in this piece. Soon the “Ship Shop” will be knocked apart and put back together as something shiny and, if the current designer has his way, rather Tudor-ish. I have no idea why “half-timbered” would be one’s choice of motif for a Downeast Maine fishing community. For one thing, we have fog, rain, sleet and all manner of cold moisture for most of the year; if the stucco was really structural it would be crumbled on its foundations by now. Perhaps the new construction will be fallen in and worn out enough to be fodder for my drawings in another 50 years or so – perhaps I’ll live long enough to find out.
18 x 24, pastel on marbled board, sunny afternoon in Stonington.
I keep a notebook of places to paint, eventually, some day when I have more time out of doors. Some of these houses and trees will wait till I return and some have been torn down or “restored” out of character. The images are glossy 4 x 5’s taken with an ancient auto-everything Nikon and worked over with a Sharpie and photo retouch markers.
There are still many small houses here, even with the water so close at hand. It was a quiet Saturday afternoon, and along with a couple walking their dogs and distant flocks of gulls I saw a winter hare, a fox and a racoon.
We have 10″ of new snow, heavy and wet and bending the spruce tree branches to the ground. This drawing is from a hot late summer afternoon in Stonington harbor that smelled like seaweed and motor oil and gave me a sunburn right through my SPF50 and a straw hat. Welcome to Maine. . .