MAINE: MIDCOAST – ROCKLAND/ROCKPORT Moving north on Rt. 1 along the coast we have ended up at Megunticook Campground in Rockport. It is a very comfortable campground and has a lovely walk down to the Porpoise Point Waterfront overlooking the dramatic cliffs and rocks jutting out to the deep blue Penobscot Bay. It’s a beautiful place to paint but the short time we were here was not able to set up due to the blistering cold winds and rain. So we spent much of our time here touring around.
Yesterday we visited the “Olson House” Located at 384 Hathorne Point Road in Cushing, Maine. Andrew Wyeth spent many years painting here, from 1939 to 1968. Many drawings, watercolors and tempera paintings featuring Christina Olson, including his 1948 famous painting “Christina’s World” and her reclusive brother Alvaro. Our docent was very informative and actually knew Christina. We were informed that “the home was originally two stories, built in the late 1700s by a sea captain, Samuel Hathorn II, but by 1871 heirs had added a third floor to take in summer travelers. In 1892 a descendant of the original owners, Katie Hathorn, married a Swedish sailor, John Olson, who moved to Cushing to fish and farm. An interesting note is that Nathanial Hawthorn is a relation. He wanted to distance himself from their infamous Judge Hathorn relative who presided over the Salem witch trials so he added a “w” to his name.
Made famous by Andrew Wyeth’s work including Christina’s World. This home was originally going to be a museum of Andrew Wyeth’s work but the neighbors were not happy about the anticipated onset of traffic and tourist coming and going disrupting the serene beauty of this unspoiled town.
For him, Christina and the Olson House were symbols of New England and Maine. Wyeth once remarked, “I just couldn’t stay away from there. I did other pictures while I knew them but I’d always seem to gravitate back to the house. … It was Maine.”Andrew Wyeth chose to be buried here with the Olson family.
We also visited another lighthouse. It is The Owl’s Head Lighthouse and very beautiful but was hard for me to get a vantage point to paint and very windy. Besides , who can compete with this exquisite Wyeth. Love the odd perspective and the clean economical strokes. The Owls Head Lighthouse is located at the entrance of Rockland Harbor on western Penobscot Bay in the town of Owls Head, Knox County, Maine.
A trip to the Farnsworth Museum is essential when in Rockland. Stopped into a few galleries on Main Street in Rockland. Enjoyed the Landing Gallery, 409 Main St
Rockland, where I saw some wonderful work by local painter Bjorn Runquist. Originally from Sweden, he now resides in Clark Island. I have become very good at finding places to paint. It’s easy just follow the artist. I loved Runquist’ work and decided to see the area. I was not dissappointed. The light was magical on the Clark island bright but brutally cold painting . I lasted painting just about one hour and decided to duck into the Craignair Inn. A beautiful place to stay and dine in a classy historic Inn which looks like you are stepping back in time and the surrounding scenery is breathtaking. I came in from painting to warm up and grab something warm. The dining hall was not opened but I was offered a complimentary cup of tea. How nice and once inside we could not say no to the lovely ambiance and delectable menu. The food was elegantly served and delicious. “The Craignair was built in 1928 to house workers from the nearby quarries. It was converted to an Inn in 1947 and little has changed here since the turn of the century” A lovely young couple, innkeepers, Greg and Lauren are continuing the tradition starting just 9 months ago.
In Rockland our all-time favorite food stop is Home Kitchen Cafe, 650 Main Street . Not your average fare. They serve the most delicious pecan sticky buns in the world. Frittata with roasted red pappers, onions & mushrooms, hippy scramble with tofu, egg, green onions garlic, roasted red peppers, mushrooms fresh basil. huevos rancharo a spicy poached egg delight. For lunch we had the most delicious seafood chowder and one of the best corned beef Reuben.
“Clark Island Magic” oil on linen is a work in progress. I only got less than an hour in due to the frigid weather and wind. There is definitely enough information here to allow me to finish the painting at a later date. Will try to remember the glorius light and massive rocks. “Harbor near Olsen House” is another work in progress. Again I feel there is enough information here and using my memory of the place and a photo to reference will enable me to finish up.