MAINE: Down East Acadia

Continuing up the gorgeous coastline of Maine we enter Down East Acadia According to the Down East Magazine this term meant “When ships sailed from Boston to ports in Maine (which were to the east of Boston), the wind was at their backs, so they were sailing downwind, hence the term ‘Down East”. The Greek word “Acadia”means “earthly paradise” and I would agree with this description.  Our first visit was to Cadillac Mountain. It was an extremely cold and windy day but the views were breathtaking.

The rugged coastline of Maine is so dramatic. Some of the images remind me of the coast of Ireland. This image of rocks and rough surf by Frederick Church are a great inspiration to me. I am fascinated by the constant play of rocks and water.

“Fog off Mount Desert Island” Frederick Church (1850), oil on academy board.

We are staying at a great campground called Bass Harbor Campground.  All the camp amenities are here and so dear especially when the wind is blowing cold outside.  Our first couple of nights were chilly but we had an unseasonably warm break and allowed for much painting.  It is situated on the “quiet side” of Mount Desert Island.

Just want to point out a great place in town called “The Common Good Soup Kitchen” I Love there mission statement “We are a non-profit community based organization dedicated to promoting health, nutrition, and fellowship, among the residents of Mount Desert Island”. The food is free if you can believe it. Donations are glady accepted. Delicious healthy food made by volunteers who want to help the needy and the not so needy. Comraderie over a bowl of hot steaming soup and a popover is lovely. Stop in the next time you are visiting Mount Desert Island. The location is 19 Clark Point RoadSouthwest Harbor, ME . I found this to be the best popover on the island and I have had several on this trip. “A popover is a light, hollow roll made from an egg batter similar to that of Yorkshire pudding”. Recipe: 1 1/3 unbleached white flour, 1/2 t. salt, 1 1/3 cups milk, 2 large eggs Easy huh? well I will have to try to bake one when I get back home. Not sure if I can top the Common Good Cafe’s Perfect Popovers.

Several great painting spots nearby the campground.  My favorite is “Seawall”.  This is a fascinating   natural rocky shoreline. I could paint here for months and never be bored. The light and the changing tides change from minute to minute. It is a challenge. This little study I had to paint from the inside of the truck because it was just too windy. Love my knew little pochade box used for this purpose I highly recommend this sturdy little pochade box. Luckily I finished the painting before the cars pulled out in front. On our last day the weather changed to a balmy sixties. Unseasonably warm say the locals.

“Seawall, Morning light” oil on linen panel
“Seawall ” oil on linen 10 3/4 x 6 3/4)

Sadly, we leave in the morning but I feel renewed and satisfied with the “Maine Hug” road trip which offered so many experiences and opportunities to paint. I will be back for sure. The last leg which was to take us to Lubec will happen on the next trip. In the words of Thomas Cole… Nature has spread for us a rich and delightful banquet. Shall we turn from it? We are still in Eden; the wall that shuts us out of the garden is our own ignorance and folly. . . . May we at times turn from the ordinary pursuits of life to the pure enjoyment of rural nature; which is in the soul like a fountain of cool waters to the way-worn travelers. -Thomas Cole, painter, 1836

Thomas Cole, View Across Frenchman’s Bay from Mt. Desert Island, After a Squall, 1845

One comment

  1. You’re getting some great painting done; It’s my kind of landscape. I’m painting and struggling at Plein Air Brandywine. Tell Carl to smile for his photo – he’s hettinh free food. (Yes, I’m sure you made a donation. JJ


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