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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Farewell to Acadia

On the last night we were in Acadia I remembered that my camera also takes short video clips. I thought (lightbulb) wouldn't it be neat to put a video clip of the waves on Schoodic Point on the blog??! This is the resulting video. I wish that I would have had this thought much earlier in the month, but it is a fitting close to the Acadia July 2010 chapter of this blog. We started the trip back to Pennsylvania at 5 a.m. on Friday. There were many places where road construction brought traffic to a standstill. We totaled over 2 hours just sitting in traffic on interstates. We arrived in Williamsburg around 9 p.m. After retrieving Bob's gear from the Ford, I continued on to McConnellsburg arriving around 11. It was a long day, but we arrived safely. We are so happy to have had this great July experience in Acadia National Park and Schoodic Penninsula.

I enjoyed blogging so much that I will continue. Going forth, the blog will be about the creative process and the things that I am making and thinking about. I hope you will continue to check the blog and comment about what you see.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Last Day

As with all good things, this month must come to an end. As we pack the car, ready the maps, and take our last treasured hikes we want to thank all of our family and friends who have followed the blog this month. We want to thank Acadia National Park, Schoodic Education and Research Center, Ranger Kate Petrie, Ranger Karen Lanier, and all of my fascinating students at Seawall and Moore Auditorium. It has been a privilege and pleasure to experience this place. I will carry memories of this month with me for the rest of my life. I took over 1300 photographs and made numerous works in pastel, watercolor, pencil, and oil. I have ideas for several more oil paintings once I return home. What a tremendous blessing it was to live here and be inspired to create art here. George Gissing said, " Art is an expression, satisfying and abiding, of the zest of life." I can think of no better place to experience that zest of life than here in Acadia.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Why does the granite break in triangles?

I asked Ranger Kate this morning why the rock breaks into triangles. She explained that it is actually fractured into "X's" that form 60 degree and 120 degree angles. This happened because of forces that were released in the compressed rock after the glaciers retreated. The 60 / 120 phenomenon is due to the molecular structure of the rock. I took some pictures of these fracture lines in the rocks on Schoodic Point this afternoon. It is fascinating.

I cleaned out my studio earlier today with a very heavy heart. I read a quote that many things in life can be fixed with salt water--- sweat, tears, or meditation of the ocean. I have been forever changed by this incredible month. I am willing to trust God and see what is in store for me next.

Tomorrow we pack, wash clothes, and clean the apartment. We are not sure how all of our gear is going to fit into the car.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Today I held my last art class at Seawall Picnic Area. It was the best attended of any of my classes with well over 30 students. The class participants were a wonderful mix of many different ages, abilities, and backgrounds. As with the best classes, I learned as much from my students today as they did from me. After class, we visited Cadillac Mountain and looked across Frenchman Bay to Schoodic Point. No wonder it takes so long to drive from Schoodic to Seawall! The breeze was lovely on Cadillac and we walked a bit and enjoyed the magnificent view. On the way home, I had to stop at Shirley's Yarn Shop just outside Ellsworth. It was an awesome store with a little bit of everything that is creative and fun. I bought an art presentation book and a fineline drawing pen. I didn't buy yarn because I have so much at home, but I certainly looked at all of it and found inspiration.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sundew Trail

This was the rock just off the Sundew Trail that I sat on to paint this morning. I was looking out across Frenchmen's Bay. At noon, I attended a luncheon at the Schoodic Offices. After lunch Bob and I hiked Alder, Schoodic Head, and Anvil Trails. We did this loop the first week we were here and we wanted to do it again this week. The trail was in good shape with some new steps and walkways over wet areas. After supper tonight, I'm going to pack the car for the trip to Seawall for my last class tomorrow morning. I can hear the ocean through the open window....... only 3 days left.

A Good Dream

The month of July has been like a really good dream that you don't want to wake up from. This photograph is Schoodic Point last night looking out toward Mount Desert Island. We went out to look at the full moon over the ocean later last night. The moonlight was incredible reflected in the Atlantic Ocean. I've never seen anything like it before.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sea Fever

I must go down to the seas again,
to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship
and a star to steer her by.

I must go down to the seas again,
for the call of the running tide
is a wild call and a clear call
that may not be denied.

And all I ask is a windy day
with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume,
and the sea gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again
to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whales way
where the wind's like a whetted knife;

And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream
when the long trick's over.
by John Masefield

I think these are done:

I just finished the oil of the tide pool on the left this morning. My blog followers have seen this one develop over the last few weeks. I am happy with it.

The watercolor of the Rockefeller building is not my favorite piece. Some things about it work well and other things I wish I could change. Watercolor is very unforgiving. I had fun doing it and that is what matters. "Process not Product" and "Progress not Perfection"---two slogans worth remembering in art and in life.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Acadia eCruise

This is an award winning interactive program from Acadia that I thought the blog followers may like to try. Go to this website:

Click on "take the eCruise". I think you'll enjoy it. My favorite part is the audio of the cobblestone beaches. Enjoy!!

Moore Auditorium

We had a class today in Moore Auditorium here on Schoodic. As you can see from the photo, Moore is a beautiful modern building with state of the art technology. The unique sculpture in front of the building is an interesting mesh of science and art. The class was well attended and the participants did great work.

After my class, we went to the festival in Prospect Harbor and happily found a used book sale. Bob and I both found some books that we will enjoy reading. When we got back to the SERC campus, I went to the studio until 8. Good things are happening. I got the watercolor of the Rockefeller building done and the big oil painting of the tide pool almost done!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Words from Charles Tracy's Diary on Mount Desert Island 1855

But I come around again to the ocean. There it is, wide, blue, level,-- a whole world out spread--- the counterpart of the vast blue sky above. It looks tranquil, but proof of its rolling is seen on some reefs, where the long white line of breakers fades and brightens as we watch it. Some vessels not far from land leave a faint track on the plain. One steamer, the Rockland, looks like a sea bug, and on watching it, like a clock finger, we can see it actually moves. But the broad plain is little spotted with these tiny works of man, and its great solemn face turns up with a sublime and heavenward gaze. Old as the world, and yet as fresh and living as if newly finished. The little excitements and contests and hopes and doubts of the human world, sink into nothing as we look out upon the mighty world of waters. Time, and showers, and frost, have scarred these old rocks, and turned the very granite into mud and sand; but the sea is unchanged. Heat, cold, storm, calm, sun, rain, in thousands of years, have wrought no alteration in its quality or looks; but the first eyes which looked out from this peak saw the ocean as we see it now; and the last that shall gaze here, wondering like us, will find it as it is today. ---- from "The Tracy Log Book 1855 A Month in Summer" Copyright 1997, Mount Desert Island Historical Society.

My Backyard for the last 23 days.

This photo was taken this morning about 100 yards from my apartment here on Schoodic.

Pennsylvania is beautiful too, but Acadia gets into your soul. I will be leaving next week and that is going to be difficult.

Turquoise Moments To Share

Psalm 126:3
The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with Joy!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Islesford Scenic and Historic Cruise

We departed from North East Harbor at 10 this morning on the "Sea Princess" for a very pleasant and informative 2 1/2 hour cruise guided by Park Ranger Bob Thayer.

During the cruise we saw harbor seals on Bunker Ledge, ospreys, a bald eagle, and harbor porpoises. We boated past the Bear Island lighthouse, Greening Island, Sutton Island and arrived on Little Cranberry Island. We had time to walk through the town of Islesford located on Little Cranberry Island and imagine what life is like for the 70 year round residents. My brother visited the maritime museum while I toured the art galleries and bought a homemade ice cream sandwich. Our guide, Ranger Thayer, was very knowledgeable about everything from lobster fishing and wildlife to the glamorous "cottages" and geology of Sommes Sound. I especially liked how he used art reproductions to show what life was like in the 1800's. The Sea Princess office staff and boat crew did a great job in creating a wonderful experience for all on board. Thank you Acadia National Park and Sea Princess Cruises for allowing us to experience this trip!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,
Mightier than the breakers of the sea--
The Lord on high is Mighty!

We hiked to a spot here on Schoodic this morning and I took the photo on the left. Last night at sunset we walked out to the point and took the photo on the right. Everyday is a miracle filled with possibilities for good.

Praise the Lord, O my soul. Praise the Lord.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Carriage Road Hike

After my class today we wanted to hike on a section of the carriage road system. Ranger Karen gave us some good directions and we hiked a section beginning at the Parkman Mountain parking area--- making a loop past two beautiful bridges and a waterfall. It was an easy hike on the rustic carriage roads built by John D. Rockefeller from 1913 through 1940.

By the way, the blueberries are all getting ripe here in Maine!!! They are everywhere!!!! It is wonderful.

Tuesday is Class Day

This hard working young man was one of the people in my class this morning. As you can see, he was very intent on his drawing. The weather was pleasant and we had a large crowd of enthusiastic learners. On Sat. we will have a "Sketching by the Sea" class on Schoodic Penninsula. The class will begin at 9:00 in the auditorium and then we will proceed to the area near the SERC campus entrance. My final class will be next Tuesday at the Seawall Picnic area.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Monday-- Studio Again

I didn't do much except work in the studio today. The photo on the far left is a watercolor that I am working on of the Rockefeller building here at Schoodic. I've worked on it 2 or 3 times now. I try to go slowly with watercolor because you have to carefully build up layers which takes thought and planning. It is not my favorite medium for that reason.

I did more on the painting of Bob in the wetlands. I like how the figure is coming along. I'm not happy with the trees in the center though. I scraped that area and redid it twice-- still not what I want. Time to let it dry and approach it on another day.

Tomorrow is class number 3 at Seawall Picnic area. We are going to hike some carriage roads when I am done. Also need to stop at the grocery store for our last shopping trip. I made up menus for the remaining days to try to use up all of our food before we go and I wrote the store list accordingly.

The Obama's left Mount Desert Island yesterday, so I guess I won't be seeing the girls in my class tomorrow. I think they had a nice time. The weather was great for them.

Bob took the bus into Winter Harbor today and he said there were two eagles hanging around there. It's a great little town. We went to a comedy show performed in a restored theater there on Sat. It was lots of fun.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Thank you!

7/18-- Today I fell asleep on a rocky cliff and dreamed about my paintings like they were children. I was smoothing oozy oil paint and boldly spearing cerulean into a juicy pale green mass to form tree shapes. Around 4 o'clock the electric jolt of sudden reality lasted only a brief instant--- I was here again--- the cliff, the rocks, the sea, the waves. I cried from the beauty and my gratitude. Thank you Higher Power for your creation!!! Thank you for allowing me to be here!!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

My Day in Pictures

8:00--arrive at studio

Noon--take a break and walk on the Sundew Trail

1:00--back to Dorr Hall where the studio is located

3:00--finished pastel

Friday, July 16, 2010

Art Work

The two oils (Bob in the wetlands and tide pool) I had on the blog at an earlier stage. They are still not done, but I thought I'd show you how they are coming along. I also put on two photos of small pastels. One is of Blueberry Hill which I began en plein air one day this past week--(rocks and ocean picture). The other pastel is of the wetlands on the one-way loop road here at Schoodic. I think this one is done. I may work some more on the Blueberry Hill one. I thought I would look at them tomorrow and decide then.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Afternoon photos

The photo on the right is the same wetlands that I photographed at first light. It looked even prettier in the afternoon light. The photo on the left is what I was looking at when I painted en plein air this afternoon.