"Burning Off-Somes Sound"-plein air, 9x12 by Maryanne Jacobsen
We just returned from a ten day trip that took in the northeastern coast from Bar Harbor, Maine, back down to Cape Ann, Massachusetts. This stretch of seacoast is without a doubt, one of the most scenic in all of the east coast of the United States. For that reason, it has attracted artists for decades, including Edward Hopper, Andrew Wyeth and literally thousands of others. It was our second trip to this area, and though the summer views are quite different from the autumn vistas, they are just as spectacular!
One of the first stops on our trip was Southwest Harbor, located about a ten minute drive southwest of Bar Harbor, which is a veritable tourist trap, IMHO. We were very fortunate to find a room available at the beautiful old historic Claremont Inn, located right on the mouth of Somes Sound.
The Sound is considered the east coast's only fjord, and the huge body of water that is carved into the mountains there, was created during the last ice age.
When we arrived late in the afternoon of our first day, I ran down to the boat dock to take in a magnificent vista of fog, hanging like a shroud of gossamer over the water there. We never get fog here in Florida, and so the dreamy quality of the shoreline was breathtaking to me!
The Claremont sits well above the water line on a gently sloping hill. Looking up from my vantage point on the dock, the Inn rose majestically out of the mist, a sentinel seemingly guarding the secrets of a very gentler era in time.
My husband and I sat in front of the fire at the Boathouse Restaurant and marveled at the fact we were both wearing sweatshirts and shivering for the first time in many months!
The next morning I awoke at dawn and looking out the window I could see the promise of a gorgeous day! I grabbed my pochade box and ran down to the water's edge, as excited as a little kid with new crayons. I was very anxious to use the opportunity to paint en plein air for the first time in many months, since the heat and humidity in southwest Florida makes it impossible to do so right now.
Out of practice, at first I tried to paint into the rising sun, but when I found it blinding me, I wiped out the canvas and moved to the other side of the dock where the fog was just burning off its final remnants over Cadillac Mountain.
Satisfied with this vantage point, I made my very first attempt to paint mist over mountains, using the little boat with the red seat as a focal point, and allowing the dock and buoy to help support the simple composition and lead the viewer's eye through the painting.
I am not sure I was entirely successful in my first attempts to capture the essence of that lovely place, but for now at least, I have enough memories and photos to help me along in the weeks to come, as I attempt to paint more scenes from Acadia. And more fog and mist!
Stay tuned for more plein air paintings, as well as additional photos and descriptions of our trip to Maine and Cape Ann.
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