Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"The Seaward Inn Garden", 14x11, oil on canvas, plein air

SOLD "The Seaward Inn Garden", 14x11, oil on canvas, plein air

A vacation in New England would not be complete for us without a trip to Cape Ann. Once again we chose to stay at the lovely Seaward Inn in scenic Rockport. We had a beautiful large room on the second floor of the main house that looked directly out over the Atlantic and Gully Point. The room was called Lover's Cove and we decided to take a photo of the little room placard on the door.

We were there for two nights and enjoyed beautiful sunrises in the morning. I awoke at 5 each morning in order to catch the beauty of the light over the ocean and at the harbor at the break of day.

I've painted quite a few scenes of Rockport and especially Motif #1. But this was my first chance to paint en plein air and I wasn't going to waste it! So I brought my paints into the garden right after breakfast one morning while there were still shadows on the western sides of the homes sitting right at the edge of the water. My hubby walked around taking photos while I was painting, and I sure wish he had taken the view that I was looking at over the water, instead of the opposite direction so I'd have had a reference of the scene that I painted that day!

I managed to finish the painting in about two hours, but when I tried to get it home on the airplane, the impasto I had put on with my palette knife smeared the canvas inside the box that I was transporting it in. So I had to re-work it from memory a bit after I got home in order to fix the smears.

The Seaward Inn has hosted many famous guests throughout its history, including the actors and actresses who starred in "A Perfect Storm" which was filmed in nearby Gloucester. The Inn has a soothing old world charm throughout, and the location on Marmion Way is just gorgeous, and a short walk to the beautiful Old Garden Path along the sea wall.

Breakfasts at the Seaward Inn are a special treat, the view of the ocean is beautiful and the food is quite yummy, and included in the price of accommodations!

While we were there, we visited the Rockport Art Association, and I was fortunate to see an exhibit of the oil paintings of Boston School painter, Marguerite Pearson, who lived right on Marmion Way and has a fascinating history. Please pick up an August copy of American Art Review, if you wish to read about this brave woman who battled polio as a teen, but determined to paint plein air with the best of them! She allowed her father to carry her outdoors well into adulthood, in order to paint the beautiful scenes of Marmion Way and Rockport.

The Cameron Family has owned the Seaward Inn throughout its history, and Pearson has painted various portraits of Cameron family members, including a painting of Alison Cameron Callahan as a child. The painting titled "The School Girl" was one my favorites in the exhibit. There is also a lovely painting of a bride coming down the steps of the Inn on her wedding day, and it now graces the living room wall of the Inn.

If you cannot get an August copy of American Art Review, but wish to read more about Pearson and her perseverance and accomplishments in spite of her disability, I found a wonderful article here in the Gloucester Times. After finding out that she lived right across the way from where I was staying and painting, it is no wonder that I felt so inspired that day in the garden!

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