Last summer we had a lovely vacation up in Maine, and one of the highlights of our trip was a short stay at The Claremont Hotel in Southwest Harbor, near Acadia National Park and just 15 minutes south of Bar Harbor.
My husband had told the kind lady at The Tourist Center that his wife was an artist and that we were looking for an 'artsy' place to stay for a few nights. Since it was the height of tourist season I wasn't very optimistic that my dreams would come true, but that's where I was wrong.
When we arrived at the Claremont that night, the sun was about to set, and it was very foggy and pretty cold for my thinned -out Florida blood. We immediately went down to the boathouse for a drink near the fireplace, and there we were told that this was where Barack Obama had had lunch with his family during their Maine vacation the year before.
Although I was not particularly impressed with that information, I was very much impressed with the beauty of the Claremont Hotel, which was directly up the hill from the boathouse and swathed in swirling tendrils of fog.
We enjoyed a comfortable room with fireplace, and the next morning arose at the crack of dawn so I could go down to the boat ramp and paint. (If you see a tiny speck at the bottom of the ramp, next to the boat house, that's me painting!)
Imagine my surprise to see that as the fog burned off, the gently curving crests of the mountains on the other side of Somes Sound were revealed, the Sound being the only natural Fjord in the United States.
I painted carefully trying to understand this strange light condition that is so very different from Florida where the shadows are generally cool and the light warm. Here, with the fog still lifting, it was the opposite. If you would like to see the plein air painting that I did that day, here is the link.
Over the next few days we continued to marvel at our luck in finding such a lovely place to stay, where a generous breakfast was served each morning in a lovely dining room overlooking the Sound.
One evening a brief shower came up as we were having dinner and a double rainbow appeared in the sky!
The painting above is one of the cottages that are on the property , just beyond the croquet lawn, where believe it or not, guests can enjoy a good old-fashioned game of croquet during their Claremont stay! Here's the photo of the cottage and croquet lawn:
My challenge in the painting was to capture that elusive light temperature, where the shadows are somewhat warm and yet becoming somewhat cool, and the light is neutral.
I do hope to go back there again sometime. It was one of the most relaxingly lovely hotels that we have ever stayed at. If you do go yourself, be sure to make dinner reservations at The Red Sky restaurant, which was another winner in my book!
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