Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Quoddy Head, Maine
24 x 34 Oil on Linen

A few years ago, quite a few years ago, I had a yearning to paint the sea, to paint waves, really big waves. So I packed my landscape easel and headed off to Maine, to Acadia National Park. It's my favorite place for seascape painting, partly because it is so beautiful and partly because it is public. There is nothing worse than finding a beautiful place to paint and then have someone tell you "You can't paint here, this is private property." I stayed a few days and painted even though it was misty the whole time and consequently no big waves. Then proceeded to drive up the coast hoping to get out of the persistent fog. I stopped in Lubec because Quoddy Head State Park was there and I could stroll along the public coastline. The fog had indeed gotten thicker but I was determined to paint. There is a lighthouse there that is situated on the easternmost point of the United States, I sallied forth and set up my easel. The fog was now so heavy that I couldn't see the lighthouse but I decided to work anyway thinking that when the fog burned off I could dash in the lighthouse in a few strokes. All I could see in front of me was my easel, I thought of Philip Glass and how, with the wide range of notes available to him, he would pick out a few notes and repeat them over and over and over again, and I thought with all the beautiful colors on my palette I was now repeating the same few tones over and over and over again, and my mind began to see shapes and patterns in the dense fog and I tried to get that variety in my painting as I repeated those few tones over and over and over again, and then the shapes and patterns became rocks and a footpath and I realized the fog had softened to mist and I had a few more tones and colors to work with, Philip Glass gave way to Claude Debussy and there were delicate melodies and harmonies, and the endless repetition became a tone poem. Everything was lovely and peaceful and wonderful even though I never saw the lighthouse and there never were any waves, any really big waves.....


Walter Lynn Mosley said...

Very effective painting.

Despite the circumstances (because of circumstances?) And also, very lovely description of your experience, thanks for sharing that, and again, very effective.

Eulalia (Lali) said...

You're so good at synaesthesia! (such a good synaesthete?)