Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Monhegan Island - Words cannot Express

After many years of travel through out the US and Italy, besides Venezia which I do hope to return to someday soon, and of course California which has its own absolute beauty, Monhegan Island is probably the most enchanting, picturesque, step back in time, place I have ever been fortunate enough to experience.
This little one by two mile island has more diversity and charm and character than one can imagine.
Wether it is under full sun or cloud covered, hence the Monhegan gray, it is absolutely charming. I have truly enjoyed the sunsets along the California coast but there is something to be said for the sunsets over Manana Island which sits between Monhegan and the mainland. It must be something to do with the air and atmosphere of the Atlantic ocean, the light is really amazing.
View from the 4 th floor window at the Monhegan House.

Having the chance to chat with some locals and those that have been visiting the Island for many decades, like my friend Janet, who has been making trips to the Island since she was a little girl, there is definitely an allure that keeps you coming back here. This is a working island and not just a tourist locale, and even after the summer season comes to a close about 40 people will endure the winter and stay on the island. I can only imagine how beautiful it is under a blanket of snow.

Not only is it a great place to paint, it has been attracting artists since the mid 1800's, folks like Henri, Redfield, Hibbard, Hopper, Bellows, Connaway, just to name a few. Staying at Monhegan House up on the top floor also adds to the overall experience. This is where all the artists tend to stay at one time or another. I went with Tim Bell and Brett Weaver but was able to hang out and paint with a few others as well. Caleb Stone, Kevin Beers, David Kasman, Allison Hill, Diane Scott, Cynthia Edmunds, Beth Rundquist, Walter and Ann, as well as about a dozen or more I didn't get a chance to meet. Everywhere you look you will inevitably see an artist set up painting.

This trip I was only able to spend 5 days on the island but will surely extend my time as well as the size of my canvas' in future years. I ended up producing 24 paintings, varying degrees of finish, knowing that it was too cool for appropriate drying time as well as smaller studies to be used this winter back in the studio.

The last day before we left Tim and I took a break at lunch and went to Don Stone's studio and was fortunate enough to spend a couple hours with he and his lovely wife Sara. Thanks so much to Mr. Stone for sharing his beautiful studio, wonderful art collection, and his life! What a treat that was.

I will definitely have more to add as this all settles in, however I need to get packed up for California, so no real time to sit and reminisce just yet, but I will.

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