Manna from heaven

Corinne's exquisite pen-and-ink drawing of our still life.

Corinne’s pen-and-ink drawing of our still life.
The last time I was certain that I had my phone on Tuesday was when I launched Dark Sky to check the weather. A few minutes later, it was missing. I checked with the Schoodic Institute staff, other guests, and my students. I retraced my steps for the prior two hours. No phone.
I’m a pro at losing things, so my searches have become methodical. I don’t panic, since most of the time I eventually find the missing item. Nor do I tear things apart in a frenzy. I clean and straighten until I find what I was looking for. After all, one might as well get some benefit out of the experience.
Cecelia's lovely painting of the mouth of Frazer Creek at low tide.

Cecelia’s lovely painting of the mouth of Frazer Creek at low tide.
Although I was certain I’d had my phone at supper, I returned to my suite and carefully stripped and remade my bed. I tidied the kitchen. No phone.

Each morning I collect a giant cooler with our lunches and snacks in it. On Wednesday, I resolved to clean and reorganize my car before putting the cooler in. I was halfway through when someone asked me a question. I walked about twenty feet away to answer it.
I gave Lynne six pastels of my choosing and told her to do a painting with them. She did an awesome job.

I gave Lynne six pastels of my choosing and told her to do a painting with them. She did an awesome job.
When I returned I was stunned to see my phone sitting on my car roof. It was covered with dew. If there was anyone else in the area, they were pretty nippy on their feet.
“Manna from heaven!” exclaimed Ken Avery. “It returned with the dew!” Answered prayer can be big or small but it always leaves you chuffed.
As Lynne did her limited-palette pastel drawing, I painted alongside with a similar palette.

As Lynne did her limited-palette pastel drawing, I painted alongside with a similar palette. Very unfinished.
We began our work at Frazer Point. This area was named after Thomas Frazer, an African-American who established a salt works near the mouth of Frazer Creek sometime before 1790. Our view looked across Mosquito Harbor to Norris Island and the bridge across Frazer Creek.
Yes, it got cold when it started raining.

Yes, it got cold.
By 1 PM a light mist was developing and the air smelled of rain. Lynne collected a mess of still life material from the beach before we returned to the Schoodic Institute Pavilion. There we did color temperature exercises in what eventually developed into a downpour.
Corinne was captivated by the reflections from Norris Island.

Corinne was captivated by the reflections from Norris Island.
By 5 PM, all we wanted were hot showers and dry clothes. We met for dinner at 6, where we were joined by a late arrival to our group, Matt Avery.
I got back to my suite at 7:30, thrilled to be in early on such a cool, rainy night. I changed into my nightclothes and settled down with my laptop. There I found a message from two of my dearest friends in the world: “We are at Schoodic for the night. Have to leave by 8:30 AM.” After a brief war with my lazier self, I got dressed again and headed back out. We had a nice but all-too-brief visit.
The still life materials on a beach are limitless.

The still life materials on a beach are limitless.
A fog swirled through the dark woods as I walked back. Yes, there are black bears and moose in Maine. I don’t like surprising wild animals in their native habitat, so I sang the first song that popped into my mind. “A Mighty Fortress is our God” seemed oddly appropriate.
Manna from heaven, indeed.

Jack Pines and Kentucky Fried Chicken

Schoodic Point breakers by Lynne Vokatis

Schoodic Point breakers by Lynne Vokatis (finished).
A visitor mentioned that Acadia’s Schoodic Peninsula seems much busier than it has in other years. I’d been thinking much the same thing. If so, that means the National Park Service’s investment in the Schoodic Woods campground has paid off handsomely.
My class was so gung-ho that they started 45 minutes early. Since I’m a morning person, that was fine with me, but I warned them they must get adequate rest. They wanted to finish paintings they’d started on Monday before we moved on. To that end, we returned to Schoodic Point.
Schoodic Institute provides bag lunches and snacks so we can stay out all day. At 11 AM we had fresh zucchini bread and grapes and moved to a far corner of the Point, where stunted Jack Pines break up the rock slopes.
A student asked me what a Jack Pine is. “Something Tom Thomson and theGroup of Seven painted,” I answered. I didn’t think it was a real species, just a term for a windblown boreal tree. Turns out I was wrong. Pinus banksiana is a tree of Canada that breaks out into a few boreal forests in the northernmost United States, including at Schoodic Point.
Lynne and her Jack Pines.

Lynne and her Jack Pines.
I think it’s helpful to know something about the rocks and trees one is painting. Schoodic is famous for basalt dikes running through older pink granite. Granite tends to fracture horizontally; basalt fractures vertically. Both fracture in cubes that then wear down with glacial slowness. Knowing this makes our drawings more accurate.
I gave Lynne a difficult assignment: to draw the Jack Pines using color in the place of value, like the Impressionists did. She was then to integrate local color into her work without doing any blending at all. The result was pure Tom Thomson.
Our new location among the pines was about as popular as Times Square. A stream of people continuously stopped to talk to my painters. I was debating what to do about that when my pal Renee Lammers stopped by with a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken for us. The party was on!
"Schoodic Point," by Corinne Avery.

“Schoodic Point,” by Corinne Avery (finished).
While Renee sold paintings and Sketch-n-Cans to the constant stream of visitors, my class painted, sketched and laughed. And then, at about 4:15, it was suddenly lights out for all of us. I tried to demo about color temperature and found myself hopelessly confused. My students felt the same way. We packed up and headed in for a rest before dinner.
Discussing drawing rocks with my students. (Photo courtesy of Susan Renee Lammers)

Discussing drawing rocks with my students. (Photo courtesy of Susan Renee Lammers)
One only gets a certain number of clear-headed work hours in a day. We like to believe we can push past that, and we can, for a limited time. But the quality and assurance of our work declines.
At six, we had a lobster feast in the cool, fresh air, and by 7:30, we were all tucked up in our rooms. All that fresh air, sunlight and exercise had taken its toll. We hope to catch the Perseid Meteor Shower later this week, so we can’t wear ourselves out now.

Indestructible

"Rockbound coast of Maine," 8X6 demonstration painting, oil on canvasboard, Carol L. Douglas

“Rockbound coast of Maine,” 8X6 demonstration painting, oil on canvasboard, Carol L. Douglas
One of my workshop students was seriously injured in a car accident last year. Because of this, I’m trying to limit our rock climbing. Plein air painting is hard enough without physical or spatial problems.
With this in mind I encouraged her to paint from just below the parking lot at Schoodic Point. She set up her pastels, did a quick value sketch and immediately moved to color. She’s an excellent composer and her start was fantastic.
Cecilia Chang's painting of Schoodic Point.

Cecilia Chang’s painting of Schoodic Point.
The air was perfectly still when we started painting. Unfortunately, neither she nor I thought to weigh down her Heilman pastel box. The wind rose imperceptibly. Whitecaps began to form and bigger breakers crashed along the rocks.
Lynne’s entire kit flew over onto the rocks with a terrible crash.
If you’ve worked in pastels, you know that the tinkle of broken chalks is the saddest sound known to mankind. An open-stock pastel stick can range from $3.50 to $7.00, and a good pastel artist can carry more than a hundred of them, accumulated over decades and treasured. The proper response to a fallen easel is either copious swearing or copious tears, depending on your personality.
The scene of the crime.

The scene of the crime.
Instead, we squared our shoulders and set to work cleaning up the mess. Miraculously, the box itself wasn’t damaged by the crash. Neither were the Terry Ludwig soft pastels she was carrying. While some of the other brands came from dust and to dust returned, these chalks were unfazed. A soft pastel that can survive the granite of Maine is not to be sneezed at.
On the first day of a workshop my students are usually so gung-ho that I have to drag them away for breaks. This year was no exception. By 1 PM, I was begging them to pack up their easels and eat their lunches. Our situation was untenable. The wind, at around 20 MPH, made the easels vibrate and the work snap around like tacking sails.
Lynne Vokatis' unfinished pastel of Schoodic Point.

Lynne Vokatis’ unfinished pastel of Schoodic Point.
We moved to Arey Cove, which gave us a little protection. There I did a demo while my students ate their lunch.
At 5:30 I told everyone to pack up, as we had half an hour before dinner was served. Lynne was covered in pastel dust. “I think I’d better shower,” she said, and rushed through her packing. Unfortunately, the back door of her SUV wasn’t secured. As she sped around the corner, her art supplies flew out of the back, including her Heilman pastel box on its tripod.
Again, we squared our shoulders. Again we picked up the mess. Again, that box was completely unscathed.
So consider this an endorsement of the Heilman pastel box. Apparently it is indestructible. The same might be said of Lynne. Lesser women (like me) would have cried and quit for the day. But she didn’t let disaster derail her. She told me that her neurologist says to think of such moments as clouds that will shortly move along. Sounds like brilliant advice to me.
Corinne Avery's unfinished painting of Schoodic Point.

Corinne Avery’s unfinished painting of Schoodic Point.
I am participating in two events this coming weekend:
Saturday: 9 AM to 4 PM
Sunday: 9 AM to 4 PM
Paintings of coastal Maine, Aldermere Farms, and the Rockport area are featured in this event, which is free and open to the public. The farmhouse is located at 20 Russell Avenue, Rockport.
Sunday, starting at 4 PM
Organized by The Kelpie Gallery in South Thomaston, this event supports the Maine arts community and the Georges River Land Trust.
Thirty juried artists will paint along the Weskeag River and Marsh and St. Georges River. The party starts on Sunday with an elegant cocktail reception at 4pm. At 5 PM dueling auctioneers Bruce Gamage and Kaja Veilleux will sell the work
Tickets are $40 in advance for GRLT members/$50 for non-members and day of auction. For more information, call 207-594-5166.

Wherever we go, that’s where the party’s at

"Parker dinghy," by Carol L. Douglas. 8X10, oil on canvasboard.

“Parker dinghy,” by Carol L. Douglas. 8X10, oil on canvasboard.
On Friday, Brad Marshall and I had only a short time to paint before he had to head back south. We decided small watercolor sketches were all we could pull together in the time we had. Sandy Quang is my former studio assistant and is now working at Camden Falls Gallery this summer. She joined us with her sketchbook before work. Since we weren’t using easels, the simplest thing was to dangle our feet in the water and draw the lobster boat on the next dock.
Sandy, me and Brad hard at work at Camden harbor, with our feet in the water.

Sandy, me and Brad hard at work at Camden harbor, with our feet in the water. (Photo courtesy of Kathy Jalbert)
Across the harbor, another painter was working away at his easel. It was George Van Hook.  I called him on my cell phone to say hi, since my voice would never carry that far over open water. He was ready for a short break so he came over and joined us on our dock.
I never know who I’ll see at Camden’s Public Landing, but there’s always someone I know—a sailor, another painter, or a Camden or Rockport friend just enjoying the sun. And I’m always meeting new people, too. For me, plein airpainting is often about balancing the party with the need to do serious work.
We didn't have time to paint anything polished, so we each did little watercolor sketches before saying goodbye.

We didn’t have time to paint anything polished, so we each did little watercolor sketches before saying goodbye. This was mine.
Later that day, my husband and I joined painter Bobbi Heath and her husband aboard their lobster boat for dinner. Moored in Tenants Harbor, we were surrounded by wildlife. An osprey took up residence on the mast of a neighboring boat, chirruping to his mate who flew nearby. Suddenly he dropped into the sea like a rock, and rose with a fish in his beak—and then he was gone, bringing home the bacon. A seal poked his dappled nose out of the water nearby. Black Guillemots—a kind of puffin—potted around us as we ate. The light dropped and the evening breeze picked up, and we glided back to shore under a sliver of new moon.
Lobster dinner on a lobster boat.

Lobster dinner on a lobster boat. (Photo courtesy of Douglas J. Perot)
Today I start a series of wild perambulations, which include Acadia National Park, Scotland, and an Alaska-to-Nova-Scotia painting trip (plus three more events in Maine). I expect to be home for good in mid-September. On Saturday I finished the painting above, which is of a Parker dinghy built on Deer Island, NB. That allowed me just enough time to pack and get to the Schoodic Institute, where I met up with this year’s workshop students.
After dinner at the Commons, Ken and Corinne Avery and I spent some time looking at aurora borealis predictions. Turns out these can’t be made very far in advance, but there was some possibility of solar-wind activity last night. The partly-cloudy sky was predicted to clear by 11 PM.
My first realization is that I need an app for this. My second is that they exist. Since I’ll be spending much of the next month traversing prime Northern Lights territory, I need to figure one out.
Alas, the aurora borealis didn’t show up. It’s a whole new week, however, and thePerseid meteor shower is expected to peak on Thursday and Friday. Who needs sleep? I do, of course. But I feel the likelihood of a spectacular night-sky event in my bones.

Owl’s Head reverie, interrupted

"The Cliff under Owl's Head Light," Carol L. Douglas, 10X8.

“The Cliff under Owl’s Head Light,” Carol L. Douglas, 10X8.
As I listened to my friend Kathy field calls yesterday, I was reminded of how fragmented our lives really are, and how our memories gloss over the interruptions. Perhaps she will remember her Maine trip for birdwatching and reading, but in reality she is spending a good part of it on the phone, trying to cobble together a care plan for an elderly relative.
We got a late start painting because I wanted Brad Marshall to choose the scene. I took him to two shingle beaches and a lighthouse, all at Owl’s Head State Park. As we trudged along a wooded path, Brad reminisced about his very first plein airpainting, decades ago.
Brad Marshall's study of the cliff below Owl's Head Light.

Brad Marshall’s study of the cliff below Owl’s Head Light.
Brad is a very experienced artist.  He attended the San Francisco Academy of Art, and he works as a sign-painter, doing massive pictorial murals all over the US.  His paintings are represented by the Fischbach Gallery.
There he was in Stonington, with a field easel and some paints. How hard, he asked himself, could this plein air lark be?
Brad Marshall's study of the beach at Owl's Head State Park.

Brad Marshall’s study of the beach at Owl’s Head State Park.
“It wasn’t like I’d never painted from life,” he said. “I had lots of experience with that. I was just unprepared for the difficulties of plein air.”
He was totally frustrated. “I thought, who is this man?” laughed Kathy. Still, the resulting painting, A Path in the Maine Woods, has proved enduringly popular.
I frequently tell my students that plein air is the most difficult and highest expression of painting. You can paint from photos? Congratulations; you know how to copy.
My study of the beach at Owl's Head State Park.

My study of the beach at Owl’s Head State Park.
Why bother with the extra work of learning to paint landscapes from life? The camera does a lot of the hard work for you, but it also eliminates most choices. It flattens out light and perspective. When you paint outdoors, you’re not just faithfully recording what you see, you’re painting your relationship with the natural world.
Old buds, together again. (Photo courtesy of Kathy Jalbert)

Old buds, together again. (Photo courtesy of Kathy Jalbert)
Yesterday my own painting was fragmented by too much closeness with my cell phone. There was something I needed to straighten out about next week’s workshop. I had scheduling issues for September that could not wait. Trying to answer these questions without my laptop, I managed to create a wild kerfuffle in my own mind. I got upset with a vendor, but it turns out that I, not she, was in the wrong.
To me, multitasking just means doing everything badly. Sometimes it can’t be helped. Listening to Kathy scrambling to fix her loved one’s problem, I was reminded that peace of mind is a great gift. Many of us are so overstimulated by years of fielding emergencies that we don’t even recognize peace when it shows up at our door. I’m not grateful enough for it.

Culture clash

"Kathy reading," by Carol Douglas (not finished).

“Kathy reading,” by Carol Douglas (not finished).
I met Brad Marshall years ago, when I was active in New York Plein Air Painters. We tried to hold a meet-and-greet in a Czech beer garden in Astoria, but we were washed out by a crashing thunderstorm. In those days, I lived in Rochester, had a crash-pad on the Upper West Side in Manhattan, and spent too much time breaking traffic laws between those two places.
Brad and his wife, Kathy, are here to paint this week. Although they are both thoroughly-assimilated New Yorkers, Kathy actually comes from good French-Canadian Aroostook County stock. I know her as a woman who can sniff out a designer bargain in seconds, but she really does know this country well.
"Boats in Rockport Harbor," by Brad Marshall.

“Boats in Rockport Harbor,” by Brad Marshall.
People from New York City and people from Maine are both intrepid, but in different ways. It takes nerve and knowledge to throw oneself across the platform into an overloaded subway car, or to suss out the best routes on the Manhattan Transit Authority’s 660 miles of track. It takes equal nerve to hike down a granite cliff or take your small boat out into that vast ocean. Each place has its own specialized footwear, however.
Yesterday I took Brad and Kathy to two favorite painting spots: Beauchamp Pointand Rockport Harbor. I paint or linger in both places frequently. It was interesting to see them through the eyes of visitors.
Brad and I painted while Kathy read and watched birds through her field glasses.

Brad and I painted while Kathy read and watched birds through her field glasses.
People always talk to me when I’m painting. Yesterday, a number of them asked us how-to questions. Brad and I answered differently, because we do many things differently: sketching and composition, canvas toning, palette, solvent, brush care. There are fundamental rules to each medium, but how they’re followed can take many different forms. This is why, as a teacher, I try to explainwhy I do what I do. Understand the question, and you have a full range of possible answers.
We ate lunch at the harbor. It took a long time in arriving, something I no longer even notice. Yes, things move more slowly in Maine than in New York. This is, after all, Vacationland. What’s the hurry?
It was a perfect day to paint. (Photo courtesy of Brad Marshall)

It was a perfect day to paint. (Photo courtesy of Brad Marshall)
“Why would you want to be in the City when you can be here?” I asked Brad and Kathy, with all the enthusiasm of the recent convert.
“Pizza, the theatre, galleries, shopping, medical care, convenience…” they started.
“No granite canyons, no panhandlers on the subway, no smell of car exhaust or garbage, and no rats scampering along the streets in the early morning light,” I countered. There are many things I don’t miss about urban life.
I used to call New York “the center of the known world.” I no longer feel that way, but it’s nice to know it chugs along unchanged, and that my friends are still there whenever I want to go back to visit.

Holy mackerel!

My demo painting. Not inspired, but by the time we were done, everyone had done all the steps.

My demo painting. Not inspired or finished, but by the time we were done, everyone had done all the steps.
I hate whole-class demonstrations, mostly because I hate watching them myself. Nevertheless, some processes require step-by-step instruction, and I try to sneak them in where possible.
With oil paint, you can set your easel up like a lectern in front of a group. With watercolor, particularly used as a field sketching medium, it’s not that simple. The work needs to be angled nearly flat, which makes watching the process more difficult.
Even in Vacationland painting classes fade away in August. People have things to do. Yesterday I was down to two students. Both are in the early stages. It was the perfect time to go over the basics of watercolor.
My idea was similar to those paint and sip events that are so popular right now. Being mid-morning, there was no wine. (Of course, there is no real relationship between drinking and art, any more so than there is between drinking and engineering.) Furthermore, I didn’t give them a canned subject; we would choose a general area in which to work and they could frame it as they wanted.
Come to Maine. The work is strenuous, but you will learn a lot.

Come to Maine to paint. The conditions are strenuous, but you will learn a lot.
We did each step in unison. First we chose subjects, then we did a value study, then we cropped our studies. We transferred our drawing to paper, did washes, built in darks.
At no time did we proceed to the next step before all three of us had finished with the prior one. That has a curious way of messing with your concentration.
For a while, a school of mackerel swirled in the water at our feet, snapping at something on the surface. A large gull dove into it, coming up empty-beaked. Come to Maine to learn to paint; it’s never boring.
My polarized sunglasses let me watch the column of fish deep in the water, but sadly my camera could only photograph the surface.

My polarized sunglasses let me watch this column of fish swirling in the water, but my camera could only photograph the surface.
We ran out of time long before we were finished, but we’d reviewed all the principles, including that a good painting takes a long time. Whatever the medium is, that’s universally true.
Our subject was simple and pedestrian, and eventually was obliterated by the arrival of lobster boats back from their morning’s work. None of us painted anything brilliant. But we established the order of operations for watercolor, which is so radically different from painting with oil. We were able to discuss brushes and technique in detail.
After class, I walked to the post office to get my mail. I remarked to my husband that teaching two students always requires more concentration than teaching six. I think all three of us learned a lot.

Melania’s bimbo eruption

The Laborer Resting, oil on canvas, 36X48, Carol L. Douglas. This is a portrait of a sex worker.

“The Laborer Resting,” oil on canvas, 36X48, Carol L. Douglas. This is a portrait of a sex worker.
Apparently, we are seeing the end of Puritan America. Only in 2016 can a small bimbo eruption in the form of a potential First Lady’s nude, lesbian-themed photos make the cover of the New York Post.
I found the photos remarkably pedestrian. There is no hint of real sex in them, merely two women being the medium through which photographer Jarl Ale de Basseville wrote his sexual fantasies. The photos are stylized to absurdity. Many men who paint or draw the female nude either romanticize, stylize or desexualize the female form in this way. In the timeless words of women through history: “Men! What can you do?”
Saran Wrap Cynic, 20X24, oil on canvas, Carol L. Douglas. Saran Wrap speaks to the commodification of women.

“Saran Wrap Cynic,” 20X24, oil on canvas, Carol L. Douglas. Saran Wrap speaks to the commodification of women.
I spent a few years doing a body of work about misogyny and the toothlessness of the naked woman. My model, Michelle Long, is in fact a very strong, intelligent woman. I wanted to create something that spoke of the real state of women in this world, and she was game enough to work with me. Read anything else into those paintings and you’re projecting your own issues.
Perhaps this background colors my opinion about Melania Trump’s photos. However, they do speak to a bigger issue in sexual politics. Melania Trump’s dilemma was that even brilliant women have a hard time breaking out of a concrete housing block in Slovenia. A young lad from the Dominican Republic can escape poverty by utilizing his body to throw a baseball. Women don’t have that option.
This morning I was reading about a famous 19th century courtesan, Marie Duplessis. She was the inspiration for Verdi’s Violetta in La Traviata and the younger Dumas’ Marguerite Gautier in La Dame aux Camélias, but her life story is hardly heroic.
Marie was, in fact, a severely-damaged party girl of a type we moderns know all too well. Born Rose-­Alphonsine Plessis, she was the daughter of impoverished Norman peasants. Her alcoholic father savagely beat her mother, who died when the girl was seven. Her father abandoned her the following year, reappearing periodically after she turned 11 to try to sell her to strangers. When she was 14, he made a deal for her with a notorious debaucher. She ended up abandoned in Paris, where she took up work as a laundress and shop-girl.
Consider the girl’s dilemma: she could continue to work six days a week, 13 hours a day for 22 francs a month, until she was destroyed by hard work. Or, she could accept an offer of a furnished flat and 3000 francs to do the one thing she had been trained for: sex.
The Servant, 36X40, oil on canvas, Carol L. Douglas.

“The Servant,” 36X40, oil on canvas, Carol L. Douglas.
Duplessis was a celebrity, thanks in part to her string of famous paramours, who including both Dumas and Franz Liszt. She in part set the Victorian standard for pale, ethereal beauty. Of course, this was tuberculosis, which killed her at age 23.
To the end, she was a frenetic party girl. Her coachman reported that “at the end she drank nothing but Champagne.”
“I’ve always felt that I’ll come back to life,” she told her maid.
Non-marital sexuality is, too often, about power and influence. No, I don’t want my daughters showing up nude in the New York Post, but hopefully we have prepared them for better things than that.
I realize that sometimes it’s a fine line, but there is a difference between used and user. The latter should be censured; the former pitied.

Let that be a lesson to me

I'm going to look at this in the studio later and see if I can regain the sense of the Mercantile looking. Shadows, perhaps.

I’m going to look at this in the studio later and see if I can regain the sense of the Mercantile looming. Shadows, perhaps.
My flagging energy has been at war with the calendar. Two weeks from tomorrow I fly to Scotland for a wedding. That pretty much marks the end of my working summer, although I do have one event after that. That doesn’t mean I stop painting or that the crowds mysteriously evaporate, but the crush of people lets up a bit after Labor Day.
I stopped by to see a friend on my way home on Saturday. “I’m tired, hot and cranky,” I told her.
“Like you’ve been the last three times I saw you,” she replied.
The nicest thing I started this weekend was a small study of the Mercantile's anchor.

The nicest thing I started this weekend was a small study of the Mercantile’s anchor.
I can see it in my work. I painted three things over the weekend in Camden. The best of these, a little study of an anchor, didn’t get finished. The one with the greatest promise—a tiny tender sheltering under the bow of the Mercantile—didn’t work. I should have known when I sketched it five times without a good composition that I was on the wrong track. Instead, I tried to force it to happen on the canvas. Without the Mercantile looming over it, it was just another dinghy.
Can I fix that in the studio? Possibly; I’ll try today. In fact, I need some serious time to finish up all the half-done work that’s waiting for me.
Sometimes I'm too dumb to stop. (Photo courtesy of Susan Renee Lammers)

Sometimes I’m too dumb to stop. (Photo courtesy of Susan Renee Lammers)
Most of us work long days during painting events. I also blog about them, which usually adds an hour or two to my working day. There are some dead giveaways that I need a rest:
  1. The bottom of my backpack starts looking like the bottom of my purse, a collection of flotsam and jetsam that has escaped its proper places;
  2. My ‘filter’ gets jarred loose and I say things I usually keep to myself;
  3. I gain weight;
  4. My composition is uninspired;
  5. I fight a dehydration headache and am too dumb to fix it with water;
  6. My house and car get ratty.
I’ve said many times that people should take at least a day off every week. Rest is a great gift. “The Sabbath was made for mankind, and not mankind for the Sabbath,” Jesus said. Do I follow that advice? Only fitfully, I’m afraid. Today I have a sore throat and headache, and I think it’s just my body telling me to drop the pace down a notch.
The Angelique has been following me everywhere. Here she is curled up in Camden harbor.

The Angelique has been following me everywhere. Here she is curled up in Camden harbor.
I’m not the only person getting tired. I can hear it in the slow but steady increase in beeping horns as I walk to the Rockport post office at midday. Our tolerance for others is fraying, ever so slightly.
People ask me why I blog when it adds more work to my day. The nicest part of the weekend was a visit by reader Fay Terry of Pinehurst, NC. On Friday, she joined Renee Lammers and me on the docks to paint. Yes, social media has its downside, but its ability to connect like-minded people is invaluable.