How I spent my summer vacation

Janith Mason epitomizes the joy most people feel at painting in Maine. It’s just that kind of place.

Summer slipped past me like road markers on the interstate, perhaps because I’ve driven 7500 miles since June 27. Working sun up to sun down with almost no days off for five weeks is exhausting, but it was deeply rewarding at the same time.

Sunset over the Hudson was painted at Olana.
In early June I drove to the Catskills to join a select group of New York plein air painters at a retreatorganized by Jamie Williams Grossman.  I came home to miss my own opening of God+Man at Aviv! Gallery, because of a health issue—the first time that’s ever happened to me. (Mercifully, I made my student show’s opening the following Sunday afternoon.)
Back in Rochester, the official first day of summer found my class huddled up against a cold wind off Lake Ontario. Since the lake nearly froze solid last winter, that was understandable. In fact, it’s been a cooler-than-average summer here, and our tomatoes are just now thinking of ripening.
I may have missed my own opening in June, but I did make it to my student show. Of course, there was beer.
I was walking in Mt. Hope Cemetery on Independence Day when I saw a young man painting en plein air. Turns out to be an RIT graduate named Zac Retz. He and another young friend joined us one more time before I left for Maine. I hope to see them again.
July found my duo show with Stu Chait, Intersections of Form, Color, Time and Space, closed down by RIT-NTID’s Dyer Gallery. The nude figure paintings might have offended young campus visitors. That’s a gift that keeps on giving, since the paintings had to be packed and moved in a hurry by two young assistants; they’re still in my studio awaiting their final repacking and storage.
My $15 porta-potty turned out to be one of the best investments I’ve ever made.
I couldn’t move them myself because by that time I was living off the grid in Waldoboro, ME. From there I went to one of my favorite events of the year, Castine Plein Air, which was followed by ten days of painting in Camden and Waldoboro.
Evening Reverie, sold, was one of many pieces I painted for Camden Falls Gallery this summer.
Then on to my workshop in Belfast, which was a lovely mix of friends old and new. This year, a number of participants traveled with their families, which lent a wonderful tone to the experience. From there I joined Tarryl Gabel and her intrepid band of women painters in Saranac Lake to participate in Sandra Hildreth’s Adirondack Plein Air Festival.
By the time you read this, I will be on the road again. This time it’s not work; I’m going to see family. I’m really looking forward to being back in Rochester teaching again, and starting on a new body of studio work.

 Message me if you want information about next year’s classes or workshops.