Kathy, at her blog, Catching Happiness, always gets me thinking about how one has the ability to choose how to go through each day. Her recent post, about summer verses winter in Florida, got me thinking about these seasons here at the other tip of the United States. Last last winter I spent some time in a living nightmare because of some unlucky circumstances. But I experienced a phenomenon that I had known to be true from inspirational writing & stories: In the midst of fear & despair one can find fortitude, joy & serenity. With some hard work, & a little (a lot of) help from friends the nighmarish circumstances seem to finally be floating away. And summer has drifted in like a pleasant dream. I first started living in Maine when I was in my late teens. I feel as youthful today as I did then when I am kayaking...(well, almost...) There I go, paddling gently into happiness...
What luck, Coastal Maine Art Workshops brought one of my favorite watercolorists, Mel Stabin, to teach a week class in Belfast. I served as "Class Monitor" which meant I got to help out in a variety of ways. When not working, I got to participate, & even had a little time to draw/paint. Very accomplished painters in the class, & then, little me, still tied to my ink line & sketching style. But I learned a lot & felt good about offering my services in my own town.
From the Park at Steamboat Landing
Stage 1. Beautiful water views were behind me, but I couldn't face the sun, so loved the view I was "forced" to observe.
Stage 2, continued at home. Learned a lot in this one. Greens still a bit bright, Mel says greens can be poisonous, they must be mixed & varied, not used straight out of the tube. Mel encourages me to do some real paintings now, from my sketches, to get out of my comfort zone...we'll see where I go from here.
Belfast is known for some of its mansions, formerly owned by ship captains. A town with beautiful flower gardens. Again, I continued my initial sketch at home.
And my favorite: Sketching people quickly. I took pages of illustrated notes during demos & critiques.
My favorite Mel Stabin book is out of print, but you can find a 2nd hand copy. Watercolor: Simple, Fast and Focused. And he has a website. Also, check out Coastal Maine Art Workshops. Wow!! What a way to have a Maine coast vacation. You meet people from all over the country! Click here.