Completely upending my life, I’ve moved to Maine, an area of the country where I know no one nearby and the weather is hostile for at least half of the year, and I am so thrilled to be here! The beauty of the area makes up for any perceived obstacles.
My mission is to paint the rocky coastline. The contrast between the hard, seemingly immovable rocky shore, and the fluidity of the ocean is a visual dynamic that excites me as an artist and easily extends to metaphors for life and spirituality.
I’ve been exploring the area while waiting for my furniture to travel the 1600 miles from my previous home of 42 years in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, to Trenton, Maine, where I have rented an apartment. Most of my explorations have been to the local big box stores for essentials like food, doormats (it rains a lot here), shower curtains, shelf liner, and such, the latter all nicely packed in who knows which box in the moving truck.
My trip to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to register my car in Maine was thwarted by my title being on the moving van instead of in the packet of important papers I brought with me. I remembered my cat Rafiki’s rabies vaccination certificate, but not my car title! Other efforts to become a legitimate Mainer were similarly blocked by not having enough documentation. No worries, they give you 30 days to make those changes.
I did buy an outdoor porch chair, which I am using in my living room until my furniture gets here — my campstools just weren’t adequate for lengthy sitting at the computer on rainy and foggy days when I’ve stayed home. I’ll be out and about in less than ideal weather soon enough, but I’d rather not right now when not knowing exactly where I’m going is complication enough.
On Thursday of this week, a very pretty day, I made it over to the lighthouse at Bass Harbor Head, pictured at left. I stayed there a good while, just drinking it in, and shooting a few photos.
While on that jaunt, I also found the ArtWaves Community Art Center, which I had joined earlier this year. I happened in on their figure drawing session, an art activity that I feel is an indicator of the sophistication of the artists in an area, figure drawing being such a difficult and humbling practice. I met Liz Cutler, prior Executive Director for this nonprofit, who was very welcoming and offered me supplies and a drawing board if I wanted to join them. I had dressed for outdoor weather, so I will join them another week. But I instantly felt at home, and Liz’s welcome confirmed my expectation that wherever I move, when I find artists, I immediately have community.
I also found the sweetest country store, Town Hill Market, open M-F through the winter, and Saturdays too in the summer. I picked up two pieces of fresh-made pizza and some delicious candied ginger, yum! Best of all, it’s only 12 minutes from my home in Trenton and just a short walk from ArtWaves!
These places are on Mount Desert Island, with Bar Harbor as their address.
On my return, I turned at the sign for the Bass Harbor Terminal for the ferry to Swan’s Island, but I was distracted by the visuals of a nearby dock piled high with lobster traps hauled in for the season. The Ferry Terminal will still be there next time I go to that side of Mount Desert Island. Maybe I will ride it over just for the fun of it, a 45-minute schedule interval, $12.50 for off-season walk-on.
I was entertained by a local selling a small outboard boat. Pushing it into the water for the buyer to try it out, he got it stuck on “the only rock on the beach for it to ‘fetch’ on”. I’ve added that to my new vocabulary list.
Since I had been passing signs all afternoon saying “Entrance Pass Must Be Displayed”, I thought I had better go see what that entailed. No one from the park service had ticketed me, but I figured it was just a matter of time.
I made my way to the Hull’s Cove Visitor Center for Acadia National Park, walked up the 52 steps from the parking lot (they warn you), and met the nicest ranger who explained that my National Parks Senior Pass was all I needed, and he gave me a plastic hanger to mount it in so I could hang it on my mirror. While there, I bought a book on the geology of Mount Desert Island — might as well try to learn a little something about the rocks I will be painting!
Only two more days before I get my furniture! Silly me, ever the optimist, I thought the movers would come at the beginning of the time-window they gave, and certainly by the end of it, which was yesterday! I am a good camper, but I didn’t pack for what has turned out to be an 11-day adventure!
I must say I’ve rather enjoyed the peace and quiet of this transition though, sort of a monastic existence, without TV and creature comforts, and with the jaw-dropping gorgeousness of the National Park only minutes away. Even so, I am not inclined to get out much during weathery days. I actually love solitude, and have enjoyed my little private forays around the apartment complex, especially the well-groomed 1-mile nature trail right here on the complex property. The video at left shows a view from the trail, a pretty creek resulting from a gully-washer of a rainstorm last Sunday.
And what am I reading? More Than Meets the Eye — Exploring Nature and Loss on the Coast of Maine, by Margie Patlak.
Stay tuned for art yet to be made!