Otters scampering and swimming. Gulls in formation facing the sunset on Schoodic Point. Seabirds like specks, migrating over the sea. Fragrance of spruce rising in the sun, while Kinglets sing, scarcely seen. Storm waves crashing, resounding, revealing power beyond comprehension. Planets, stars and velvety darkness awesome in the night… These are wonders of Acadia National Park, some easy to behold, others easy to miss.
My car is packed and ready to go. Some food, some warm clothes, my binoculars, and lots of art supplies. What more could I need? Tomorrow morning I head to Maine for a month of painting at Acadia National Park! During my artist residency the first two weeks I’ll mostly be on the Schoodic Peninsula side of Acadia, where I’ve already spent a few weeks exploring and painting.
I love to experience and share with others the wonders of nature and the joy of quieting oneself to see what the land and its inhabitants have to say to us, whether in day or night, fair weather or storm, grand in scale or miniscule. In my first residency, in the fall of 2015, I focused on the big picture and primarily on what was easy to see—rocks, sea, wind. During this artist residency I plan to focus on aspects of nature that may be easy to miss—detailed observation and field sketches of wildlife behavior or of changes in a location or in plants over the course of day and night or fair weather and storm.
Whether easy to see or easy to miss, all creation, whether easy to see or easy to miss, is valuable and worthy of study. It is a powerful teacher, and when I quiet and open myself to learning what it has to offer, I gain insight into the hidden wonders of nature and also into myself—a combination that enriches my life and refreshes my sometimes harried soul.
After my two week residency, I’ll spend the third week visiting my son and daughter-in-law Jonathan and Minet (and my granddog Clemmie) and painting with a friend on the Mount Desert Island side of Acadia. Then I’ll head back to Schoodic Peninsula for the week-long Summer Acadia Artist Retreat, where I’ll be one of the program leaders. I attended the retreat last year and had a wonderful time with the other artists sharing ideas and learning from each other. (I think there are still a couple of openings, if anyone wants to sign up.)
There’s no cell signal on Schoodic except for at a few high places (and even then it’s iffy), so I’m anticipating a quiet few weeks. Bliss!