Thursday, September 18, 2008

Painting on Mount Desert Island

Once again I and my painting buddy Diana Ansley turned our beloved vacation spot into a part-time outdoor artists' studio. I had a week to devote to art, then another two weeks of family time with plein air painting sessions fit into our schedule.

We've honed our gear down even more this year. Our easels are light aluminum Stanrites with tripod supports that open into flat shelves when the easels are open. I retrofitted a plastic office organizer tray onto the platform by poking holes in three places and threading wire through the holes. The wire can then be attached to the legs and supports of the easel so the tray stays secure in a high wind. A camera or backpack can also be hooked to the platform and hung from it, giving the easel further weight.

This year I also bought a backpack with a rectangular shape and bottom cooler section to hold my lunch. The plastic tray, my palette, paints (in a gallon zip-lock bag), brushes, medium, solvent, denim apron and paper towels all fit into the pack. The pack is made by Kelty. It also has side pockets that can hold insect repellant and sunscreen.

Here is Diana painting the Ripples (Long Pond) while canoers talk to us. My easel is set up next to hers but I stepped back to take this shot. That was a beautiful clear morning with lovely cloud formations.