Saturday, June 20, 2015

Back from Maine with Lots to Share!

I'm back from Maine, even though I wanted to stay there all summer, and I actually teared up when I had to leave! We had an absolutely amazing time. Everything came together to make it one of the best weeks I've ever had in one of my favorite places in the world.

Here's what made it so great...

1. The location was convenient, spacious, and beautiful...

Our cottage

Part of the expansive view from the cottage

Sparkling water on a sunny morning

2. There were lots of sights to see and things to do...

Visiting Owls Head Light
Sketching the view from the summit of Mount Battie

Taking a trip on the Schooner Olad on Penobscot Bay (Carol, Sharon, Judy and me)

Viewing the picture-perfect Curtis Island Lighthouse from the water

Walking the 4300' long Rockland Breakwater to see the lighthouse at the end (and then turning around and walking back!) searching for sea glass, taking walks on the beach, shopping, and seeing Andrew Wyeth's watercolor paintings in person!

3. We had plenty of time to relax...

Reading on a rainy afternoon

Time to paint to our hearts' content

Leisurely mornings on the porch with a cup of coffee
A cutthroat Domino tournament every evening

4. There were treasures to find...

Sharon and I had an ongoing competition to see who could find the best heart-shaped rock. She won!

A piece of geode I found on Cooper's Beach

Sea glass from Cooper's Beach

A heart-shaped piece of sea glass - how perfect!

5. My lessons were helpful...

Practicing painting simple figures

A paint-along demo at Birch Point State Park where I narrated each step of my sketching process and the students painted along in their own sketchbooks
Can you pick out mine?

6. Sketching opportunities were plentiful...

Scene at Owls Head harbor
Climbing hydrangea at Vesper Hill

Lupines in full bloom
Our last morning

7. The food was delicious...

Shrimp & Asparagus Risotto with Feta Cheese + salad with blueberries, shaved Parmesan, candied walnuts and homemade vinaigrette

LOBSTER night!
I couldn't have managed without the help of my mother, Saundra. All the girls want her to adopt them!

8. And the company was the best!

Carol, me, Saundra, Judy, Cathy, Candy, and Sharon

We went to Maine with the intention of painting together, but we came away with so much more. The memories of riding around in the van giggling and laughing over something silly someone said; Carol's daily devotions at dinner; staring in awe at a Wyeth masterpiece together; and feeling so happy that we were almost giddy with the deliciousness of it all - those are the things that come to mind now when I think about our week together.

My woman friends enrich my life in countless untold ways; each one of them, with her unique quirks and personality, is precious to me. I'm so grateful for them. And I'm so very glad that I had a chance to share Maine with a group of friends who understands why I gasp at the beauty of sunshine sparkles on the sea and why there's nothing that makes me happier than to sit with a sketchbook on my lap and paint this great big beautiful world.

Tomorrow I'll begin sharing some of the sketches from my Maine travel journal, so stay tuned!


  1. Leslie......all of my favorite things to do! Wonderful! Hoping I can join you next year. Wonderful week. Fingers crossed I go to Hog Island in Juky to paint with Jean Mackay. I will send my report. In the meantime, my good wishes will go with you to Italy. God speed.....Cinda

    1. Jean is one of my favorite sketchers. Lucky you to be taking a workshop from her in beautiful Maine! Let me know how it goes.

  2. Leslie, thank you for taking us along by sharing your experiences. What a wonderful trip! Seeing the pictures makes me even more excited for your Cheap Joe’s workshop next May. I love the mountains as much as I do the water, and I can’t wait to see what lessons you’ll have for the class there. I wish I’d been able to sit in on your simple figures practice in Maine. I haven’t managed to get a single human in any of my sketches!

    As for which sketch is yours? I wish I could enlarge the photo for a better look, but it’s between the top right and bottom middle. Am I close? They’re all beautiful, though. You have a talented group of students and friends.

    1. Top right it is!

      Glad you're enjoying the photos and sketches from Maine. It was an absolutely perfect week, except for a few cold showers due to a broken water heater in our rental cottage. But even that couldn't dampen our enthusiasm! We even liked the rainy days, because it was so cozy and it gave us a chance to paint.

      Maybe I'll include a lesson on figures in my Cheap Joe's class - I think most of us could us more practice with that.


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