Saturday, December 15, 2007

Monhegan twilght

That is a gorgeous painting, Eliza! I love the backlit garden plants against the graceful forms of the very tall spruces in the background. And the house nestles in there so perfectly. Can't wait to see more (from everyone).
Our trip to N.Y. was lots of fun. Thinking over Nancy Bea's reaction to Peter Poskas' paintings of Monhegan, and even her reaction to Mount Desert compared to Monhegan, I realized that the Maine experience is extremely dependent on the weather. If you don't have much time there, and your whole week, or two weeks, is marred by constant rain and fog, it totally affects your experience of the place. You might know in your rational mind that it must be beautiful when the sun is out, yet your memory of Maine will be dreary and wet and depressing. I have had guests who are amazed when the fog lifts and the can see the mountains and the colors, even though they have enjoyed their first few rainy days of vacation. The only way to really experience a place is to be there for longer periods of time, or in different seasons. Then you can tolerate and even enjoy fog for a while.

Another way of saying this is that we were incredibly fortunate to have perfect weather when we were on Monhegan, and the colors were brilliant and almost surreal. There was one evening when the sky was perfectly clear and brilliantly colored from red to orange to yellow, violet, and blue. There was one hardy soul who was actually trying to paint in the dusk. I don't know how he could see. The best I could do was to take lots of digital photos and interpret the colors from my mental notes. Here are two of my paintings of that evening.


Nancy Bea said...

Beautiful paintings Alex!

You are right about the need to experience a place over longer periods of time and in different weathers in order to more fully understand it. I can't wait to go back! But of course, one's personality influences how one interprets experience and how one expresses those feelings. Hence the wide range of artistic tastes and styles. Bellows could hardly be more diametrically opposed in his interpretation of Monhegan than Poskas, yet they both spen(d)t long periods of time there in, presumably, similar weather conditions. Just saying. ;-)

AT said...

Yes, that is true. I do think that the preference of different artists for different weather conditions is closely related to their differences in personality, perception and interpretation of a place. I think Poskas must wait for weather that matches his vision and goes with his soft, subtle palette, whereas hazy weather in Maine frustrates me. I only want to paint close-up things. I suspect you and I would get more excited when the air is clear and the colors are vibrant.

DCA said...

I just love these two paintings you have done. You really capture the light and feeling at that time of day. It feels just like dusk just as the sun is setting. I love that you have tried something new that you have not done very often. I wish you could have been in Maine last week as one day was absolutely perfect. Great Job!!