Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Murder on Monhegan

Just been reading a murder mystery set on Monhegan Island! Came across it by chance. It's not bad, certainly not great literature or anything. And somehow I don't get a real sense of the island, but many of the familiar landmarks do get mentioned. And for somebody hungry for Monhegan, that's a plus.

An interesting detail: digital cameras must have been new when this book came out and there are several fun and fascinating references to people trying to get their heads around this new technology! On the other hand, one of the main protagonists is an artist but the author does not seem very conversant with the visual arts. At one point she mentions the whole Wyeth-Helga thing and manages to get Helga's hair color wrong as well as misunderstand the whole nature of that exercise. But I digress...

Just thought it was worth a mention and a read for the Monhegan-starved! Murder with Puffins by Donna Andrews.

Friday, October 17, 2008

After such an intense week in a place like this, it takes a while to process the experience and start planning major paintings. Here is a tiny study for a possible large painting. It's the view from the house we rented. I believe we all leaped up from dinner and scrambled for our cameras when we noticed  the dramatic fading light that evening.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hi to all who are interested! I'm a beginner to the blog system so I'm experimenting by posting a couple of my favorite pix from our incredible Monhegan painting vacation!-- More images to come

Friday, September 19, 2008

Group Shot of the Guild

The Maine Landscape Guild
Taken last week on Monhegan Island! We are standing on Fish Beach and the small island of Manana is behind us across the harbor. From left to right you see Carla Tudor, Nancy Bea Miller, Mary Walsh, Alexandra Tyng, Eliza Auth and Diana Ansley.

What a week it was!

More Monhegan Photos

Here are few more memories of our painting trip:

1) Relaxing in the living room

2) Eliza, Nancy Bea and Mary on Lighthouse Hill, looking over at the village and Manana

3) Diana walking on Burnt Head, Trail #1, towards White Head, through the natural fall "garden."

Monday, September 15, 2008

Monhegan Trip 2008

Thanks to all the MLGuilders for a wicked good week!  Hope you enjoy these bits of our week together.

Mary and Eliza enjoying popovers on a rainy day-

Manana from our window-

Carla drawing with the birds-

Alex inspiring us with her songs-

We took pictures from all angles-

And from every window-

No wonder with the stunning sunsets-

What better way to end the summer! 

Back from Monhegan

The Maine Landscape Guild has just returned from our annual trip to Monhegan. It was a fabulous and eventful trip, with lots of painting and eating and hiking - and we even weathered a tropical storm. It was sad to leave the island, but the skipper of the ferry Laura B took us through the narrow channel that threads between the cluster of islands owned by the Wyeths. He told us some of the history, pointed out a pair of bald eagles, and then  there was a final touching moment when Andrew Wyeth himself waved to us. A perfect ending to a wonderful week. 

In the picture above you can just make out AW between MLG members Nancy Bea Miller and Diana Ansley.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Best Blueberry Crop

I thought you would all enjoy seeing this photo of guild member Diana holding up a stem laden with blueberries. I guess the growing conditions were ideal because it was by far the best crop we've seen in years! On this occasion we were hiking up Champlain Mountain on Mount Desert, and we couldn't resist stopping and filling quarts of containers full of them. Between hiking and painting we managed to keep busy during blueberry season.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This is one of the paintings that I (Eliza) will have in the Sherry French "Mainly Maine" show, called "Summer's End".


  • Both Eliza and I (Nancy Bea) were invited to participate in this exhibit.
    Mainly Maine
    September 3rd thru 27th, 2008
    Sherry French Gallery
    601 West 26th Street
    New York, NY 10001-1101

    Click here for more info on this group show. I have two pieces in it, both set on Monhegan Island, Maine. Unfortunately neither Eliza or I will be at the reception for the show as right then we will actually be on Monhegan, painting, with the rest of the Maine Landscape Guild. Can't wait!

    Dead Tree, Burnt Head, oil on canvas laid to board, 8 x 10 inches

    Friday, August 15, 2008

    Vacation Time

    I'm currently in Maine for a long anticipated family vacation. Yesterday I managed to carve out some time to paint. The view is the path that leads from the cottage to the beach. From the beach you can gaze over to Mt Desert Island. Bliss!

    Friday, July 4, 2008

    Two Maine Galleries showing my work

    In case any of you get to either Stonington (Deer Isle) or Rockland, ME, my work is being shown in two galleries this summer.

    gWatson Gallery
    68 Main Street,
    Stonington, ME
    Group show--all summer

    Dowling-Walsh Gallery
    357 Main Street
    Rockland, ME
    "Monhegan," opening July 18th

    Monday, June 30, 2008

    Long Weekend

    This is the place I envision myself when I get my blood pressure checked. Truly. Either here or lying on the dock, being rocked gently by the waves, feeling the heat of the sun.

    Last weekend Steve and I drove up to Maine to deliver some paintings, visit galleries, and take care of a few other art-related things. We also fit in a day or two of relaxation. Thanks to the generosity of Diana and her husband we were able to stay at her camp on Long Pond and enjoy the lake. We had one really nice day, and Steve took advantage of the weather to enjoy a good book in the hammock.

    Sunday, June 1, 2008

    Island Life and Still-Life

    I can hardly believe it, but my show is up! Still-life paintings and Maine landscapes. Please come this Saturday to the reception if you are in New York.

    Still Moments
    Representational Still Life and Landscape Paintings by
    Nancy Bea Miller
    May 28th – June 21st, 2008
    Opening Reception for the artist:
    Saturday, June 7th from 1 to 4 pm
    601 WEST 26TH STREET
    NEW YORK, NY 10001-1101
    212-647-8867 fax 212-647-8899

    Monhegan Museum, oil on canvas, 24 x 20 inches, 2008

    Wednesday, April 30, 2008

    Monhegan Paintings

    The trip last September, to Monhegan Island, resulted in so many new paintings. Several of these new paintings will be included in a one man show opening this week at the Sherry French Gallery in New York City. This painting, "Towards the Mainland", is a view  from Manana Island, with that intense blue and gold of early Fall on the islands. The exhibit runs from April 30 to May 24, 2008. The gallery is located in Chelsea at 601 West 26th Street, NY NY, 13th floor, and there will be an opening reception on Saturday, May 3rd, from 1 to 4 pm.

    Saturday, April 19, 2008

    Semper ubi sub ubi...

    Remember how cold we were at times on Monhegan? It got very chilly at night, despite the gorgeously sunny days. Just wanted to mention that this is a good time of year to buy thermal underwear...when the temperature starts rising the prices start dropping. I'm stocking up now for September! :-)

    Wednesday, March 26, 2008

    ...And a Rear View!

    Now that N.B. has posted her charming characterization of the artist on Horn Hill, I thought I'd post another view of her that I incorporated into a painting. I don't know what it is about her--whether it's her Western style hat or her red shoes or her stance--but she was an appealing subject. I also borrowed a photo from N.B. and painted myself into the view, though I consider myself to be ordinary in comparison.

    I'm calling this Painting and Cocktails because everywhere you look on Monhegan there are artists standing in front of easels and people sitting and admiring the view while sipping cool drinks.

    Thursday, March 13, 2008

    Another View

    Horn Hill Again
    This painting is on a painting board I bought at a funny little art supply shop on our way up the coast. Diana (or Alex?) needed some piece of equipment for their folding easel and so we stopped at this place those two knew about from former trips. In a tiny strip mall it was part hobby shop, part craft shop, part art supply shop. I guess diversification is sometimes the key to survival!

    Anyway, browsing around while the others were researching their easel issues, I decided to give this art board a whirl (it is almost impossible for an artist to enter an art supply store and not buy anything...even if its just a new pencil!) The manufacturer was some major company, like Windsor Newton: a thin piece of masonite or hardboard with a smooth oil-primed surface. I thought if it worked out, its thin width and light-weight but durable qualities would be a plus for plein air work.

    Turns out I hated it. I started painting on site, Horn Hill on Monhegan, but the board's slippery smoothness did nothing for me but cause grief and annoyance. The light changed and the artist whose back view I was painting started cleaning up so I gave up too, put it away and went on to other paintings. But when I got home from Maine, even though this was just a rough start, there was something about it. I looked through my photos and yes, I had taken one of the scene right before I started to paint. So...I went on with it in the studio. Swearing and sweating for the first few days till I'd built up enough "drag" with layers of paint. Some people like to slide their brush over a smooth surface, others prefer the drag of some textured surface (c'est moi!)

    There was some strange tenacity to this painting, something that insisted on being born! Sometimes you just have to give in.

    Painter on Horn Hill, oil on primed board, 12 x 16 inches

    Sunday, March 2, 2008

    A very small, special island

    A while ago our photos and paintings of Long Pond got me thinking about all my favorite places in Maine, so I thought I'd talk a little about another of my favorite places. This is one island that is very special to me. It is small, only seven acres, only a mile or so from the nearest harbor. A wonderful place for contemplation, good conversation, and painting. Here is a painting I completed last fall from a plein air study I did while on the island last summer.

    Tuesday, February 26, 2008

    Waiting for Spring

    It's a dark raw day, and I can barely wait for spring, but there are compensations. I'm not tempted to leave my studio. I have a fresh pot of tea beside me. And I'm getting a lot of work done. Here is a new painting from my last trip to Maine, in January. This is a pasture along the road to Wolfe's Neck. I had been planning to get a hike in before I started driving back to Pennsylvania, but the park was closed, apparently due to dangerous ice conditions. Sometimes it's better to be in the studio.

    Thursday, February 21, 2008


    Although this clearly isn't rural Maine, the sunlight on the building as viewed from my studio window is quite Hopperesque don't you think?
    September won't come quickly enough!

    Wednesday, January 23, 2008

    Tea and Popovers Anyone?


    With this cold winter weather I thought you might be up for this. After years of perfecting the recipe, we first tried this in "Willowbrook" our old house in Maine. We have tried various combinations of ingredients, cooking methods, and everything from outdoor ovens to convection ovens. We thought we had finally found the secret from a server at the Jordan Pond House. She let us know that they baked them in convection ovens. We tried it, but it didn't work. I think this recipe works because of the jumbo eggs and the special instructions. Enjoy!!


    1 1/4 cups milk
    1 1/4 cups flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3 jumbo eggs

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees
    Generously grease popover cups--1/2 pat of butter per cup.

    Pour milk into medium size mixing bowl. I have also heard that ingredients should be at room temperature.

    Add flour and salt

    With rotary beater or wire whisk beat until well blended ( I have to say that I blend as little as I possibly can and think that if you blend too much the popovers are tough. So do it gently!!!)

    Add the eggs one at a time. Beating in each until blended

    Pour batter into popover cups, filling three fourths full. Do not scrape the bowl.(Tough Batter?)

    Bake at 425 for 20 minutes.

    Reduce oven to 325 and continue baking 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Check how your oven works because it may only take 20 minutes. I sometimes cook at 425 for 10 minutes then reduce to 325 and check it after 10 minutes.

    Painting in Maine

    I was organizing last summer's photos when I came across this one of me in Surry August. After three days of hazy skies I couldn't wait to get out and paint the sunny morning.

    Sunday, January 13, 2008

    Yet another book about Maine!

    Happy New Year everybody!

    While looking around for a Monhegan Island guide in my library's card catalog I saw this book, A Year on Monhegan Island by Julia Dean, and requested it. It had to go through inter-library loan and took a few months to arrive. I read it in about five minutes, and that included gazing at the photos. Not sure why, the writing was good and the photos too, but the book seemed unsatisfactory somehow. I finished and thought "Yeah, so...?" It is junior non-fiction, aimed at kids, but I can't imagine any kids finding this book very interesting. Seems like the kind of souvenir book a Monhegan-vacationing Grandparent might buy for a grandchild...more of a gesture than a real treat.

    However, I don't mean to say it was awful, far from it. The idea of it was good, and oh how I'd love to be commissioned do my own version! If any of you own this book, or get it somehow, let me know what you think. Maybe I was in a bad mood when I read it...or my long wait had built up hopes of something rarer and finer than reality.