Today we went on a field trip to Bar Harbor…
I have now reached the halfway point of my art residency in Maine! It’s hard to believe that it’s already midway done. I thought I would have more paintings done in the past 6 days (Day 1 really should have been called Day 0 since we just arrived that day). But that’s OK.
This morning we had all planned to go to Bar Harbor to check out the sights and to stop at a comic book store that artist Christian was looking forward to seeing, since it was his idea to go today anyways. I awoke, got ready quickly and went over the studio to squeeze in a few minutes to check out how last night’s Painting #3 had turned out after dripping from gravity overnight. Also, I tried a new style with my hair, and I think it was pretty cool, a sort of twist that goes from ear to ear around the back of my head.
At the studio I found that the painting had dripped quite a bit, but not so much as to obscure the colors at the bottom of the painting (which is sometimes a problem). I quickly brushed up on some of the drips and feathered others, then it was time for us to get in the car to go to Bar Harbor. We were excited to be able to get off campus for a bit, and this field trip seemed like a good day to go, especially seeing as the hosts of the residency take Saturdays off, and thus no meals. We were happy for an excuse to go see the sights and sounds of Bah Hahbah, as New Englanders are famous for pronouncing Bar Harbor All four of us artists in residence went along for the ride, which is about an hour drive.
We found parking early on the main street that brought us into town, then we walked around for awhile, going up Main Street and checking out some of the gift shops, art galleries, and potential places to sit down for lunch. We ended up deciding on a corner restaurant called Paddy’s Irish Pub, which had a lovely shaded outdoor dining patio. I was already –even in my brief half-hour in the sun– starting to get a little sun-burned (again!), so I was glad for the shady reprieve.
We got some burgers and some fish dishes, just a little bit before the lunch crowd took over the pub. The burger I had was served with a giant knife stuck in it! After lunch, Kaitlin, Sally, and I went over to look at some shops on the way to the tea shop that I wanted to visit, while Christian went on his own to check out some other things in town. We stopped in and got a few postcards and some trinkets to bring to family at home.
The tea shop was pretty neat (I wish I had thought to take photos!). It had pretty much any type of tea you can imagine, with some Maine-specific special tea blends, like the Downeast Maine Breakfast Blend, and Maine Blueberry Black Tea (do you know the difference between blueberries and Maine blueberries?). Then we walked towards where we could find public restrooms, where I met a stranger with a beautiful white labradoodle. The woman who was walking the dog asked if I could hold the leash of her dog at the entrance to the ladies room while she used the loo. I will never to say “no” to any opportunity to interact with dogs, so her dog and I got along pretty well for the brief 3 minutes that we had together.
We were getting a little tired, so we coordinated with our driver when we would meet up to head out. Along the way through a public park, we spotted an ice cream shop — and who can say “no” to ice cream in the summer on a nice day? Especially after walking around all day? I got a flavor they called Sherry Horchata, which tasted delicious with a slight vanilla and cinnamon flavors swirled together in a subtle blend. We walked back to where we had parked the car, and we went on our merry way back towards the residency.
On the way we stopped at the comic store that was having a going-out-of-business sale that Chris wanted to scope out. The store was in a very unlikely rundown strip mall, located to a bowling alley, that looked like a typical yard sale in Allegany County (inside joke). I looked around to see what there was, if there were any interesting board games. I found a NY Yankees themed Monopoly, so I texted my husband to see if that’s something he wanted (yes, Red Sox fans, I married a Yankees fan…sorry!) so the clerk rang it up on the register for 30% off. I joined some of the other artists outside while the fourth looked for a Silver Surfer comic book in the disorganized heap of boxes called comics bins. Eventually he came out disappointed that they didn’t have more and how disorganized the comic books were. We got back in the car on the way back to campus, stopping a few times to take photos of the scenery out the window, or to make a gas or restroom break.
I spotted two deer in the distance beyond in a field, so we stopped to take photos of them. They were very still, and looked up at us briefly before they hopped away. I was able to take a few photos with the DSLR that I brought with me, but I really do need to get some form of telephoto lens, so that I can zoom in on things in greater distances, especially if I’m going to do other residencies in these gorgeous landscapes with wildlife.
We were all pretty exhausted by the time we got back to the residency around 4pm, a lot later than any of us had realized we would get back. I’m pretty sure that the studio will be quiet this afternoon/evening as we all go back to our individual cottages to take naps. Ironically, after I got back to my cottage I hit a second wind, and instead ended up editing some photos and writing this blog post before heading up to the studio.
I met up with Kaitlin to go into town to get some Mexican food takeout from a place called Vasquez. I ordered my quesadilla in Spanish, and the server humored me. The quesadilla was one of the best that I’ve had in a long time, right down to what tasted like a delicious hand-made flour tortilla.
After we got back to the residency, I went down to the studio to touch up the painting that I had left. Just before we went to dinner, I had added some extra stand oil to the top of Painting #3, since the surface seemed a little too dry in some spots for anything to drip in certain areas. I checked to see how much had moved, and feathered and blended some spots with my trusty mini fan brush.