This is my last morning at the Golden Apple Art Residency before I drive back home, a short summary of the highlights of my last hours in Maine.
Last night I ended up staying up until around 1:30pm from cleaning and packing up my studio and then packing my suitcase and cleaning the living area of my cottage. I had much more to pack into my car than when I first arrived, thanks to Amazon Prime. I had a multitude of boxes to break down before I left. I put a few of my wet paintings on the drying rack in the car, since I have devised a method of airing out the car of paint fumes without letting bugs in.
I had ordered car window screens for my vehicle. They allow you to keep the back windows of my SUV open so that the cab can get ventilation without having bugs getting in. Because I had several paintings drying overnight, and with being in the car for 7 hours, I didn’t want the fumes to build up in the vehicle, nor did I want any additional bugs to remove from the paintings.
The day before I had painted one last 10th canvas, so after I packed up my car and left my cottage to check out, I went to the studio to see how that painting had fared. I packed most of the paintings into the drying rack in the cargo hold of SUV, all except 5 canvases: the three stacked paintings and the last two that had been created in the last 24 hours.
I left those in the studio on the easels in order to help them drip and dry a little bit before being moved. I also left just a fan brush, a palette knife, and a little jar of Gamsol thinner on a cart next to the easels, the last vestiges of my presence in an otherwise empty and clean studio. I was running late in the morning, so I didn’t get to the studio as early as I had planned (at 8am) to work on the canvases just a little before I was to meet fellow artist Kaitlin at 9am to have one last breakfast on the porch.
Kaitlin and I had breakfast on the patio — one of the things I will miss most about leaving the residency. We reminisced about some of our favorite moments from the past two weeks, along with what we will each miss. After we wrapped up breakfast, she helped me bring the last of my paintings up to load into the drying rack of my car. Kaitlin and I said our goodbyes with one last hug, and then she got in her car and left. I went back to the studio to boil water for my tea to bring in a thermal mug for the road trip, took one last walk-through of all the empty studios, and brought the last of my things up and into the car. I drove out of the driveway and hit the road.
I had planned to stop into the Northeast Harbor of Mount Desert Island, just on the other side of the island from where Bar Harbor village was located. There was an art exhibition that I wanted to see at Star Gallery. One day I randomly found an artist on social media, so now I follow Julia S. Powell on Instagram. She creates this beautiful and luminescent painting thick with juicy impasto texture, with some color combinations that remind me of Impressionist painters like Monet and Pissarro. I saw in my social media feed that she was having an exhibition opening in the Bar Harbor area on Friday, of paintings inspired by Acadia National Park. Being so nearby, I had to stop in to see them in person. I wasn’t able to attend the opening because of dinner on our last night of the residency, but I could stop by on my drive out, so I made it a plan. To summarize the experience, seeing them in person (as always) is so much more intense than seeing a photo on Instagram. I’ll just drop some photos here to help convey my sense of awe.
After stopping through to see the exhibition of Star Gallery, I walked around the village a little bit, full of boutiques, galleries and little places to eat. I found a deli and ordered a sandwich and pie to go. This is a place I would like to come and explore a little more if I am in the Bar Harbor area again. I went back to my car and continued my 6 hour road trip back to Rhode Island. I made a few stops, including at a rest area just north of Portland, where I took selfies with a couple of sculptures of a moose and bear in front of the building, in addition to getting my first Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season.
I got home safe, and after unloading my car, I took a few of the most recent paintings out of the car drying rack and set them up on easels in my studio. I used my fan brush to assess any damage from transport, along with editing any of the drips that may have gone astray after the long trip. It was good to be back home, but I will definitely miss the beautiful view through my cabin window as I wake up…