Visiting Monhegan Island last week was such a treat! My friend Amy, whom I met on my Italian adventure made the whole experience of visiting Maine a gem of a trip. A package arrived the week before I left, complete with maps of the area, “moose lip balm,” “moose mints” and a nice note letting me know how much she was looking forward to our trip. How FUN! I could hardly wait to hit the road with Millie.
Our trip to Maine was to mark the first annual “Fig Society” gathering. What is the Fig Society you may ask? Well, the name was coined by all of the wonderful new friends I met in Italy last September for my workshop. (You can read more about it HERE) I personally had never tasted fresh figs before this and they soon became a morning staple for all of us at breakfast. Somehow knowing we would be greeted each morning with coffee & croissants served with nutella and fresh figs served on a veranda overlooking the Mediterranean Sea made the 150 stair hike up the side of the cliffs worth the trouble! It was here that we would get to know each other. By the end of our trip we had come to lovingly call ourselves “The Fig Society”.
While on Monhegan we visited several artists studios. The island is a haven for artists who generously allow you to step into their studios to have a peek into their creative world. The first artist we met was the lovely Joan Harlow who graciously opened her studio to us when we arrived early for her studio hours. I guess we were on “island time,” completely clueless as to the hour! She had the cutest studio overlooking the water. Can you imagine this view for your studio?!? We talked of how she came to be painting on the island and what she loves about the work.
Joan took this painting outside so we could see it in the magical light Monhegan is known for. Such an arresting interpretation!
Seeing as it was such a hot day Millie & I stopped for a little beverage. Just the perfect size to take with us to the next studio!
Don’t you just LOVE the entrance to this artist’s garden? (on the right)
I loved this artists work! We learned that she works intuitively on Yupo paper, creating vivid abstractions. My artist friend Diana Sartor uses this paper with THE MOST interesting results. You might remember the collaboration we did together? Although she didn’t use Yupo paper for our collaborative piece you can get a little flavor for her work. In fact, just recently visiting her studio I was blown away with the colored inks she is using on this paper. She is able to use a variety of techniques to get a wide range of textures. We may have to schedule a studio visit so she can show me how to use it. What do you think Diana?
It is hard to resist the whimsical fish in Mike Stiller’s garden which lead you in to the gallery he shares with his wife.
The last artist I want to share is Stan Moeller, one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE teachers. I had taken many classes with Stan while living in NH and was delighted when I sat down for dinner at the Monhegan House and looked up to find his gorgeous paintings on the wall above me! I hadn’t seen his work in some time and was blown away at how much it had changed! He is both a gifted artist and teacher. Here are a few pictures of his work. The first painting is the interior of the restaurant where we ate. How cool is that?
I LOVE the perspective, the way the shadows dance and the pops of color in this painting.
Can you stand how cool this woman’s skirt is?!?!?
Of course I LOVE the bright pops of color in this painting.
I would love to be the girl in this painting. Quiet afternoon at the beach…The color is so lush!
I love how he captured this moment.
It is such a small world! When I contacted Stan about using his images for the blog he wrote back and told me that he had been in Rockland, Maine recently and thought he had seen me. As it turns out it was THE SAME day I had been there visiting the Rockland galleries! How weird is that?!?!? We hadn’t even planned on going but it was so foggy we decided to take the later ferry to Monhegan and went out exploring. It is another reminder to be open to where things lead you. I am grateful for reconnecting with Stan and for the generous use of his paintings as well as all the other artists who shared their time with us. Happy day to everyone! love, Laura