Friday, July 25, 2014

Midsummer fireweed, monkshood, daylillies abound, and poppies fringed and otherwise

The flowers have recovered from hurricane arthur and the trees have also except the maples which are having a premature leaf drop if they were exposed to the salt spray.  Michael is in Castine, Maine at a plein air festival: so I have elected to run the Friar's Bay Studio Gallery which means I can stay home!  It also means I can do some therapeutic weeding and take some new photographs...

Enjoy the images!  They can be yours on a card, on a metal print, or any other way you desire.  Email me for information on how to get them!  Please remember all images are copyrighted by me.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Oh what a Difference a Day Makes!

Have you ever had the experience where things were humming along and all of the sudden a decision made by someone else rearranges your life and you have no control over it?  Well that is where we are at, so we will push forward, redo my plans, and move on.  In the meantime, creating kaleidoscopes has a calming effect.  At least we were lucky, relatively speaking, with the hurricane damage we suffered.  It has not been a good week so I am looking forward to next week being generally is.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Summer Commences in My Garden

This summer's extravaganza continues.  At their peak right now I have peonies, yellow yarrow, yellow hawkweed, heritage roses, iris, daisy, delphinimum, bridal wreath spirea, clematis, cosmos, dianthus, chives, ferns, Miss Kim late blooming lilacs, and lupine( although they are beginning to go to seed as they do from the bottom up!). I am sure I missed a few and the ferns are still spring green so we still have much more spectacular blooming to go until things begin to die back in September or so.  The first frost here is late, usually not until some time in October, as the water begins to moderate the fall temperatures as compared to areas farther inland. The seeds I planted a week or so ago are up 2-3 inches!  We have had 5 inches or more of rain in the past few weeks so everything is blooming now that we have an seemingly unending sunny period ahead of us.  The comfrey was flattened by the rain, but everything else seems to be relishing the weather.

I am going to do a lot of kaleidoscopes of these flowers as they have inspired me! Friar's Bay Studio Gallery and Artists Retreat Studios & Gallery open on Tuesday so I will have enforced indoor time beginning on July 1st to plan some new projects...

I did not caption the kaleidoscopes so you have to actually look at them to see what flower is "kaleidoscoped".  Some are very obvious and others are a little more subtle.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

First Day of Summer Campobello Island!

We get to personally enjoy a tremendously long Spring season since we start off our seasonal bloom in Sedona, AZ beginning in March with lilacs, willow trees, apple trees, wildflowers, and all the bulbs.  Then we travel over 3,000 miles to the Canadian Maritimes and experience it all over again.  Here, off the coast of Maine, we are just beginning to see the end of lilacs and the horse chestnut candles are fading. The columbine, ferns, lupine and hostas are in their glory. The daylilies are beginning to bud and everything is green, green, green.  The lawn doesn't stop growing-- sometimes it seems to grow more than an inch in a day!  I did my final planting yesterday which included lots of red sunflower seeds which I planted successfully 3 years ago!

Michael has finished his project for the 50th anniversary of the Roosevelt Campobello International Park yesterday.  A catalog will be available soon.
Our busy season is just beginning for downeast Maine and the Canadian Maritimes and the students will begin to arrive July 1st for our Paint Campobello Plein Air Painting Program. If you want to do some guided plein air painting this summer, there are just a few spots left!

Below are some images based on our seasonal bloom.


columbine and smoke tree

ferns and beach rocks


lupine ring

pink columbines and lupine leaves

maple trees and yellow ranunculus or creeeping buttercup

maple trees and yellow ranunculus

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Spring in the far Downeast

We have backed up a few months in terms of the seasonal bloom.  Our visit to Cincinatti started off being summery with dark green foliage, bugs, humidity and very hot and ended up the week cool and wet and it has been that way ever since!

Here in downeast Maine and the Canadian Maritimes by the Bay of Fundy the daffodils are out and the tulips are beginning to bloom.  Most of the leaves are beginning to come out.  Lilacs are several weeks from blooming at our house.

Even the horse chesnut candles have a ways to go.  The catkins were on the alders at the Eagle Hill bog today and the tamarack was just beginning to show some green.

Come for a plein air painting class with Michael Chesley Johnson and Paint Lubec, Maine and Campobello Island, NB or do an unstructured painting, music, or writing retreat at Artists Retreat Studios & Gallery in the summer of 2014.   My favorite quote for those of us who don't often indulge in what we actually want to do is "If not now when"?  Indeed...

And a special prayer for my friends who have been evacuated from scenic Oak Creek Canyon because of the Slide Fire.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Driving through the Dust Bowl on the Way to Spring in the Midwest

After a memorable week in Zion National Park with 5 painter friends and two of their spouses, we began the traverse east.  Our scheduled route was I-70 west of Denver, but they were expecting a blizzard with 15 inches of blowing snow and chains required for commercial vehicles so we scrapped all our reservations and decided to head to a tried and true route through New Mexico on I-40.  However, since we had to get to near Chicago we decided to cut up through Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa on our route to Chicago.  Well, we went from the possibility of driving through a blizzard to driving through an amazing dust storm near Dalhart, TX. If you read the economy section of this entry you will see why it is probably in the state it is regarding dust!

We saw motorcyclists abandoning their bikes and tow behind RV's toppled on their sides. Our car felt like it was being sandblasted while we rode a bunking bronco with very little visibility as everything was dust colored--the sky, the road, the street, and the tumbleweeds were pouring over the road and the fences on the side of the road. After this 3 hour nightmare where we drove about 150 miles in these conditions, we emerged in Kansas into slightly better, but still tremendously windy conditions.

After several more stormy days, we finally are seeing blue skies again.  The daffodils and tulips are out here as are flowering magnolias, the peonies and hostas are inching upward, and there is lots of GREEN GRASS.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

National Park versus National Forest Commercial Use Permissions

If you have been following how our plein air painting workshops have been blocked out of the Red Rock Ranger District of the Coconino National Forest  near Sedona, Arizona because of the 30 existing permit holders who have been allocated all the commercial uses of the forest for the forseeable future, you need to read this document from a very, very well managed National Park, Zion National Park.  The rules are clearly laid out in this document without favoring anyone:  Zion National Park Commercial Use Permit Process and Rules. Who would have thought that you could teach in a crowded National Park, but not in a National Forest?  Now I know why the National Forest around Sedona needs to be designated a National Scenic Area.  or a National Park. We are looking into the possibility of relocating our Paint Sedona program to Paint Zion in 2016 due to the policies of the Coconino National Forest, Red Rock Ranger District which will not allow us the possibility of a permit until after our planned retirement begins.

Below are some amazing photos of Zion which will become kaleidoscopes soon.  Tomorrow we begin our trip east, but we have cancelled all reservations since our preferred route is requiring tire chains and is getting hit with a mighty snowstorm through Vail, Colorado on I-70...