©2011 Russ Cox|Smiling Otis Studio
I am back after a week away on Monhegan Island which is off the coast of Maine. I went with a group of 20 area fine artist for a week of drawing, painting, eating, drinking, and music (I brought my banjo). It was such a fun trip and much needed. I did not know most of the people who went but with a group of artist, it is very easy to fit in and in a short time. A majority of the group go to the island every year so I was lucky enough to be asked to join them. The island is less than a mile wide and two miles long so we did a lot of exploring. They have many trails so it is easy to maneuver from one spot to the other. It seems like after every turn, you saw something new and jawdropping. From the Cathedral Forest to Lobster Cove to the cliffs of Squeaker Cove and the rocks of Pebble Beach, each step was breathtaking. Everyday was spent drawing and/or painting with a critique in the evenings. I will post some of the pieces I did once the oil dries a bit. I have not painted traditionally in years so I was a bit perplexed on how to paint. It finally cam back after much trail and error.
During our stay, everyone was a assigned a meal to cook with each person taking turns for cleanup which usually had a song and dance involved. Laughter and music filled the air afterwards with the evening ending in some card game. The days were warm but the ocean breeze keep us cool in the evenings. Only 40 people live on the island during the winter but a majority are artist. We also went to the many galleries and studios. There was one artist who I really loved how she painted. Alison Hill does landscapes and figurative paintings. We chatted about her artwork and I asked if she did any workshops. I would be willing to go back for a week of painting and island life. It was very hard to leave and come back to reality. I think all of us "newbies" are going to rent a place next year so we can join the core group for another week of merriment. For now, I need some rest.
“You can't do sketches enough. Sketch everything and keep your curiosity fresh.” ~ John Singer Sargent