Hog Island Journal

I drew on 15 years of journal entries to make this piece of art for an exhibit marking the 80th anniversary of the Audubon Camp on Hog Island in Muscongus Bay, Maine. I have been exploring the island once a week each summer since 2001, first as a camper, then as program director for Family Camp, and for the past three years as an instructor and program director for a week-long workshop called Arts and Birding. Many of my favorite journal pages capture treasured experiences, memories and discoveries of marine life, birds, spruce forests, and rocky shores.

Hog Island-2016

click to view larger; watercolor and ink on Fluid 100 cold press paper

Since 1936, the Audubon Camp on Hog Island in Maine has offered environmental education programs for adults, teens, families and conservation leaders. Here’s a look at some past journal pages. If you are in Maine this summer, stop by the Project Puffin Visitor Center in Rockland to see the art exhibit inspired by Hog Island.

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51 Comments on “Hog Island Journal

    • Hi Helen- So great to share some wonderful times on Hog Island with you. I can’t wait to see your gardens in bloom in July!

  1. Love your Hog island sketching journal. Your sketches are done so well along with the documentation of what you experienced. What fun that must have been. I’ve been to Maine once but didn’t see enough of the state. Would love to go back

    • I hope you can return some day…the Pacific NW is a long way away. What matters, I suppose, is having a place that is meaningful to you and spending enough time to learn and grow there. It seems like Whidbey Island is a good place for you.

      • What a nice comment. Whidbey fits my hubby and me very well. The environment creates a lifestyle we have been comfortable with for years. But it is fun to visit other areas with interesting cultures, scenery and wildlife.

  2. Thanks you Jean for your beautiful montage of Hog Island moments.
    Visiting Hog Island for Art and Birding week changed my life in so many ways!
    It. Is a must “visit” sight for anyone with an interest in nature, wildlife , solitude
    And friendships that may last a life time. Looking forward to visiting again!

    • Yes! I’m lucky to be able to visit every year…we should volunteer sometime for kitchen duties– it would be fun and we could sketch in the off hours.

  3. Wow, your work is so beautiful, Jean. I love each one of these sketches. I also really like your printing style. It just seems to belong.

    • Thanks Susan! It was fun to go back through old journals and pick out some things that really speak to my experience, and then rework them for the finished piece.

  4. Gorgeous, Jean. You captured so many memories of that wonderful place. I adore the B&W of the rocks — marvelous linework. (Can’t believe that I will be back there in just a week, too — so excited!)

    • Yeah! I did that line drawing at Bingham Cottage last year during Arts and Birding. We didn’t have a lot of time and it was a good way to keep the pen moving and just try to capture the scene.

  5. Lovely memories. I am on my way to Maine this week – I have my pencils and sketchbooks packed!

    • It is! I’m thinking about changing things up next year to carve out a portion of participants who are looking for less instruction and more experience painting in place– sort of an artists retreat in a supportive small group in a beautiful setting. I’ll keep you posted if that comes to pass.

  6. Lovely artwork! The way you design your pages and add your text is so delightful and engaging. I love seeing Maine through your eyes! Absolutely gorgeous.

    • Thanks Cathe- I’m glad you’ve enjoyed a bit of the Maine coast. The grid provides a simple structure that you can work with in many ways. It worked out well for the vignettes.

    • Thanks Lee! These are some of my favorite subjects– I keep coming back to them year after year, so some of that fascination transfers to the page.

  7. Beautiful! To be so inspired and then to share that inspiration in such lovely paintings is wonderful. Thank you for showing us some of the beauty of your Maine.

    • I love that word: inspired. And it’s so nice to be part of a network that is inspiring each other with what we see and create. Glad you’re part of that network.

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