Island Inspiration, Part 3- So Much to Paint

“Who can imagine my dear country’s dark woods, it’s vast Atlantic bays, it’s thousands of streams, lakes, and magnificent rivers? I wish that I could draw it all.”
–John James Audubon

I couldn’t agree more. During my art retreat on Hog Island in Maine I felt like I was hiking in the Cathedral of Nature. I was in awe of the island’s moss-carpeted forests, its milkweed fields alight with monarchs, and its waist-high ferns growing wherever storms had created openings to allow in more light. Osprey circled above the spruce spires, while hermit thrush, northern parula and black-throated green warblers echoed in the shadowy woods. I wished that I could draw it all.

Click any image to view larger.

Tips and Techniques– The greatest challenge to these paintings was undoubtedly mosquitoes. They own the Maine woods and bogs in summer. I stuck to sketching on trails close to the shore and had to skip drawing in the forest interior. The exception I made was to sketch in the bog. There, I worked directly in ink to capture the flowers and a few plants. Then I snapped a couple of photos and retreated to paint later in the comfort of my cabin. Some challenges are worth it.

13 Comments on “Island Inspiration, Part 3- So Much to Paint

  1. Boy oh boy a beautiful set of posts today…

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Not sure why “Hog Island Landscape” doesn’t show on this post, but I found it and I’m glad I did because it is stunning! Wonderful set of sketches, despite the mosquitoes!

    • Hi Dory- I found it by accident too and not sure why it’s connected the way it is. Thanks for the feedback. I still have a couple of Maine pieces I didn’t include and I have felt mixed about the landscape, which is why I didn’t post it yet. Hope these brought back good memories of your time on Hog Is.

  3. Such a delight to open my mail today to these posts. I look forward to the continuing saga of your adventures on the Maine coast. Thank you.

  4. Again, it’s always a joy to read your posts and admire your work. That first image is strong and powerful – great perspective!

    When I was in Mississippi last summer, a friend asked me if I noted the lack of mosquitoes in their yard at the lake. Someone in Cleveland, I think (MS) had invented some kind of hanging ‘kit’ that emimtted an aroma that attracted the mosquitoes. I never saw how it worked and was unable to go to the store to see what they cost or if I could take one on the flight back to Ecuador. That ‘invention’ would definitely help your outdoor battles with the skeeters! If I learn more I’ll pass it along to you.


    • Nice to hear from you and glad you liked the post. Not sure you can really beat the mosquitoes in Maine in the summer after a wet spring. They are annoying– but I have to keep at it!

  5. The map is so well done, and gives extra context to the other work…and I love the Mulleins, they look so happy. And I can understand why you would persevere at the bog – it’s such an unusual habitat, one has to absorb it.

  6. Love the mushroom page. I once did an article about mushrooms and how they grow. Fascinating – and creepy. Would be a great horror movie.

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