Posted by: janamatusz | November 16, 2018

Maine inspires again and again…

I admit it. I never get tired of painting in Maine. Acadia continues to inspire me, and one reason why, I think, is that there are so many options — I can paint ocean and rocks one day, and forest and stream another day. I know where to find my favorite painting subjects, but I’m always discovering new ones as well, even after so many years!

Maine is inspiring in ANY season, but I have to admit, October is probably my favorite time of year there. It’s cool but not cold. There is wonderful autumn color.

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The light is gorgeous.

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There are fewer people than during high season, and the noisy youngsters are back in school. It’s blissfully peaceful.

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I can paint in quiet solitude.

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There is always a lot to see when you’re sitting quietly for long periods of time.

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I enjoyed every moment of sunshine I got for my October paintings.

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Acadia is not always sunny however! This time I had a special project for rainy days. Close at hand was the Dorr Natural History Museum at the College of the Atlantic, and I worked on some Sainted Creatures, little 5-inch test versions, (which I framed up later for the Little Pictures Show in Providence).

Jana painting Foxy

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It was wonderful to be able to paint in the museum. I’m very tidy, so there was no need to worry about paint splatters or messes. Thank you, everyone at the Dorr Museum!

Traveling farther afield, I made an exploratory trip to the L.C. Bates Museum in Hinckley, Maine, and had my first opportunity to paint there too. What a collection! I did some more small-scale, 5-inch paintings there.

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These Sainted Creatures are a continuation of an exploration I started way back in 2014, when I did some sainted birds and animals from the Acadia Archival Collection. You can see three of them here:

http://janamatusz.com/2014PAINTINGS.html

It’s probably too early to be talking about these Sainted Creatures, but I sure am enjoying painting them. (Don’t be fooled by their cuteness. I am quite serious about them.)

I returned to the L.C. Bates Museum in November for another three days of painting. It is a marvelous old museum, with thousands of taxidermy specimens. The director, Deborah Staber, was incredibly helpful, supportive  and kind. (Thank you!!!)

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I’m sure I’ll have more to say about the Sainted Creatures later.

Meanwhile, I just wanted to mention a couple of other recent adventures.

I enjoyed the unique opportunity to stay at a monastery during a Sketching workshop in October. Melissa Fischer (who is one of the artist leaders at the Acadia Artist Retreats) offered a beautifully presented workshop at the Holy Cross Monastery in West Park, New York (not far from Poughkeepsie). The venue, on the banks of the Hudson River, was inspiring and very interesting. Even though I am not a religious person, I loved the “Great Silence” and the good peaceful calm of the monastery.

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Also, I taught a “Sans Studio” workshop at the Providence Art Club in early August. The whole point was to get OUT of the comfortable studio and go paint in other venues, inside or out. We ventured over to the Edna Lawrence Nature Lab at RISD…

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and the amazing RISD Art Museum, as well as doing a little work outside. My intrepid group of artists were not intimidated by the 90-degree heat!

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I so enjoy being a member at the Providence Art Club. It was a pleasure to teach at the Club for the first time. Thank you to everyone there!

As always, I’m grateful to dear friends for generous support, love, and kindness. You know who you are. Thank you.

Lots to look forward to in coming months…

 

 

 

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