Saturday, September 29, 2012

What I Did on My End-Of-Summer Vacation

I'm having a difficult time getting back to work. Vacationing on the Maine coast was so relaxing and inspiring that I'm beginning to understand the term "retirement." Michael and I brought all our own food and camped as close to the shore as possible - twice we woke up to lapping waves right on the beach.

Acadia National Park

Although Acadia National Park possessed stunning scenery, we were turned off by the commercial aspect. Buses dropped off tourists at all the choice scenic locations and it got so crowded I couldn't even set up to paint. Two days of that annoyance and we were off to explore a bit further south.

Harbor at Stonington
Artist studios and galleries were flagrantly abundant. Every town, and I mean every one of 'em we visited hosted several art galleries. In the outskirts, signs that appeared to be county or town appointed indicated individual art studios located down this or that road. Even dirt roads. Which begs the question: how can so many artists and galleries survive here along the Maine coast? Is it that lucrative? Do they stay all winter or leave for warmer climes?

The highlight of the trip was taking the boat over to Monhegan Island. With equally stunning scenery as Acadia, it's understandable how the island has held a long tradition as an artistic destination. It was almost a religious experience as I payed homage to the artists who have painted there for generations. There they were: all the subjects, scenes, landscapes and seascapes that have been painted by some of the greats...right before my eyes.

Artists at work.

Teel Island, owned by the Wyeth family, on the way out to Monhegan.
The bluffs of Monhegan Island.
Sigh. I've got to get back to work sooner or later. After all, paint is paint and a muse is a muse.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Trouble in Paradise

I meditate every morning. If I can shut off the incessant chatter in my brain and get truly quiet...that's when inspiration manifests.

After an exhausting and challenging summer as an artist vendor for the entire Saratoga meet, I'm heading to the Maine coast for a few days. My lodging of choice is to camp. I want to hear it, smell it, taste it and feel way of returning to my source.

Working hard is my nature, and the series of events we encountered made me grateful for dogged perseverance. It wasn't just me. Last May the State of New York took the helm from NYRA leaving a beautiful ship tossing aimlessly with no clear course of direction. By the end of the meet I could hear the weariness in the voices of most everyone. My wish is for this Grand Dame to return to her former glory, rejuvenate her beauty, integrity and pride because Saratoga is special and elite and so many of us, past and present, love her dearly.

When the Inaugural 2012 Steeplechase Festival at Saratoga was cancelled I could only imagine that the organizers were swept up into the chaotic maelstrom that was the Summer of 2012.

But I survived, I got through it, and this week I'll be meditating to the sound of crashing waves.