IMPORTANT UPDATE: Wolf's Neck Woods Paint-out is once again Postponed on Tuesday, January 27th, 2015


IMPORTANT UPDATE: Wolf's Neck Woods Paint-out is once again Postponed on Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

We will reschedule it at a later date.

 

 

  The Plein Air Connection Paint-Out at Wolf's Neck Woods  State Park is postponed on Tuesday January 27th, 2015. Due to the NorthEaster that is moving in and a winter storm warning of heavy snow in that area and along the coast we will be postponing the paint-out on Tuesday. 


 

 The Jon Imber Film and Bangor Art Society meeting at Gracie Theater on the Husson College Campus is postponed to March 24th, 2015!
	 In March we will be watching a special screening of the Maine Masters film, "Jon Imber's Left Hand" at the Gracie Theater, Husson University, from 7-9pm, 
 including a Q&A session with Richard Kane, the film's director. This documentary is both a love story and a powerful account of Jon's last two years of life and painting 
with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) in Stonington, Maine. The film is free but donations are welcomed from those who can, and is open to the public. Please do invite your 
friends! It'd be great to have a full house. Thank you to Husson University and BAS member Jean Deighan (of Deighan Associates Wealth Management) for their 
particular support.  If you need transportation to/from the event, please pick up the phone/email another member, or let Uli know (942 6593) and we'll help 
one another out. See a movie trailer at www.mainemasters.com.

My Watercolor Class: The Winning Compositions of Watercolor is still on and Begins tonight at Bangor High School!

THE WINNING COMPOSITIONS OF WATERCOLOR PAINTING

$79

with Michael Vermette

 


 
 Mondays, starting January 26, 2015 at 6 pm, runs for 10 weeks at Bangor High School.

 

This watercolor painting class is for those students who have achieved a basic level of technical proficiency 

in watercolor painting and want to explore compositional methods that will improve their skills as a visual

communicator. These lessons are based on ten techniques 

most often used by 10 fa
m
ous artists presently and 
in art history.

The instructor will demonstrate each week a new compositional approach and encourage in-class 

assignments that will challenge the painter to entertain the viewer. The class will also assign out-of-class 

assignments so that the student can put into practice their newly acquired skills. Students will work from their 

drawings, photographs and direct observation. This course gives compositional insight through visual 

presentations of watercolor movements and artist trends that have elevated watercolor painting to what it is today. 

This advanced watercolor will provide the student with a solid base to build their own painting experiences upon. 

Group critiques will be featured each week to provide the student with an opportunity to develop their powers to

talk about their work in a supportive environment. This course is for anyone who desires to acquire a mastery

level of rightness in watercolor painting while balancing it with a healthy desire to play and experiment with the 

medium.

 

Requirements / Prerequisites

Course fee does not include materials.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Contact: Bangor Adult Education Office
Email: http://bangor.maineadulted.org/
Phone: (207) 992-5523

Keep Painting!

Michael E. Vermette

Coordinator of the Plein Air Connection

 

 

 

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REVISED NOTICE: Wolf's Neck Woods Paint-out Postponed to Tuesday, January 27th, 2015


REVISED NOTICE: Wolf's Neck Woods Paint-out Postponed to Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

 

 

  The Plein Air Connection Paint-Out at Wolf's Neck Woods  State Park is postponed to Tuesday January 27th, 2015. Due to the NorthEaster that is moving in and a winter storm warning of heavy snow in that area and along the coast we will be postponing the paint-out to Tuesday. We will still meet at the Dysarts Truck Stop parking lot in Hampden, Maine for those who would like to car pool and we will be leaving 7:30 am sharp!Please let me know if you plan on Painting with us at Wolf's Neck Woods State Park or at the Bowdin College Art Museum at Michael.Vermette@roadrunner.com.

 

Schedule: We hope to arrive at Wolf's Neck Woods State park by 9:30 am and will paint until 12:00 noon. We advise that you bring a small 8 x 10 inch canvas or panel since our time together will be  limited and it will be below 20 degrees. Also bring snacks or a lunch and warm clothing. 

 

After we finish painting a small study we will go directly to the Bowdin College Art Museum at 1:00 PM and view their exhibit. Then we will go out to a local restaurant to eat together, hoping to head back to Bangor  by 3 PM.

 

In Bangor, at 7PM, we plan on attending the John Imber Film showing at the Gracie Theater on the Husson College Campus. So as you can see it will be a very eventful day.

 

Descriptions: Wolf's Neck Woods State Park is a five minute drive from the center of Freeport's bustling shopping district, and as visitors 

approach the park, marshes and open fields provide a tranquil transformation back to nature. In 1969, this area of more than 200 acres 

was given to the State by Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence M.C. Smith of Freeport. The park contains varied ecosystems, including climax white pine and hemlock forests, a salt marsh estuary, and the rocky shorelines on Casco Bay and the Harraseeket River. The weather is predicted to be good and not too cold with partial sun. Please bring a lunch or light snack to munch on where we will be going directly to the museum after painting.  

 

We will be checking out the exhibit at the Bowdin Colleg Art Museum called "Rocks, Waves, and Skies: Maine Landscapes, 1900-1950."

 For more information please click on the link below:

http://www.bowdoin.edu/art-museum/exhibitions/2015/rocks-waves-skies-landscapes.
shtml

	As most of you are aware, we will be having an unusual January Bangor Art Society meeting on the 27th. We will be watching a special screening of the
 Maine Masters film, "Jon Imber's Left Hand" at the Gracie Theater, Husson University, from 7-9pm, including a Q&A session with Richard Kane, 
the film's director. This documentary is both a love story and a powerful account of Jon's last two years of life and painting with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) in 
Stonington, Maine. The film is free but donations are welcomed from those who can, and is open to the public. Please do invite your friends! It'd be great to
have a full house. Thank you to Husson University and BAS member Jean Deighan (of Deighan Associates Wealth Management) for their particular support. 
 If you need transportation to/from the event, please pick up the phone/email another member, or let Uli know (942 6593) and we'll help 
one another out. See a movie trailer at www.mainemasters.com.

We hope to see as many as can make it on the painting and museum trail,

Michael E. Vermette

Coordinator of the Plein Air Connection

 

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Wolf's Neck Woods Paint-out Postponed to Sunday January 25th, 2015


Wolf's Neck Woods Paint-out Postponed to Sunday January 25th, 2015

 

 The Plein Air Connection Paint-Out at Wolf's Neck Woods  State Park is postponed to Tuesday January 25th, 2015. Due to the NorthEaster that is moving in and a winter storm warning of heavy snow in that area and along the coast we will be postponing the paint-out to Tuesday. We will still meet at the Dysarts Truck Stop parking lot for those who would like to car pool and we will be leaving 7:30 am sharp!

 

We will be arriving there at the state park by 9:30 am and will paint until 12:00 noon. We advise that you bring a small 8 x 10 canvas or panel since our time together will be  short and it will be below 20 degrees. Also bring snacks or a lunch if you'd like.

 

After we will go directly to the Bowdin College Museum by 1:00-2:30 PM and view their exhibit. Then we will go out to a local restaurant to eat and head back to Bangor by 3 PM.

 

In Bangor between 6-7PM we plan on attending the John Imber Film showing at the Gracie Theater on the Husson College Campus. 

 Saturday 1-24-15:   At Wolf's Neck Woods State Park and Bowdin College Art Exhibit, Maine

 

Description: Wolf's Neck Woods State Park is a five minute drive from the center of Freeport's bustling shopping district, and as visitors 

approach the park, marshes and open fields provide a tranquil transformation back to nature. In 1969, this area of more than 200 acres 

was given to the State by Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence M.C. Smith of Freeport. The park contains varied ecosystems, including climax white pine and hemlock forests, a salt marsh estuary, and the rocky shorelines on Casco Bay and the Harraseeket River. The weather is predicted to be good and not too cold with partial sun. Please bring a lunch or light snack to munch on where we will be going directly to the museum after painting.  

 

We will be checking out the exhibit at the Bowdin Colleg Art Museum called "Rocks, Waves, and Skies: Maine Landscapes, 1900-1950."

 For more information please click on the link below:

http://www.bowdoin.edu/art-museum/exhibitions/2015/rocks-waves-skies-landscapes.
shtml

	As most of you are aware, we will be having an unusual January meeting on the 27th. We will be watching a special screening of the
 Maine Masters film, Jon Imber's Left Hand at the Gracie Theater, Husson University, from (different time!) 7-9pm, 
including a Q&A session with Richard Kane, the film's director. This documentary is both a love story and a powerful account 
of Jon's last two years of life and painting with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) in Stonington, Maine. The film is free but donations 
are welcomed from those who can, and is open to the public. Please do invite your friends! It'd be great to have a full house. Thank you 
to Husson University and BAS member Jean Deighan (of Deighan Associates Wealth Management) for their particular support. 
 If you need transportation to/from the event, please pick up the phone/email another member, or let Uli know (942 6593) and we'll help 
one another out. See a movie trailer at www.mainemasters.com

 

Please let me know if you plan on Painting with us at Wolf's Neck Woods State Park,

 

Michael E. Vermette

Coordinator of the Plein Air Connection

 

 

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The Plein Air Connection Newsletter, January 21st, 2015


The Plein Air Connection Newsletter, January 21st, 2015

 

"The First Snow, Monhegan Island" an oil on canvas 24 x 26 inches by Michael E. Vermette

 

Book Discussion: Art & Fear

Chapter 5: Fears About Others 

 

We had a very inspirational and insightful discussion at Kay Carter's House in Hampen, Maine last Saturday. Kay made a delicious homemade corn chowder. And the fabulous corn bread and freshly made muffins and scones  were brought by the rest of the women in the group. Those present were Becky Whight, Arrah and Greg Vanier, Anne Spencer, Kay Carter and myself.

 

With our coffee and tea in hand we went into her dining room and began our discussion talking about the advice the well-known baseball player Satchel Paige once stated about his fear about others; 

 

"Don't look back - something might be gaining on you." - Satchel Paige.  

 

Good advice or not this statement brings to light the very real fear we might have of others or other things gaining on us and overtaking our personal style of art making. We all agreed that art is made in abandonment, with us being alone with our work, and that art rarely emerges from committees. But for the most part, there is no client, and in making art you lay bare a truth you never anticipated through the very contact you have with what you love. We expose ourselves to a world that has the power to withhold approval, understanding and even acceptance. How could we not take it personally since we are so connected to our work. Wanting to be understood is a basic need. The group loved the quote by the painter Ben Shahn who said, 

 

" It may be a point of great pride to have a Van Goah on the living room wall, but the prospect of having Van Goah himself in the living room would put a great many art lovers to rout."  - Ben Shahn.

 

We agreed that catering to fears of being misunderstood by others leaves you dependent upon your audience. Your ideas become so diluted to what you imagine your audience may consider acceptable that it leads to works that seem condescending and even arrogant. The biggest loss is that we discard our own gift of our highest vision found in the art making process. 

 

Acceptance as an artist goes back as far as childhood when we questioned even then whether or not our artwork will ever count as true art.  When we make art that looks like what it is supposed to look like, art is accepted by  the world around us. Acceptance in this case is automatic based on pre-existing heritage. And although it is wise to stay on good ground with our artistic heritage (by avoiding reinventing the wheel and so on...), it is far more dangerous to not ever learn from the past so that you have little to offer or teach the future. In this place risk-taking is discouraged, artistic development stunted, and personal style made to fit into a pre-existing mold. The real question, we talked about as a group, was not whether our work will be viewed as art, but whether it will be seen by others as our art.

 

If acceptance means having your work count as a real thing of value, than approval means something very different. Approval means that people like it. The author cites Norman Rockwell as an example of an artist who was well liked but who received very little critical respect as a painter in the artistic world. We agreed that the author makes a good point when he says, " …..courting approval even that of peers, puts a dangerous amount of power in the hands of the audience. Worse yet, the audience is seldom in a position to grant (or withhold) approval on the one issue that really counts - namely, whether or not you're making progress in your work. They're in a good position to comment on how they're moved (or challenged or entertained) by the finished product, but have little knowledge or interest in your process." Another way of looking at this is that, your purest communication you can have as an artist is between you and your work not you and your audience.

 

And so, how do we find our voice in our work? Perhaps by first realizing that as the author suggests, that our art is more responsive to us than it will be to a  seemingly unaware or neutralized world. This constant-flowing reach we have as visual artists is always greater than what we can produce physically as our work. That is what makes us unique.We hold amazing vision. The second thing we need to realize is that our artwork is closely tied to our time and place, especially the very ground we stand and live on. That we don't make art by being moved by other artists work of another time and place, but by being influenced by where we are.  That is the experience we feel compelled to recapture in our work. Although it is tempting to borrow images from another time and place, that art that give us a deep gut appreciation for their legacy; it is  more important to do the work that resonates with our life at that moment, in our time. If you try to copy someone elses style of their life-time you run into the danger of missing your own moment in time and that could be a disaster. Why? Because we are so connected to our present time and grounded in the present we can't even go back to reclaim our works of past experiences. The lesson here is that there is a difference between artistic meaning that is experienced in the present and artistic meaning that is referred to as someone's legacy of the past. We all liked what someone once said that they authors quoted that rang so true, 

 

"No one should wear a Greek fisherman's hat except a Greek fisherman. - unknown author.

 

Thirdly, realize that the fear of running out of new ideas forever or that you have followed the wrong path for years are only fears. They are not the truth of what we actually are experiencing as artists. The truth is simply that real timeless revelatory secrets that come to the artist in the process of art making come into play on  fewer occasions than do practical ones. Usually it's a single exciting innovative idea that can practically create the framework for a whole body of works and not just one single piece. Therefore  art making is not what is left over when you pull away all your creative imperfections and regrets. Art is the "Full Payoff" of the things you have actually done with all your imperfections and regrets. We have to allow our art to be what it is instead of always trying to polish the imperfections and hide the regrets. The best advice we could agree upon as a group was that when things get a little crazy as an artist, maybe what we need to do is returned to the habits and methods that came into play the last time we felt really good about our artwork. For example, none of us realized until the authors pointed it out that the famous writer Hemingway always wrote from his typewriter standing up. the point they made was that if he had to sit he may have never written anything. Put simply, we have to realize that we too have personal habits and certain tools that make effective results.  That curtain space you drifted away from can create once again excellent work.

 

The dilemma we all face as artists is when to stick to traditional tools and methods and when to reach out to embrace new possibilities. While younger artists tend to explore a wider range of tools and materials, the older artist tends to use more selective tools and methods. But no matter how old or young you are and no matter how long you have practiced as an artist, in time your exploration will develop into an extension of your unique expression. When we discipline ourselves to work in a curtain way or narrow our focus to work in a curtain form as it were, we become more confident in our painting process and less burdened by having to reinventing ourselves in every painting. 

 

When we discover our personal way and form of working we should realize that it is precious and ought to be guarded, not taken for granted. For most of us, making effective art will depend upon making lots of work. Any habit, form or process that helps us take that first stroke from one painting to the next is of great practical value. The most difficult part of making art is living your life in such a way that art becomes inevitable so that the work gets done, over and over again. This depends on finding  a whole sack full of useful practices that are useful for you to pull out when you need them.  In time and as successful artists, these useful conventions and methods will move beyond just procedure and take on a beauty of their own even a life of their own. As the authors states, 

 

" They are your artistic hearth and home, the working-place-to-be that link form and feeling." They become- like the dark colors and asymmetrical lilt of the Mazurka- inseparable from the life of their maker."

 

More importantly they make room to discover confidence and concentration, allowing not knowing and the unarticulated to be okay in a painting process. Once you have found that work you are purposed to do, the particular problems of any single piece you face or encounter in each work doesn't really matter as much.  

 

I will share Part II  and chapter VI in the next newsletter.  But for now I would close by responding to a leading question that Greg posed in the group as to what we should do as painters when responding to other people, audiences and committees. I would say, as Greg I think would agree, " find that place in the Spirit where the making of art becomes timeless and let that become your guiding approval."  

 

 

 

The Next Book Discussion will be announced in a few weeks.

 As you can see our last book discussion was a very rich discussion and we plan to do it again. The next book discussion will be at Becky Whight's House between 10 and noon. The Book we have chosen to read is of course:

 

ART AND FEAR, The Perils and Rewards of Artmaking by authors David Bayles and Ted Orland. 

 

 

Please read Chapters six to seven and be prepared to participate in a lively discussion at Becky Whight's ' house with good food and encouraging friendship in Ellsworth from 10 am to 12 noon.  We will be car pooling from the parking lot at Penobscot Plaza in Bangor, Maine at 9:00 am. To coordinate please call me at 827-7573.

 

The next Book Discussion Meeting will be announced at a later date in February. 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Program Description:   

 

 There is a huge movement of painters around the world who are gathering to share resources and their deep appreciation of painting outdoors in all seasons. Weary of workshop formats, conference schedules and structured studio courses, these painters are forming their own groups that are free to paint outdoors directly from nature and from the spirit within.  The Plein Air Connection is a generous group of artists who believe that drawing and painting on location is a spiritual practice of faith as much as it is a matter of learning from nature. It is not cheap, it comes with a price, but it is  absolutely free to participate in. We find that plein air painting is a great way to allow yourself to be influenced by the art spirit entering into the very life of the painter through the outdoors as a setting where we engage. Painting like a find, the Spirit of an idea possesses us as we discover the hidden meaning in each location. This is at the heart of making beautiful paintings that not only impact our world but can produce positive change for those around us. 

 

 This kind of painting creates its own health benefit and market, not the market or health creating the work.  We are not interested in art as a means of making a living as much as we are interested in art as a means of living a life. Plein-Air Paint-outs, wet paint auctions, and fundraisers are all examples of how the tangible beauty in the work can inform and awaken our world. So the journey to become a skilled plein air painter is grounded in identifying what the Spirit has prepared for us on location as a subject idea.  Then by making a painting from nature that captures the true essence of color, light, shade, texture, tone and shape, we bring to life a new work that responds to our experiences. Many artists paint studies and sketches on location and use them for references for larger studio works, a tradition that has been passed down from the great painters such as Frederick Church, John Constable, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Marsden Hartley, James Fitzgerald, and many modern painters today. It is considered an important discipline for figurative Painters to master as well.

 

Guidelines for the Group

 

       1. You must have fun and be willing to be open-minded enough to encourage a passion for plein air painting in each artist. This group develops a contagious confidence in art making in a supportive atmosphere.

 

       2. You must be respectful of the many ways artists create their paintings. The Spirit is the instructor, not us.

 

       3. You are encouraged to paint 2 to 4 hours on location with the group but also on your own with the Spirit as your guide. Painters are encouraged to tell the group where they are going but are allowed to go off on their own to be alone with their subject.

 

       4. You are encouraged to share your painting and a meal with the group. We are big about sharing meals together because it helps us to forget the painting struggle as we celebrate our accomplishments and refocus on our works with fresh eyes in a supportive group critique setting.

 

      5.  All personal expenses are the responsibility of each artist including, money toward gas, meals, lodging, and travel tickets for boats and planes. There is no dues or fee to belong to this group.

 

We try to meet every other week to paint and in the winter months we hold additional book discussion meetings twice a month to encourage each other by reviewing an inspiring art book.  We discuss ideas about where to go for a painting location and are not limited to a local area. In fact we have been know to travel all over the state and organize painting retreats at cost to our participants. We plan our trips accordingly as we car pool as much as possible to save on gas. If you love to paint or draw outdoors en plein air and would like to gain a new perspective in co-laboring with the Spirit to make beautiful art, then we would love you to join us.

 

"The object isn't to make art, it's to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable."

- Robert Henri

 

The next Paint-Out & Museum Visit is scheduled for this Saturday January 24th, 2015

 

 

 Saturday 1-24-15:   At Wolf's Neck Woods State Park and Bowdin College Art Exhibit, Maine

 

Description: Wolf's Neck Woods State Park is a five minute drive from the center of Freeport's bustling shopping district, and as visitors approach the park, marshes and open fields provide a tranquil transformation back to nature. In 1969, this area of more than 200 acres was given to the State by Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence M.C. Smith of Freeport. The park contains varied ecosystems, including climax white pine and hemlock forests, a salt marsh estuary, and the rocky shorelines on Casco Bay and the Harraseeket River. The weather is predicted to be good and not too cold with partial sun. Please bring a lunch or light snack to munch on where we will be going directly to the museum after painting.  We will be checking out the exhibit at the Bowdin Colleg Art Museum called "Rocks, Waves, and Skies: Maine Landscapes, 1900-1950." For more information please click on the link below:

http://www.bowdoin.edu/art-museum/exhibitions/2015/rocks-waves-skies-landscapes.
shtml

Car Pool: meet at Dysart's Truck Stop in Hanpden this Saturday to car pool by 7:30 am. We will meet in the parking lot where some of us can leave our vehicles.

 

See you all soon and have a timeless painting experience this week!

 

Michael E. Vermette

Coordinator of the Plein Air Connection

 

 

 

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The Plein Air Connection Newsletter, January 13th, 2015


The Plein Air Connection Newsletter, January 13th, 2015

 

"Pemaquid Point in January, Maine" an oil on canvas panel 10 x 12 inches by Michael E. Vermette

 

The Paint-Out at Pemaquid Point, Maine.

 

The paint-out at Pemaquid point was cold but beautiful. Kay Carter and I were the only painters there and we meet a lot of people who came out to see the sunlit surf at the lighthouse. We even met a family from New York who were visiting. We were both struck by the lighthouse and the brilliantly reflected light from the sea that backlit the whole lighthouse casting its shadows in the foreground. We also enjoyed the converging rock that moved the eye toward the lighthouse buildings. We explored the coast and took many photos for reference later in the studio. On our way back we ate at Moody's Diner where we were delighted to meet up with Cole, Susan Gilbert's step son and his wife from Monhegan Island. It sure is a small world. The food was great and the service was a perfect pampering after a long windy day of plein air painting. We were both very thankful for our first plein air painting opportunity in the New Year!

 

 

Why Artists Fail. By Jack White.


I recently read a well written article that shed some light on How artists fail by Jack White. Jack has been an art writer ever since I remember why back in high school when I use to read Galley Talk from American Artist magazine. What struck me the most is the whole idea that he presents that it is the artist's responsibility to place the art in front of the art buying public if one wants to be successful. I have thought a lot about what he said and agree with him. Most of my sales that I would consider life supportable that represent a significant income all came from galleries, sidewalk art shows, Art Festivals, art sales or auctions that simply placed my paintings in front of the art buying public. I have had a great year for sales and have only my Creator to thank for that kind of guidance. But thanks Jack White for sharing what I consider great advice. I would encourage that you check out his article to start your excellent year of sales!

 

 


 

This article originally appeared at the following URL:

http://faso.com/fineartviews/85327/how-artists-fail

 

 

A Call for Artists and Upcoming Art Shows.

 

Celebrate Winter: Winter Themed Artwork of all Media. Entry forms are required by January 15th, 2014 and will be available on line at www.schoodicinstitute.org/event/schoodic-institute-winter-festival/ For more information email: MaryLaury@schoodicartsforall.org.

 

I was told that the Castine Plein Air Festival entry information will be posted by February, 2015!

 

The Next Book Discussion 1-17-15

 

 As you can see our last book discussion was a very rich discussion and we hope to do it again. The next book discussion will be January 17th at Kay Carter's House between 10 and noon. The Book we have chosen to read is:

ART AND FEAR, The Perils and Rewards of Artmaking by authors David Bayles and Ted Orland. 

Please read Chapters four to five and be prepared to participate in a lively discussion at Kay Carter's house from 10 am to 12 noon. She will be making a wonderful corn chowder and would like us to bring drinks and bread. To coordinate please call me at 827-7573. 

 

 

Kay Carter's Address is:

76 Main Road S
Hampden, ME 04444
Telephone Number: 862-3957
Directions to Kay's house:
From Bangor:  Go south on Rt 1A until you get to the center of Hampden.  Go past the old Hampden Academy on the left.  Go down a hill and 2/3 of the way up the hill on Rt 1A.  Our house is on the right.  There is a ‘76’ number sign on the front lawn.  It is about 1/2 mile south of the old Hampden Academy.  If you reach the Kennebec Rd you have gone too far.  The house is a big old clapboard house with a red barn facing it.  House color:  two tone putty.
 
From I-95:  Take exit 180 (Cold Brook Rd).  Go right at the end of the exit and follow ColdBrook Rd to Rt 202.  Turn right on 202 and follow it to the lights.  That is Western Ave.  Turn left on Western Ave and follow to Rt 1A.  Turn right at 1A and follow the directions above.  When you reach 1A you are about 1 mile from our house.
Upcoming Book Discussion Meetings: January 17th at Kay Carter's House in Hampden, Maine.
                                                                           January 31st at Becky White's House in Ellsworth, Maine (car pooling is available).

 

Program Description:   

 

 

 There is a huge movement of painters around the world who are gathering to share resources and their deep appreciation of painting outdoors in all seasons. Weary of workshop formats, conference schedules and structured studio courses, these painters are forming their own groups that are free to paint outdoors directly from nature and from the spirit within.  The Plein Air Connection is a generous group of artists who believe that drawing and painting on location is a spiritual practice of faith as much as it is a matter of learning from nature. It is not cheap, it comes with a price, but it is  absolutely free to participate in. We find that plein air painting is a great way to allow yourself to be influenced by the art spirit entering into the very life of the painter through the outdoors as a setting where we engage. Painting like a find, the Spirit of an idea possesses us as we discover the hidden meaning in each location. This is at the heart of making beautiful paintings that not only impact our world but can produce positive change for those around us. 

 

 This kind of painting creates its own health benefit and market, not the market or health creating the work.  We are not interested in art as a means of making a living as much as we are interested in art as a means of living a life. Plein-Air Paint-outs, wet paint auctions, and fundraisers are all examples of how the tangible beauty in the work can inform and awaken our world. So the journey to become a skilled plein air painter is grounded in identifying what the Spirit has prepared for us on location as a subject idea.  Then by making a painting from nature that captures the true essence of color, light, shade, texture, tone and shape, we bring to life a new work that responds to our experiences. Many artists paint studies and sketches on location and use them for references for larger studio works, a tradition that has been passed down from the great painters such as Frederick Church, John Constable, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Marsden Hartley, James Fitzgerald, and many modern painters today. It is considered an important discipline for figurative Painters to master as well.

 

Guidelines for the Group

 

       1. You must have fun and be willing to be open-minded enough to encourage a passion for plein air painting in each artist. This group develops a contagious confidence in art making in a supportive atmosphere.

 

       2. You must be respectful of the many ways artists create their paintings. The Spirit is the instructor, not us.

 

       3. You are encouraged to paint 2 to 4 hours on location with the group but also on your own with the Spirit as your guide. Painters are encouraged to tell the group where they are going but are allowed to go off on their own to be alone with their subject.

 

       4. You are encouraged to share your painting and a meal with the group. We are big about sharing meals together because it helps us to forget the painting struggle as we celebrate our accomplishments and refocus on our works with fresh eyes in a supportive group critique setting.

 

      5.  All personal expenses are the responsibility of each artist including, money toward gas, meals, lodging, and travel tickets for boats and planes. There is no dues or fee to belong to this group.

 

We try to meet every other week to paint and in the winter months we hold additional book discussion meetings twice a month to encourage each other by reviewing an inspiring art book.  We discuss ideas about where to go for a painting location and are not limited to a local area. In fact we have been know to travel all over the state and organize painting retreats at cost to our participants. We plan our trips accordingly as we car pool as much as possible to save on gas. If you love to paint or draw outdoors en plein air and would like to gain a new perspective in co-laboring with the Spirit to make beautiful art, then we would love you to join us.

 

"The object isn't to make art, it's to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable."

- Robert Henri

 

Remaining Paint-Out's scheduled for January, 2015

 

 

 Saturday 1-24-15:   Wolf's Neck Woods State Park and Bowdin College Art Exhibit, Maine

 

Description: Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park is a five minute drive from the center of Freeport's bustling shopping district, and as visitors approach the park, marshes and open fields provide a tranquil transformation back to nature. In 1969, this area of more than 200 acres was given to the State by Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence M.C. Smith of Freeport. The park contains varied ecosystems, including climax white pine and hemlock forests, a salt marsh estuary, and the rocky shorelines on Casco Bay and the Harraseeket River. After painting we will Also check out the exhibit at the Bowdin Colleg Art Museum called "Rocks, Waves, and Skies: Maine Landscapes, 1900-1950." For more information please click on the link below:

http://www.bowdoin.edu/art-museum/exhibitions/2015/rocks-waves-skies-landscapes.
shtml

Car Pool: meet at Dysarts to car pool by 7:30 am. 

 

 

 

 

Upcoming Paint-Out Dates for February 2015


Saturday 2-7-15:  Bigalow Mountain Region, Maine

Wednesday through Saturday 2-18-15 to 2-21-15: Katahdin Lake Wilderness Camp Retreat, Baxter State Park, Maine.

 

Please Call Michael E. Vermette at 827-7573 for more information.

 

The Plein Air Connection Winter Painting Retreat. It's not too late to register!


February 18th-21st, 2015

 

"Katahdin Alpine Glow from Katahdin Lake in February" an oil on oak panel 8x10 inches by Michael E. Vermette. 

 

 There is still time to register for the Katahdin Lake Retreat in Baxter State Park, Maine! We are looking to register one or two more painters. We have 5 artists currently going. There are views like these and many more awaiting up to 8 artists and so far we have 5 going.  Our retreat concept is simple. We all paint on our own during the day, supported by Holly Hamilton our guide, and the other artists who suggest great places to paint in the morning at breakfast. You can paint with someone or completely on your own. It is totally your call. Then after dinner, we will all have a supportive critique and share the work we have made from our day's experiences. There is no instruction, just a lot of fun and wonderful fellowship with  artists supporting each other to paint in a spectacular place en plein air.

 

 

Snowmobiles and staff at Katahdin Lake Wilderness camps.

 

 We will park our cars at the public parking lot below the Abol store on the Golden road. We will meet Holly Hamilton, Katahdin Lake Wilderness Camp owner and guide and her staff there who will be taking our gear into the camps and giving us a ride from the Abol store on the Golden Road to the Togue Pond Gate House.  After she brings us to the Togue Pond gate house in Baxter Park where we are expected to cross country ski or snowshoe up to 6 miles or as much as we can. If we can not make the whole distance she will bring us in individually by snowmobile. Otherwise she will give us another snowmobile ride from Avalanche Field into Katahdin Lake Wilderness Camps an extra 3.6 mile ride. The total distance into this beautiful and remote camp is approximately 14 miles one way.

 

 

Hilyard's Camp at the Katahdin Lake Wilderness Camps.

 

 Once we are there we will be occupying up to three cabins that we will be staying at for three nights. The views from this place are absolutely stunning with the advantage of setting up our easels right on the lake. The cost of the four-day painting retreat is $ 435.00  and includes your snowmobile ride in, the transporting of all your gear via snow sled in and out of the camps, three meals per day and your shared cabin. We are required to bring our own sleeping bags and of course our warm winter clothing and paint gear.

 

Michael E. Vermette painting Katahdin en plein air on Katahdin Lake.

 

 The meals are especially wonderful. Rachel and Holly do an excellent job accommodating our every need. Although you can bring your own food we will all be opting for their modified meal plan so that we can concentrate more on painting rather than preparing food. let us know if you have any special dietary needs when you send your deposit.

 

 If this is something you would like to do, please notify me immediately at Michael.Vermette@roadrunner.com and after, mail your desposit of $93.75 to me at 14 Rolling Thunder Drive, Indian Island, Maine 04468. Registration is at a first come first serve basis and already I have five particpants who have committed to the weekend. So please don't delay in notifying me and sending in your deposit. We need to know within the next week or so. The rest of the balance will be due at the end of your stay. 

 

 

Here is the breakdown per person From our Guide Holly Hamilton:

  Three nights for one with meals               375.00
  Maine 8% tax                                        30.00
  Total                                                  405.00
  Shuttle for one to Togue and gear
  all the way in round trip                           30.00
  Total                                                  435.00
 
   As always Holly can not give anybody a ride on the six miles of Roaring Brook Road. The exception is if someone can not skii or snowshoe any more and are "Done" for the day. She can then bring you all the way into the camps. If anyone wants a ride on the Katahdin Lake Trail there will be an additional charge of $10.00 per one way trip.
 To hold a reservation she asks a 25% deposit of the total before any shuttle fees are added or the Maine tax applied. In this case that would be $93.75 per person.
  There will be up to three cabins available to us depending on the final count of who's actually going.   Please know that you will be sharing a cabin with someone else. Also, Please confirm that you are going by e-mailing: Michael.Vermette@roadrunner.com or calling at 827-7573 and sending in your deposit of $93.75 asap. Your balance will be due on the last day of your stay. 
 by the next week. We will also make sure everyone in your party knows who is bunking with who before we arrive. This is an exciting  opportunity of a lifetime and i hope some of you can take advantage of it. 

 

Adult Education Watercolor Class at Bangor High, Mondays -starting January 26th, 2015.

 

 I will be teaching another watercolor painting class at Bangor High School starting January 26th, 2015. We will hold the class between 6 PM and 9PM on Monday nights. Although I did not put it in the course description, we will be approaching the course a little differently by reviewing a selected watercolor artist each class in art history and learning how they combined different techniques and used different methods to make their award winning watercolor compositions. Basically the same material as last year's watercolor composition class but with a totally new spin on it that reveals painting methods, approaches and watercolor painting styles. If you would like to register on-line please click the underlined "The Winning Compositions of Watercolor Painting" below, and it will link you right to registration from this site. This is a new class approach I am using and hope to impart a lot of new information to the artists who participate. Hope to see you there.

ARTS & CRAFTS

in Personal Enrichment

THE WINNING COMPOSITIONS OF WATERCOLOR PAINTING

$79

with Michael Vermette

 Jan 26, 2015 at 6 pm, runs for 10 weeks

This watercolor painting class is for those students who have achieved a basic level of technical proficiency in watercolor painting and want to explore compositional methods that will improve their skills as a visual communicator. These lessons are based on ten techniques most often used by famous artists presently and in art history.

The instructor will demonstrate each week a new compositional approach and encourage in-class assignments that will challenge the painter to entertain the viewer. The class will also assign out-of-class assignments so that the student can put into practice their newly acquired skills. Students will work from their drawings, photographs and direct observation. This course gives compositional insight through visual presentations of watercolor movements and artist trends that have elevated watercolor painting to what it is today. This advanced watercolor will provide the student with a solid base to build their own painting experiences upon. Group critiques will be featured each week to provide the student with an opportunity to develop their powers to talk about their work in a supportive environment. This course is for anyone who desires to acquire a mastery level of rightness in watercolor painting while balancing it with a healthy desire to play and experiment with the medium.

Requirements / Prerequisites

Course fee does not include materials.

 
 
 

 

May your New Year be Fearless and filled with many successful paintings as you reach for the stars!

 

Michael E. Vermette

Coordinator of the Plein Air Connection

 

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The Plein Air Connection Newsletter, January 1st, 2015


The Plein Air Connection Newsletter, January 1st, 2015

"Wintery View From Gull Rock Ravine" an oil on board 12 x 16 inches by Michael E. Vermette


FEAR and ART

A review of our Last Book Discussion 12-13-14

 

Chapter Three

Fears About Yourself

 

 

We began our discussion by addressing the quote from Pogo- in the context of how it is up to us as artists to solve problems that come up in our art especially when there is a temptation that exists to act out of fear -

 

“We have met the enemy and he is us.” -Pogo

 

 How curious a thing it is that our very fears of failing in the very making of our art, those outcomes we are trying to avoid, can be the very things that we run into in the end.  Is fear a spirit that subverts the artist causing one to undervalue the work itself?  One thing’s for sure, making art is a lot of work. And in a moment of weakness we can find ourselves caught up in a spirit of fear that falsely judges other artists who we feel are more extra-ordinary than we are, and how that fear can produce a very real excuse to quite making art and give up trying to understand it because “What’s the use?”   That whole attitude of putting others above you because they are better than you are, or have been painting longer than you have or the categorizing of them as the “Big Painters” or “Serious Painters” can really effect how we continue in the making of art ourselves. The fear that we are somehow ”pretending” to do art compared to those that are more “genuine” is a myth and is the voice of this spirit of fear that causes us to undervalue the very thing that is essential and vital; and that thing is our art.

 

  Our art needs to be respected by ourselves and others; not undervalued. Why? Because there are spiritual forces that are operating through us in the very making of our it that is very sacred and worthy of honor. When fear causes us to disrespect our art or when we allow others to disrespect it, we get cut off from the very source of where our inspiration comes from. Our art is not only our legacy but a living inspiration to us as artists. We all have had moments when we have been disrespected, but we all agreed that our work needs to be respected. We must be ready to defend our art and value it. The solution to fighting off the enemy within is to realize that someone is required to do our work and that we are the nearest person around who can do it. Yes, it takes a lot of energy and faith commitment in the process that creates and keeps the work; but in the end we are the only ones who can create and represent our work.

 

We also talked about how it is such a waste of energy to worry about how much talent we have. If talent is truly a “gift” that only we can revoke out of fear, than why shouldn’t we all the more seek and ponder direction and a cause. We all admitted the fears of "What If's". Such as what if we started our art making at a younger age or what if we had only devoted our whole life fully to it instead of a taking on a part time job. "What if" thinking can be a very real fear that leads us to wonder if we will ever have enough time to produce the art of our desires and dreams or any real art of significance. The truth is, anyone at any time can produce an effective work of art if they have a solid cause to engage in or a real direction to commit to. Great art depends more on inspired direction and commitment rather than talent alone. Lets face it; there are a lot of distractions in life, especially this time of year. But if we can identify a meaningful cause or direction for our art to go in and make it a priority to show up to make the work, than something amazing will happen most all of the time. Even child prodigies, who rely upon their gift alone without developing further, will peak quickly and fade to obscurity like a nova. The point here is that we are all given a gift.  Once we realize it we need to learn to develop a discipline to work on our work. Which is really a process of committing oneself to sharpening skills and acquiring new ones to get better at working on the work. Every great artist that I have researched, whether a painter who painted from memory with hands behind back or from direct observation with both hands engaged, had one thing in common. They both went back to their studios and worked on the work. They discovered a real direction from the work itself away from the original source of the inspiration. They all had or developed numerous studies, preparatory sketches and multiple paintings depicting many directions from one plein air experience. Could it be that many plein air artists avoid developing their art further in their studios because they desire to avoid perfectionism for a more spontaneous look? Maybe. And yet all artwork created out of a fear of the work having to be perfect is domed from the very start. We all agreed that all art is flawed because we are all human. Art is not perfect and the studio should be a place of risk and exploration with works that are close to and inspirational to the heart. Procrastination should be the farthest attitude experienced in the studio since it is an exciting place where many mistakes can be made and learned from. We all agreed that, “ the seeds for our art work lies embedded in the imperfections of our current piece.” These imperfections are valuable and an excellent guide of what to develop further. This interaction between the ideal the artist is reaching for and what the art really becomes in the end, ties the art into the real world while giving meaning to both the real and spiritual realm.

 

  For example, I remember Ann Hubert once told me of a woman who approached James Fitzgerald about one of his paintings. She said quite exuberantly,” That is really a beautiful painting!” and Jim replied, “You should see it in my mind!” Jim also told Ann that," Painting isn't perfect, Furniture is!" 

 

We need to be confortable with our humanity while reaching for the ideal. In this book, Art and Fear, Ansel Adams is quoted to have said something similar by saying, “the perfect is the enemy of the good.” His point, the author continues, “is that if he waited for everything in the scene to be exactly right he’d probably never make a photograph.” To require perfection in your art is to invite a fearful spirit of paralysis upon yourself as an artist. Nothing good will come out of it.

 

The truth is, the artist is always reaching for the ideal in a painting, but what is actually produced is a substandard version of what is actually invisioned but what makes the artists connected to this world. This work in all its imperfections is the very vehicle that connects the painter to others. Once the artists gets beyond the fear of thinking art has to be perfect, than the art is free to actually becomes more human friendly. The artists is then free to produce excellence while reaching for the stars.

 

Another common fear is the fear of annihilation, sometime described as a "dry spell." There is a very real fear that comes from attaching one’s personal identity to close to their artwork. The fear is that if they cease to make art they cease to exist. The fear of being complacent and that some part of you will die if you stop making art, yields to a fearful flood of self-criticism of what could have, should have and would have been if only I continued. The truth is we are worth more than our art. Moreover, until we realize that our art does not define our identity but we define the identity of our artwork, we will never create anything excellent. The artist is always free of the fear of annihilation when the artist defines clear parameters for their work. Sometimes called, "Narrowing your focus"  opposed to being so scattered or nilly willy, establishing clear parameters is always a  good idea especially when we decide to take charge of your art and define our identity in it.

 

While watching the Antiques Road show on MPBN I caught sight of a early Chuck Close painting that an uninformed owner came in to estimate the value. This painting looked nothing like the photo-realistic Chuck Close I had recently seen at the Colby College museum of Art and in other modern collections. The appraiser then said something astonishing that I never knew about Chuck Close. It seemed that Chuck was very inspired by the modern expressionists William DeKooning but never felt he would be as good a painter as him, so he abandoned that style and went on to produce the works he is know for today. This painting was made while he was in college and in my estimation an excellent painting that rivaled DeKooning and was estimated for over $300,000.00! But the point is was not how much the painting was worth but that Chuck Close came to a place in his life where he decided to narrowed his focus and defined his identity in the modern style of photo realism. He went beyond his fear of what he thought he could never be and became Chuck Close.

 

The fear and deception that art is a matter of magic and that the suspicion we have when our own artwork turns out well and we consider it a “fluke” but when it turns out poorly it is an “Omen” is a destructive attitude.  particularly when comparing ourselves to another artist. The truth is that every artist is amazing and that their talent is theirs and your talent is yours. You don’t need theirs, you don’t lack talent because you see something different in others, and further more it has nothing to do with yours. We all have our own magic. More importantly we all have our own gift that only we can develop. So we ought to be about working on our work instead of wishing we had the unique ability of another artist. By down playing our own successes as a "Fluke", we deny the reality of our own brilliance. By defining our poorly executed works as an "Omen" we turn the very source of our future works into a downward spiral of expected failure. Great painters never did this. They viewed their failures as the source of inspiration to continue to work on the problems that existed in their paintings. They view success in their work as reaching a significant plateau that, with more work, will inspires the next level of excellence. 

 

The last fear we talked about was the fear that comes from unreasonable and unworkable expectations we place on our art making. These expectations are based on illusions and not reality. They almost always lead to disillusionment. But expectations that are based on the work itself are the most useful tools the artists has. The present work always informs the next to the extent that everything you need to know about how to proceed in the next work  is contained in the present work. If you ask any successful painter what his or her favorite artwork is that they have painted, they will almost always refer to the one they are currently working on presently. Why? Because to overcome the fear of meeting unworkable expectations we need only to ask our present artwork what it needs not what we need. When we set aside our fears and listen to our art like a good parent listens to a child, expectations are put into a workable perspective. Sometimes we make lofty plans for art making in the new year but have forgotten what motivated us in our last work because it has been so long since we have painted. Sometimes we don't even remember the last painting we completed. We make lofty plans without even asking the work where it wants to go because we are concerned about where we want to be as recognized artists. The good news is that we can overcome the fear of resolutions that are rooted in unreasonable expectations if we simply spend some time with our recently completed works. If we begin where we left off and let the voice of our last painting experiences give us direction one painting at a time, we will make the steady progress that leads to greatness.

 

In conclusion, the spirit of fear in making art can make us undervalue our work. It can cause us to lose direction. It can steal our vision, paralyze us, and even cause us to lose our identity. This can lead us to create unworkable expectations for ourselves that can bring us to a place of disillusionment. As artists we must arise and engage in the battle of working through our fears and not camp out in them. We must fight back or fight through with courage and confidence that comes from remembering our past successes and believing that we can do it again in an even bigger way. There will always be fears that exist in our art and the artistic world around us. But how we push through it and fight back defines our very success and happiness as artists. Peace comes by fighting the good fight and passing through our fears to meet our successes on the other side. In this New Year, lets not just wrestle with our fears, lets pass through them. True greatness will always await us on the other side!

 

 
 

The Next Book Discussion 1-17-15

 

 

As you can see our last book discussion was a very rich discussion and we hope to do it again. The next book discussion will be January 17th at Kay Carter's House between 10 and noon. The Book we have chosen to read is:

ART AND FEAR, The Perils and Rewards of Artmaking by authors David Bayles and Ted Orland. 

Please read Chapters Three to four an be prepared to participate in a lively discussion at Kay Carter's house from 10 am to 12 noon. She will be making a wonderful corn chowder and would like us to bring drinks and bread. To coordinate please call me at 827-7573. 

 

 

Kay Carter's Address is:

76 Main Road S
Hampden, ME 04444
Telephone Number: 862-3957
Directions to Kay's house:
From Bangor:  Go south on Rt 1A until you get to the center of Hampden.  Go past the old Hampden Academy on the left.  Go down a hill and 2/3 of the way up the hill on Rt 1A.  Our house is on the right.  There is a ‘76’ number sign on the front lawn.  It is about 1/2 mile south of the old Hampden Academy.  If you reach the Kennebec Rd you have gone too far.  The house is a big old clapboard house with a red barn facing it.  House color:  two tone putty.
 
From I-95:  Take exit 180 (Cold Brook Rd).  Go right at the end of the exit and follow ColdBrook Rd to Rt 202.  Turn right on 202 and follow it to the lights.  That is Western Ave.  Turn left on Western Ave and follow to Rt 1A.  Turn right at 1A and follow the directions above.  When you reach 1A you are about 1 mile from our house.
Upcoming Book Discussion Meetings: January 31st at Kay Carter's House.
                                                                           February 14th at Kay Carter's House.
                                                                           February 28th at Kay Carter's House.
Upcoming Paint-Outs

 

Program Description:   

 

 
 

There is a huge movement of painters around the world who are gathering to share resources and their deep appreciation of painting outdoors in all seasons. Weary of workshop formats, conference schedules and structured studio courses, these painters are forming their own groups that are free to paint outdoors directly from nature and from the spirit within.  The Plein Air Connection is a generous group of artists who believe that drawing and painting on location is a spiritual practice of faith as much as it is a matter of learning from nature. It is not cheap, it comes with a price, but it is  absolutely free to participate in. We find that plein air painting is a great way to allow yourself to be influenced by the art spirit entering into the very life of the painter through the outdoors as a setting where we engage. Painting like a find, the Spirit of an idea possesses us as we discover the hidden meaning in each location. This is at the heart of making beautiful paintings that not only impact our world but can produce positive change for those around us. 
 

 

This kind of painting creates its own health benefit and market, not the market or health creating the work.  We are not interested in art as a means of making a living as much as we are interested in art as a means of living a life. Plein-Air Paint-outs, wet paint auctions, and fundraisers are all examples of how the tangible beauty in the work can inform and awaken our world. So the journey to become a skilled plein air painter is grounded in identifying what the Spirit has prepared for us on location as a subject idea.  Then by making a painting from nature that captures the true essence of color, light, shade, texture, tone and shape, we bring to life a new work that responds to our experiences. Many artists paint studies and sketches on location and use them for references for larger studio works, a tradition that has been passed down from the great painters such as Frederick Church, John Constable, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Marsden Hartley, James Fitzgerald, and many modern painters today. It is considered an important discipline for figurative Painters to master as well.

 

Guidelines for the Group

 

       1. You must have fun and be willing to be open-minded enough to encourage a passion for plein air painting in each artist. This group develops a contagious confidence in art making in a supportive atmosphere.

 

       2. You must be respectful of the many ways artists create their paintings. The Spirit is the instructor, not us.

 

       3. You are encouraged to paint 2 to 4 hours on location with the group but also on your own with the Spirit as your guide. Painters are encouraged to tell the group where they are going but are allowed to go off on their own to be alone with their subject.

 

       4. You are encouraged to share your painting and a meal with the group. We are big about sharing meals together because it helps us to forget the painting struggle as we celebrate our accomplishments and refocus on our works with fresh eyes in a supportive group critique setting.

 

      5.  All personal expenses are the responsibility of each artist including, money toward gas, meals, lodging, and travel tickets for boats and planes. There is no dues or fee to belong to this group.

 

We try to meet every other week to paint and in the winter months we hold additional book discussion meetings twice a month to encourage each other by reviewing an inspiring art book.  We discuss ideas about where to go for a painting location and are not limited to a local area. In fact we have been know to travel all over the state and organize painting retreats at cost to our participants. We plan our trips accordingly as we car pool as much as possible to save on gas. If you love to paint or draw outdoors en plein air and would like to gain a new perspective in co-laboring with the Spirit to make beautiful art, then we would love you to join us.

 

"The object isn't to make art, it's to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable."

- Robert Henri

 

Paint-Out Dates for January 2015:

 



Saturday 1-3-15: Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Park, Maine


Description: Rising above crashing surf and spectacular rock formations, the Pemaquid Lighthouse is a cultural and historical treasure. Each year, about 100,000 visitors come to explore the park grounds, take in the panoramic view of the Atlantic and marvel at one of the state's best known icons. It is so honored that, in 2003, Maine citizens voted to use its likeness to represent them on the state quarter.

The tower and Keeper's House were constructed in 1827. But neither lasted long, perhaps because the builder used salt water to mix his lime mortar. The second contract stipulated that only fresh water be used. The new tower, built by stone mason Joseph Berry from Georgetown, was completed in 1835. A new wood frame Keeper's House was added in 1857.

At about the same time, the tower was upgraded with new technology: the Fresnel lamp. The beacon that shines today is that same, fourth-order lamp which can be seen 14 nautical miles out to sea.

Car Pool: This will be an all-day paint-out and we will meet at Kay Carter's House to car pool leaving by 7:30 am.

 



 Saturday 1-24-15:   Wolf's Neck Woods State Park and Bowdin College Art Exhibit, Maine


Description: Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park is a five minute drive from the center of Freeport's bustling shopping district, and as visitors approach the park, marshes and open fields provide a tranquil transformation back to nature. In 1969, this area of more than 200 acres was given to the State by Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence M.C. Smith of Freeport. The park contains varied ecosystems, including climax white pine and hemlock forests, a salt marsh estuary, and the rocky shorelines on Casco Bay and the Harraseeket River. After painting we will Also check out the exhibit at the Bowdin Colleg Art Museum called "Rocks, Waves, and Skies: Maine Landscapes, 1900-1950." For more information please click on the link below:

http://www.bowdoin.edu/art-museum/exhibitions/2015/rocks-waves-skies-landscapes.
shtml

Car Pool: meet at Dysarts to car pool by 7:30 am. 

 

 

 

Upcoming Paint-Out Dates for February 2015

Saturday 2-7-15:  Bigalow Mountain Region, Maine

Wednesday through Saturday 2-18-15 to 2-21-15: Katahdin Lake Wilderness Camp Retreat, Baxter State Park, Maine.

           

Please Call Michael E. Vermette at 827-7573 for more information.

 

The Plein Air Connection Winter Painting Retreat. It's not too late to register!


February 18th-21st, 2015

 

"Katahdin Alpine Glow from Katahdin Lake in February" an oil on oak panel 8x10 inches by Michael E. Vermette. 

 

There is still time to register for the Katahdin Lake Retreat in Baxter State Park, Maine! There are views like these and many more awaiting up to 8 artists and so far we have 5 going.  Our retreat concept is simple. We all paint on our own during the day, supported by Holly Hamilton our guide, and the other artists who suggest great places to paint in the morning at breakfast. You can paint with someone or completely on your own. It is totally your call. Then after dinner, we will all have a supportive critique and share the work we have made from our day's experiences. There is no instruction, just a lot of fun and wonderful fellowship with  artists supporting each other to paint in a spectacular place en plein air.

 

 

Snowmobiles and staff at Katahdin Lake Wilderness camps.

 

We will park our cars at the public parking lot below the Abol store on the Golden road. We will meet Holly Hamilton, Katahdin Lake Wilderness Camp owner and guide and her staff there who will be taking our gear into the camps and giving us a ride from the Abol store on the Golden Road to the Togue Pond Gate House.  After she brings us to the Togue Pond gate house in Baxter Park where we are expected to cross country ski or snowshoe up to 6 miles or as much as we can. If we can not make the whole distance she will bring us in individually by snowmobile. Otherwise she will give us another snowmobile ride from Avalanche Field into Katahdin Lake Wilderness Camps an extra 3.6 mile ride. The total distance into this beautiful and remote camp is approximately 14 miles one way.

 

 

Hilyard's Camp at the Katahdin Lake Wilderness Camps.

 

Once we are there we will be occupying up to three cabins that we will be staying at for three nights. The views from this place are absolutely stunning with the advantage of setting up our easels right on the lake. The cost of the four-day painting retreat is $ 435.00  and includes your snowmobile ride in, the transporting of all your gear via snow sled in and out of the camps, three meals per day and your shared cabin. We are required to bring our own sleeping bags and of course our warm winter clothing and paint gear.

 

Michael E. Vermette painting Katahdin en plein air on Katahdin Lake.

 

The meals are especially wonderful. Rachel and Holly do an excellent job accommodating our every need. Although you can bring your own food we will all be opting for their modified meal plan so that we can concentrate more on painting rather than preparing food. let us know if you have any special dietary needs when you send your deposit.

 

If this is something you would like to do, please notify me immediately at Michael.Vermette@roadrunner.com and after, mail your desposit of $93.75 to me at 14 Rolling Thunder Drive, Indian Island, Maine 04468. Registration is at a first come first serve basis and already I have five particpants who have committed to the weekend. So please don't delay in notifying me and sending in your deposit. We need to know within the next week or so. The rest of the balance will be due at the end of your stay. 

 

 

Here is the breakdown per person From our Guide Holly Hamilton:

  Three nights for one with meals               375.00
  Maine 8% tax                                        30.00
  Total                                                  405.00
  Shuttle for one to Togue and gear
  all the way in round trip                           30.00
  Total                                                  435.00
 
   As always Holly can not give anybody a ride on the six miles of Roaring Brook Road. The exception is if someone can not skii or snowshoe any more and are "Done" for the day. She can then bring you all the way into the camps. If anyone wants a ride on the Katahdin Lake Trail there will be an additional charge of $10.00 per one way trip.
 To hold a reservation she asks a 25% deposit of the total before any shuttle fees are added or the Maine tax applied. In this case that would be $93.75 per person.

  There will be up to three cabins available to us depending on the final count of who's actually going.   Please know that you will be sharing a cabin with someone else. Also, Please confirm that you are going by e-mailing: Michael.Vermette@roadrunner.com or calling at 827-7573 and sending in your deposit of $93.75 asap. Your balance will be due on the last day of your stay. 
 by the next week. We will also make sure everyone in your party knows who is bunking with who before we arrive. This is an exciting  opportunity of a lifetime and i hope some of you can take advantage of it. 

 

Adult Education Watercolor Class a Bangor High


I will be teaching another watercolor painting class at Bangor High School starting January 26th, 2015. We will hold the class between 6 PM and 9PM on Monday nights. Although I did not put it in the course description, we will be approaching the course a little differently by reviewing a selected watercolor artist each class in art history and learning how they combined different techniques and used different methods to make their award winning watercolor compositions. Basically the same material as last year's watercolor composition class but with a totally new spin on it that reveals painting methods, approaches and watercolor painting styles. If you would like to register on-line please click the underlined "The Winning Compositions of Watercolor Painting" below, and it will link you right to registration from this site. This is a new class approach I am using and hope to impart a lot of new information to the artists who participate. Hope to see you there.

Arts & Crafts

in Personal Enrichment

The Winning Compositions of Watercolor Painting

$79

with Michael Vermette

 Jan 26, 2015 at 6 pm, runs for 10 weeks

This watercolor painting class is for those students who have achieved a basic level of technical proficiency in watercolor painting and want to explore compositional methods that will improve their skills as a visual communicator. These lessons are based on ten techniques most often used by famous artists presently and in art history.

The instructor will demonstrate each week a new compositional approach and encourage in-class assignments that will challenge the painter to entertain the viewer. The class will also assign out-of-class assignments so that the student can put into practice their newly acquired skills. Students will work from their drawings, photographs and direct observation. This course gives compositional insight through visual presentations of watercolor movements and artist trends that have elevated watercolor painting to what it is today. This advanced watercolor will provide the student with a solid base to build their own painting experiences upon. Group critiques will be featured each week to provide the student with an opportunity to develop their powers to talk about their work in a supportive environment. This course is for anyone who desires to acquire a mastery level of rightness in watercolor painting while balancing it with a healthy desire to play and experiment with the medium.

Requirements / Prerequisites

Course fee does not include materials.

 
 

 

May your New Year be Fearless and filled with many successful paintings as you reach for the stars!

 

Michael E. Vermette

Coordinator of the Plein Air Connection

 

 

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50 in 50 Days Painting Sale! Today is the last day to make a bid!


50 in 50 Days Painting Sale!

Today is the last day to make a bid!

 

Today is the last day for you to take advantage of my exclusive painting sale on eBay. After today the paintings will all go up and I will not have another sale on eBay until November of 2015. Thank you everyone for making this sale such a success. 

 

If you would like to bid on a painting and just have not got around to it, or you are holding out for the remaining deals, you still have 1 more day to place your bid. Here are the last 10 paintings that are currently on eBay.

 

 

"Storm Surf at Sunset,Schoodic Point, Acadia National Park, Maine" an oil on gessoed oak panel 8 x 10 inches by Michael E. Vermette. To bid on this painting please press HERE.

 


"Angel Hair Falls from Waterfall Bridge, Acadia National Park, Maine" an oil on gessoed oak panel 8 x 10 inches by Michael E. Vermette. To bid on this painting please press HERE.

 

"Approaching Thunder Storm, Monhegan Island"  an oil on gessoed oak panel 8 x 10 inches by Michael E. Vermette. To bid on this painting please press HERE.

 

"Surf From Burnt Head Coast of Gull Rock after Sunset, Monhegan Island, Maine"  an oil on gessoed oak panel 8 x 10 inches by Michael E. Vermette. To bid on this painting please press HERE.

 

"Swans Island Quarry, Maine"  an oil on gessoed oak panel 8 x 10 inches by Michael E. Vermette. To bid on this painting please press HERE.

 

"Sunrise Over the Marshall Islands From Swans Island, Maine"  an oil on gessoed oak panel 8 x 10 inches by Michael E. Vermette. To bid on this painting please press HERE.

 

"Boats of Monhegan Island, Maine"  an oil on gessoed oak panel 10 x 12 inches by Michael E. Vermette. To bid on this painting please press HERE.

 

"Sand Bars of Reid State Park, Maine"  an oil on gessoed oak panel 8 x 10 inches by Michael E. Vermette. To bid on this painting please press HERE.

 

"Lobster Boats off Schoodic Point, Maine"  an oil on gessoed oak panel 8 x 10 inches by Michael E. Vermette. To bid on this painting please press HERE.

 

"Sunset From Swans Island, Maine"  an oil on gessoed oak panel 8 x 10 inches by Michael E. Vermette. To bid on this painting please press HERE.

 

Wishing you all  the best Christmas and New Year ever!

 

Michael E. Vermette

Coordinator of the Plein Air Connection

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50 in 50 Days Painting Sale! The last 10 of the 50 paintings are now listed!


50 in 50 Days Painting Sale!

The last 10 of the 50 paintings are now listed!

 

First of all I'd like to welcome all of those who have signed up to my newsletter recently. It's an excellent way to keep up with what i am doing and the Plein Air Connect group that I am coordinator of. 

 

Also thank you to all of you who have bid on my work and the new owners of my small study paintings. Please remember to give me feedback on eBay so that I might know how you liked the work. I have currently listed 10 new paintings so that when they close out I might still be able to ship them in time for Christmas. But please understand that I can not release the painting to the winning bidder until I receive payment in my PayPal account first. There is also a buy it now price if you would like to buy the work out right and assure to have it in time for Christmas. I hope I have in a small way helped you to get in the Holiday Spirit. A Very Merry Christmas to you all and a very Happy New Year!

 

If you would like to bid on a painting and just have not got around to it, or you are holding out for the remaining deals, you still have 6 more days before my sale ends until next year. Here are the last 10 paintings that are currently on eBay.

 

 

"Storm Surf at Sunset,Schoodic Point, Acadia National Park, Maine" an oil on gessoed oak panel 8 x 10 inches by Michael E. Vermette. To bid on this painting please press HERE.

 


"Angel Hair Falls from Waterfall Bridge, Acadia National Park, Maine" an oil on gessoed oak panel 8 x 10 inches by Michael E. Vermette. To bid on this painting please press HERE.

 

"Approaching Thunder Storm, Monhegan Island"  an oil on gessoed oak panel 8 x 10 inches by Michael E. Vermette. To bid on this painting please press HERE.

 

"Surf From Burnt Head Coast of Gull Rock after Sunset, Monhegan Island, Maine"  an oil on gessoed oak panel 8 x 10 inches by Michael E. Vermette. To bid on this painting please press HERE.

 

"Swans Island Quarry, Maine"  an oil on gessoed oak panel 8 x 10 inches by Michael E. Vermette. To bid on this painting please press HERE.

 

"Sunrise Over the Marshall Islands From Swans Island, Maine"  an oil on gessoed oak panel 8 x 10 inches by Michael E. Vermette. To bid on this painting please press HERE.

 

"Boats of Monhegan Island, Maine"  an oil on gessoed oak panel 10 x 12 inches by Michael E. Vermette. To bid on this painting please press HERE.

 

"Sand Bars of Reid State Park, Maine"  an oil on gessoed oak panel 8 x 10 inches by Michael E. Vermette. To bid on this painting please press HERE.

 

"Lobster Boats off Schoodic Point, Maine"  an oil on gessoed oak panel 8 x 10 inches by Michael E. Vermette. To bid on this painting please press HERE.

 

"Sunset From Swans Island, Maine"  an oil on gessoed oak panel 8 x 10 inches by Michael E. Vermette. To bid on this painting please press HERE.

 

Once again, Happy Holidays and see you in the New Year!

 

Michael E. Vermette

Coordinator of the Plein Air Connection


 

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50 in 50 Days Painting Sale


50 in 50 Days Painting Sale 

 

Here are paintings #30 to #40 that are currently listed on eBay's live auction. If you would like to bid on any of the paintings listed below please click on the word "HERE" and it will link you right to the site where there is more information and you can place your bid. All the 11 paintings that you bid on in this section can be shipped before Christmas free of charge!  Next week I will post the remaining 10 paintings for the total of 50 works so that they can be shipped before Christmas. Merry Chistmas and Happy Holidays to you all!

 

 

#30. "Surf at Pulpit Rock, Monhegan Island, Maine" an oil on gessoed oak panel 8 x 10 inches by Michael E. Vermette. To bid on this work click"HERE".

 

 

 

#31. "Surf at Surf at Washer Woman, Monhegan Island, Maine" an oil on heavy belgian  Linen 8 x 10 inches by Michael E. Vermette. To bid on this work click "HERE".

 


#32. "Approaching Storm Over Katahdin from Martin Pond" an oil on gessoed oak panel 8 x 10 inches by Michael E. Vermette. To bid on this painting please click HERE.

 


#33. "The Beehive From Beaver Pond, Acadia National Park, Maine" an oil on gessoed oak panel 8 x 10 inches by Michael E. Vermette. To bid on this painting please click HERE.

 

#34. "View From The Mica Cave, Monhegan Island, Maine" an oil on gessoed oak panel 8 x 10 inches by Michael E. Vermette. To bid on this painting please click HERE.

 

#35. Sea Stack From Monument Cove, Acadia National Park, Maine" 

an oil on gessoed oak panel 8 x 10 inches by Michael E. Vermette. To bid on this painting please click HERE.

 

 

#36. "Sunset Over cadillac Mountain From Schoodic Point, Acadia National Park, Maine" 

an oil on gessoed oak panel 8 x 10 inches by Michael E. Vermette. To bid on this painting please click HERE.

 

#37. "Storm Over Katahdin from Katahdin Lake, Baxter State Park, Maine" 

an oil on gessoed oak panel 8 x 10 inches by Michael E. Vermette. To bid on this painting please click HERE.

 


#38. "Little Harbor Bridge in the Fall, Acadia National Park, Maine" an oil on gessoed oak panel 8 x 10 inches by Michael E. Vermette. To bid on this painting please click HERE.

#39. "Locomotive Rock, White Head, Monhegan Island, Maine" an oil on gessoed oak panel 8 x 10 inches by Michael E. Vermette. To bid on this painting please click HERE.


#40. "Wonderland, Acadia National Park, Maine" an oil on gessoed oak panel 8 x 10 inches by Michael E. Vermette. To bid on this painting please click HERE.



 

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The Plein Air Connection Newsletter, December 5th, 2014


The Plein Air Connection Newsletter, December 5th, 2014

 

"The Beehive From Beaver Pond, Acadia National Park, Maine" an oil on oak gessoed panel 8 x 10 inches by Michael E. Vermette. If you would like to bid on this painting as a part of Michael's 50 in 50 Sale please press HERE.

 

The Paint Out is Cancelled for Saturday Dec 6th!

 

please note that the paint-out that was scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday December 6th has been cancelled due to the winter storm warning from 3 am to 7 PM. We will be getting a mix of parcipitation including freezing rain and it was 10 below zero in Millinocket today. Not the best day for painting outdoors in the open air!

 

The Plein Air Connection Winter Painting Retreat!

February 18th-21st, 2015

 

"Katahdin Alpine Glow from Katahdin Lake in February" an oil on oak panel 8x10 inches by Michael E. Vermette. 

 

Happy Holidays everyone! I can't believe it's been almost five years since I painted this small oil of the Alpine Glow of Katahdin from Katahdin Lake. There are views like these and many more awaiting 6 to 8  artists who would like to go on this year's Plein Air Connection Painting Retreat with me. Our retreat concept is simple. We all paint on our own during the day, supported by Holly Hamilton our guide, and the other artists who share great places to paint in the morning at breakfast. You can paint with someone or completely on your own it is totally your call. Then after dinner, we will all have a supportive critique and share the work we have made from our day's experiences. There is no instruction, just wonderful fellowship with  artists supporting each other to paint in a spectacular place en plein air.

 

 

Snowmobiles and staff at Katahdin Lake Wilderness camps.

 

We will park our cars at the public parking lot below the Abol store on the Golden road. We will meet Holly Hamilton, Katahdin Lake Wilderness Camp owner and guide and her staff there who will be taking our gear into the camps and giving us a ride from the Abol store on the Golden Road to the Togue Pond Gate House.  She will bring us to the Togue Pond gate house in Baxter Park where we are expected to cross country ski or snowshoe up to 6 miles or as much as we can. If we can not make the whole distance she will bring us in individually by snowmobile. Otherwise she will give us another snowmobile ride from Avalanche Field into Katahdin Lake Wilderness Camps an extra 3.6 mile ride.

 

 

Hilyard's Camp at the Katahdin Lake Wilderness Camps.

 

Once we are there we will be occupying up to three cabins that we will be staying at for three nights. The views from this place are absolutely amazing with the advantage of setting up our easels right on the lake. The cost of the four-day painting retreat is $ 435.00  and includes your snowmobile ride in, the transporting of all your gear via snow sled in and out of the camps, three meals per day and your shared cabin. We are required to bring our own sleeping bags and of course our warm winter clothing and paint gear.

 

Michael E. Vermette painting Katahdin en plein air on Katahdin Lake.

 

The meals are especially wonderful. Rachel and Holly do an excellent job accommodating our every need. Although you can bring your own food we will all be opting for their modified meal plan so that we can concentrate more on painting rather than preparing food. let us know if you have any special dietary needs.

 

If this is something you would like to do, please notify me immediately at Michael.Vermette@roadrunner.com and after, mail your desposit of $93.75 to me at 14 Rolling Thunder Drive, Indian Island, Maine 04468. Registration is at a first come first serve basis and already I have four particpants who have committed to the weekend. So please don't delay in notifying me and sending in your deposit. We need to know within the next week. The rest of the balance will be due at the end of your stay. 

 

 

Here is the breakdown per person From Holly:

  Three nights for one with meals               375.00
  Maine 8% tax                                        30.00
  Total                                                  405.00
  Shuttle for one to Togue and gear
  all the way in round trip                           30.00
  Total                                                  435.00
 
   As always Holly can not give anybody a ride on the six miles of Roaring Brook Road. The exception is if someone can not skii or snowshoe any more and are "Done" for the day. She can then bring you all the way into the camps. If anyone wants a ride on the Katahdin Lake Trail there will be an additional charge of $10.00 per one way trip.
 To hold a reservation she asks a 25% deposit of the total before any shuttle fees are added or the Maine tax applied. In this case that would be $93.75 per person.

  There will be two to three available cabins and the bed set for each cabin will hold three people in each.  Please know that you will be sharing a cabin with someone else and that so far we are holding one men's cabin and one women's cabin. Please confirm that you are going by e-mailing: Michael.Vermette@roadrunner.com and sending in your deposit of $93.75. Your balance will be due on the last day of your stay. 
We need to know if we should hold two or all three cabins for our group by the next week. We will also make sure everyone in your party knows who is bunking with who before we arrive.  

FEAR and ART

the Next Book Discussion and Paint-Out Dates:

 

Our last book discussion was a very rich discussion and we hope to do it again. The next book discussion will be December 13th at Kay Carter's House between 10 and noon. The Book we have chosen to read is: ART AND FEAR, The Perils and Rewards of Artmaking by authors David Bayles and Ted Orland. Please read Chapters two to four before the next discussion.

 

 

Kay's Address is:

76 Main Road S
Hampden, ME 04444
862-3957
 Directions:
From Bangor:  Go south on Rt 1A until you get to the center of Hampden.  Go past the old Hampden Academy on the left.  Go down a hill and 2/3 of the way up the hill on Rt 1A.  Our house is on the right.  There is a ‘76’ number sign on the front lawn.  It is about 1/2 mile south of the old Hampden Academy.  If you reach the Kennebec Rd you have gone too far.  The house is a big old clapboard house with a red barn facing it.  House color:  two tone putty.
 
From I-95:  Take exit 180 (Cold Brook Rd).  Go right at the end of the exit and follow ColdBrook Rd to Rt 202.  Turn right on 202 and follow it to the lights.  That is Western Ave.  Turn left on Western Ave and follow to Rt 1A.  Turn right at 1A and follow the directions above.  When you reach 1A you are about 1 mile from our house.
Happy Holidays, Safety and Peace to all,
Michael E. Vermette
Coordinator of the Plein Air Connection
 

 


 


 


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