"Katahdin from the Natarswi Girl Scout Camp, Baxter State Park" a watercolor 19 x 25 inches by Michael E. Vermette.


Last Friday the Plein Air Connect group and myself painted in Baxter State Park hoping to capture the beautiful and spectacular color of the Fall foliage. We rented a house on Ambajejus Lake from good friends of mine. Each day we went into the park to paint en plein air. You might say we were "Chasing The Light" as we were lead by the spirit of beauty that was found their. We would gather every morning and discuss where we would go together to paint, but dispite our plans we would find some place where the light was amazing that would arrest us and make us stop to paint it. My good friend Michelle Mina sent me info on a video on U-tube that I recommend you all check out when you have 22 minutes to watch it. It is a film by Lee Groberg and Mark Goodman that includes multiple artists describing this very idea of spiritualy "Chasing The Light". It is refreshing for me to find so many testimonies of painting in the spirit and identifying with a painting having a life of its own.  Here is the Link: I hope you enjoy it and are as encouraged as I was.  


Kay Carter and Becky Whight hiking the Elbow Pond trail in Baxter State Park. Photograph by Michael E.Vermette 


Upcoming Shows

For future showing opportunities PAPME or the Plein Air Painter's of Maine are having their third annual members show in November in Boothbay. It is open to everyone who has painted in plein air in Maine over the last year and you can enter up to two paintings. The drop off days are November 11th 9 am to 7 PM and November 12th 9 am to noon at the Boothbay Region Art Foundation. Most of our group will be participating and I would encourage you all to do so as well. This is a well attended event with good sale opportunities before the holidays.


The Next Paint-out and Book Discussion


Our next paint-out will be at Mount desert Island in Acadia National Park at Sand Beach on October 25th. The color will still be there and be sure to bring plenty of warm clothing layers. We will also stop at a restaurant on our way home for a group sharing of work. We will meet at the old Aubauchon Hardware in Penobscot Plaza by 8:30 am. 


Our next book discussion will be November 1st at the Peace and Justice Center 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. 




Discussions will be lively and followed by a delecious soup make by Kay Carter and Becky Whight who will provide the bread for a luncheon after. Please bring your books or e-books on the discussion days and be prepared to discuss the introduction and chapters 1 & 2 by the first book discussion on that Saturday.


I will be teaching a workshop at the Centre Street Gallery in Bath, Maine called:


From Study to Finished Painting
All Media with Michael Vermette
Saturday & Sunday, Nov. 8 & 9, 9:30-4:30
No Plein Air experience is suggested, this is a studio class not a plein air painting class.
* * * * * * *
Please visit the blog and view class pages for class details and materials lists:
 or call 205-442-0300.


My Holiday Exclusive Art Sale Begins this week!


I will be putting paintings on E-Bay each week from now through  December and alerting you to these auctions on E-bay. The paintings will each be up for 10 days in a live E-bay auction. They are small in size compare to my larger pieces and reasonably priced which make them perfect gifts for the Holidays.  If you would like to bid on my painting just press" Click Here" below and it will bring you right to the sight. 


"Blackhead From Squeaker Cove, Monhegan Island, Maine" an oil on oak panel 10 x 12 inches by Michael E. Vermette.

If you would like to check out this painting more closely and even make a bid Click Here.



Enjoy and keep chasing the light!

Michael E. Vermette

Coordinator of the Plein Air Connection








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THE PlEIN AIR CONNECTION October 7th, 2014

THE PlEIN AIR CONNECTION October 7th, 2014


"Katahdin at Chimney Pond" a watercolor 19 x 25 inches by Michael E. Vermette.


The Plein Air Connection had its first meeting on September 20th at the Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine at 120 Park Street in Bangor. There were five of us who attended and were present. Our main focus was on setting dates for meetings and featured paint-outs for October. We also decided upon a new book to read that will be our topic of our new upcoming book discussions. We decided to paint every other week and meet on the off week for a book discussion as before.

For more information and dates for paint-outs and discussions Click Here.


The Book we have chosen to read is: ART AND FEAR, The Perils and Rewards of Artmaking by authors David Bayles and Ted Orland.




Discussions will be lively and followed by a delecious soup make by Kay Carter and Becky Whight who will provide the bread for a luncheon after. Please bring your books or e-books on the discussion days and be prepared to discuss the introduction and chapters 1 & 2 by the first book discussion on Saturday November 1st between 10 am and noon.


The Painting Retreat on Ambajesus Lake in Millinocket, Maine.


The Plein Air Connect group will be having a painting retreat on Ambajejus Lake in Millinocket, Maine this weekend october 10th to October 12th. Our plan is to go into Baxter State Park each day and paint views of Katahdin in the fall foliage. The house we are staying at is full up. But if you would like to paint with us on any of these days please call me, Michael E. Vermette, leave a message before Friday October 10th and I will be happy to get back to you to help inform you of where we might be painting. 


As for those who are staying overnight at the painter's retreat house please call my wife Elaine at 207.827-7573 to coördinate food. All of us will be on our own for breakfast and lunch, but we will share a meal together at night. On Friday October 10th you are invited to paint in Baxter State Park at different times of the day. Then we will meet at the River Driver's restaurant at 7 PM where we have reservations. Please bring your wet oil paintings into the restaurant in a flat cardboard box or paint box or portfolio if they are watercolors or pastels. We will have a short group critique and discuss possible painting locations for the next few days. After, we will go over together to the painter's retreat house on Ambajejus Lake, which is a short distance from the restaurant, so that we can all settle in for the night. 


To learn more about the river Driver's Restaurant and how to get there in Millinocket, Maine Click Here.


The Benefit of Plein Air Festivals and Wet Paint Auctions: A Look Back at My Wet Paint Adventures and What I Learned. By Michael E. Vermette


Michael E. Vermette painting en plein air at Boathouse Cove in Cape Elizabeth, Maine


Paint For Preservation: Cape Elizabeth, Maine


July was the busiest schedule for those plein air artists who participated in wet paint auctions and festivals as I did. Beginning at Cape Elizabeth, Maine; the painters selected to "paint for preservation" at the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust had their best year ever! Kajiah Velex from Thomas Place Galleries and Auction House auctioned off paintings that reached into the 5,000.00 range to a sold out crowd. I also sold my painting to a very happy patron who won it in auction for more than last year's painting sold for. I remember that Cape Elizabeth for me was a second chance opportunity to paint Boathouse Cove and the unusual rock formations that reminded me of the petrified wood striations that I found in California as a boy. It's not petrified wood, more a shale rock, but just as interesting how the lines lead the eye into the sea. There was a middle-aged fisherman who came to cast his line from the head of the point and I included him in my painting composition to the left. I also included the tanker on the horizon because it resembled another off shore island in the distance and when you can repeat a shape it makes the painting more homogeneous. To continue reading Click Here.


May you all have a colorful and productive art-filled week,


Michael E. Vermette

Coordinator of the Plein Air Connection

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The Benefit of Plein Air Festivals and Wet Paint Auctions: A Look Back at My Wet Paint Adventures and What I Learned. By Michael E. Vermette

The Benefit of Plein Air Festivals and Wet Paint Auctions: A Look Back at My Wet Paint Adventures and What I Learned. By Michael E. Vermette


Michael E. Vermette painting en plein air at Boathouse Cove in Cape Elizabeth, Maine


Paint For Preservation: Cape Elizabeth, Maine


July was the busiest schedule for those plein air artists who participated in wet paint auctions and festivals as I did. Beginning at Cape Elizabeth, Maine; the painters selected to "paint for preservation" at the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust had their best year ever! Kajiah Velex from Thomas Place Galleries and Auction House auctioned off paintings that reached into the 5,000.00 range to a sold out crowd. I also sold my painting to a very happy patron who won it in auction for more than last year's painting sold for. I remember that Cape Elizabeth for me was a second chance opportunity to paint Boathouse Cove and the unusual rock formations that reminded me of the petrified wood striations that I found in California as a boy. It's not petrified wood, more a shale rock, but just as interesting how the lines lead the eye into the sea. There was a middle-aged fisherman who came to cast his line from the head of the point and I included him in my painting composition to the left. I also included the tanker on the horizon because it resembled another off shore island in the distance and when you can repeat a shape it makes the painting more homogeneous.


  I got a lot of visits from different tourist who seemed genuinely interested in my work, including a fellow participating artist, Alison Hill, who finished early. Me on the other hand, barely finished my on time and got it back to the auction tent by 3PM. It was the best live auction yet with a sold out crowd. I would love to do it again next year. 


  What I learned from this paint-out/auction is that preparation beforehand makes all the difference in the world. The week before, I was on Monhegan Island. Knowing I was going to paint a rocky coastal composition, I focused most of my 16 paintings that I produced on the island during my one week stay, on interesting coastal rock and ocean formations. By the time I reached Cape Elizabeth the very day after, I was exhausted but focused. Painting the larger oil at Boathouse Cove was more a reflex of what I had done all along. This can be a great painting strategy. I also would get into the habit of putting my work away in storage when I would complete them on Monhegan Island. This gave me a sense of starting fresh each time with both hands on the present and the real focus for painting was on the visual challenges at hand. It's very important that you paint in your own style and in the moment of expression when you take part in these kind of events.



Seventh Annual Wet Paint Auction and Raffle to benefit The Cape Elizabeth Land Trust" (CELT). CELT permanently conserves and provides stewardship for lands cherished in their community - from shore lands to marshes, from farmlands to woodlands - for the education, use and enjoyment of this and future generations. Photo by Sarah Beard Buckley- Faces Of Maine, Maine Magazine.


Paint The Penninsula: Blue Hill, Maine


The next wet paint-out that I participated in was the "Paint The Peninsula" fresh paint silent auction at the Blue Hill Library. It was

 held 4:30-7 p.m.  Saturday, July 21, at the Library. I was one of 60 artists that started out that day with two 11 x 14 inch blank painting panels and transform them into 2 interesting views the Blue Hill Peninsula. We all brought our paintings to the Library in the early afternoon by 1:00 PM or so and the library quickly transformed into a gigantic art gallery. The reception that took place later that evening featured refreshments and piano jazz player Scott Cleveland. The Winning bids were announced at the end of the evening and the works were taken home right away. The artwork that remained unsold stayed up for another month to give those artists another chance to sell. I sold both of my pieces and was among the highest bid at the silent auction. But this silent auction could not compare to the Cape Elizabeth Auction. But that was the point. When you participate in these wet paint festivals don't fall into the disappointing pitfall of comparing them against each other. They are all different and special opportunities in themselves with their own autonomy. I donated 50 percent of the sale of my work to the Blue Hill Public Library and ran into and met a lot of new and old friends.




Michael painting the sunrise in a blueberry field.  "Sunrise in the Blueberry Fields, Blue HillMaine" an oil 11 x 14 inches by Michael E. Vermette, photographed by my wife Elaine Vermette.


What I learned in this wet paint auction was how to listen to the spirit through my painter friend Kay Carter. She is a good painting friend of mine who had directed me late that day before to consider painting at a blueberry field located at the end of the peninsula. She told me how beautiful it was and that I should check it out. Not Knowing the area, my wife and I did just that. We ended up sleeping in our car overnight in that very blueberry field as we watched the moon rise over the mountains of Acadia. The moon rising over the blueberry field was a great painting idea in itself.  It is also how I discovered exactly where the sun would rise the next day so that I could set up to paint it at 5:15 am that next morning. It was very hot in the car that night and we couldn't open our windows because of the insects. So consequently, we got very little sleep as we tossed and turned all night. Kay Carter joined us that next morning as my wife went for coffee and sat in the car watching us fight off the black fly assault of the morning. And through the battle we both painted a beautiful pinkish sky with a rising fog bank that the sun eventually burned through. The colors were excellent at this time of the morning and  all I could think of was that I would have missed this opportunity if I hadn't taken the advice of my painter friend and checked the site out for myself the night before. On the other hand, she wouldn't have known where the sun would rise if I didn't sleep in that very field overnight. You have to know how you are going to paint a sunrise before it happens to capture it. Otherwise you will chase it as it quickly goes by. We finished at about 8 am. We could enter two paintings, so my second painting I made was of the Blue Hill Mountains from the golf course. Out of curiosity I did discovered this place by accident the day before as I took a side road from the main road. As a painter we must recognize, discern and listen to the voice of the spirit through our friends and even people that we meet. If we are honest there are many voices that shape us and influence what we do, and who we are, such as the words of our grandfather, a former art teacher, or in this case, a good friend. This fresh paint silent auction was a great way to prepare for the festivals to come in that it caused me to listen to those who had painted in Blue Hill before. It also gave a second chance for every participating artist to sell artwork in the later summer months through their follow-up art sale and show. 


The Castine Plein Air Festival: Castine, Maine.


The Castine Arts Association hosted a wonderful festival this year for all! They juried in 40 juried artists from around the northeast and Canada for a three-day plein air festival. The Weather started out with a down pour on first day, but conditions began to improve as skies cleared and artists enjoyed warm sunny days that would follow. Most of us painters attended the "Meet the Artists" social on Friday, July 25 and then went to paint after. It was well attended by artists and the festival committee members, sponsors and hosts, and provided a pleasant pause and refreshment opportunity for all before we finished the next day. Saturday's Reception, Award Ceremony and Sale drew large crowds and brisk sales of art. The award winners for 2014 were as follows: First Place, Philip Frey of Sullivan, ME; second place, Roberta Goschke of Waldoboro, ME, Third Place, Paul George of Ipswich, MA. Five Honorary Mention winners were Myself of Indian Island, ME, Suzanne Savage Brewer of Sidney, ME, Chrissy Pahucki of Pine Island, NY, Michael Chesley Johnson of Lubec, ME, and Chrissy Nickerson of Cape Rosier, ME, and Alberta Cananda. Congratulations to us all!



  Elaine and I stayed at a beautiful cottage apartment near the village that was owned by Janet and Verge Forbes out on Merry Mead Road in Castine . They were very accommodating and gracious hosts that made our stay very comfortable. This place had was in a beautiful location and provided a place to retreat to as my painting collection grew over the days. 


I learned to be led by the spirit in this festival. Others may call it," follow the beat of your own drum." Because there is so much that

can distract you in the words let drop by other artists and weather conditions.  You just need to listen to your heart and make choices. Things like, how you prepared for a festival like this; or if you were going to drink alcohol at the social; and do thick paintings ever really sell anyway?; can enter your mind that have nothing to do with being present to the festival. Sometimes the very weather became a obstical, although it is interesting that the best in show painting was painted during that very shift in the weather pattern.We all simply found places to paint and took advantage of places where we could live in the moment of our expressions. I'm happy to say that most of my impasto paintings did sell and I even received a special merit award for my painting, "The British Canal, Castine" an oil on panel 11 x 14 inches.




"The British Canal, Castine" an oil 11 x 14 inches by Michael E. Vermette  a special                        Michael painting at the British Canal in Castine, Maine.  merit winner at the Castine Plein Air Festival 2014. 


What I took away from this festival is the importance of being yourself, following your own convictions, and allowing yourself the freedom to be asocial. It is so important to go at your own pace and in your own style especially in a festival when there are so many painters working in the same place in so many different ways. Even though I had observed where other painters chose to set up on site, I simply never found the need to compare or look at their painting while working. My reason for this; even though I respect their unique style and work process, I don't want to be influenced by another artist. This is my moment when I make a huge draft on all my past painting experiences and in that moment of expression find myself completely engaged in visual problem solving. It is not a time to second guess myself or to ponder a lot of "What If's", as in "what if I use the same method as another painter?" Great painting for me always happens out of a need to respond to the subject in the moment based on what you know. There is little time to treat plein air painting in a festival as an opportunity to socialize or as an opportunity for study. This is a moment of expression. And although painting on location is a beautiful thing to watch other artists do, we need to realize that we are that painter. We can't be spectators and artist at the same time. We get to partake in that aesthetic expression ourselves. And because of that privilege I think we would be wise to choose which social events would help us produce great art, choosing carefully. A-socialism  is not Anti-socialism. It is being selective by putting the art process before the hype and boastful talk. I learned to let go of what people would say and how they acted, especially if it had very little to do with painting. After all we are not there to project an ora of fame around ourselves. We are there to paint and to become inspired by our subjects. That in itself is enough of a privilege in itself for me. Once you reach that confident peaceful place within yourself, the selling, the fame will take care of itself. 


Ninth Annual "Paint the Town" paint-out and fresh art auction at The Waldo Theatre 

The Bangor Plein Air Paint-Out and Auction, "Painting A Pathway to the Bog" at the Gracie Theater, Husson College.




Michael Vermette paint at the waldoboro Fresh Paint Plein                        " The Angelique in Camden Harbor" an oil  on canvas 18 x 24 inches

Air Paint-out and Auction 2014.                                                                    By Michael E. Vermette. (A painting that sold after the Waldoboro auction).

On August 2nd I participated in the Ninth Annual "Paint The Town" paint-out at the Waldo Theater with a preview and reception for the artists at 5 PM and an art auction 6 PM.  I also painted in the Bangor Plein Air Paint-out and Auction, "Painting A Pathway To The Bog" at the Gracie Theater at Husson College, with a reception, preview and live auction as well on August 16th. Both of these auctions were non-juried plein air events for the artists and were held at beautiful theaters with a live auctioneer. But curiously enough, both events lacked the buyers that these organizations expected. Most of the works were unsold throughout the night and oddly enough the live auctioneer at the Waldoboro Fresh Paint Art Auction did bid on the pieces herself trying to stimulate bids. This is never a good sign. By the end of the auction there were some paintings that sold but usually 1/2 to 1/4 of what they were worth, really no money at all. But it did give the painters at least two opportunities to sell art with a lot of extra considerations for the painters.



"Fly Fisherman on the Kenduskeag Stream"     " The Orono Bog Boardwalk at the Bangor City Forest"

an oil 16 x 20 inches on canvas by Michael E.                an oil 16 x 20 inches on canvas by Michael E. Vermette.



Interesting enough, with both paint-outs I learned to never give up on a potential sale that could come after the auction is over. In both Auctions such as, I sold paintings through the auctioneer and the other paintings that did not sell I sold on the way out the door. The lesson is that even though prices are not announced by the auctioneer for paintings that are sold after the auction it could be, as in my case, that you could end up being the top-selling artist by a walk out sale by the end of the event. So I learned to look for these opportunities and how to take advantage of directly selling to a buyer after the auction. I believe no one can sell their artwork better the artist anyway, so I would watch for the people who spent time with my paintings and approached them confidently about the art. I would begin by introducing myself and allowed the conversation to grow from their. I realized that even though the paintings were selling for less there were still buyers who were also lingering and who were giving it another thought and possibly needed just a little nudge of encouragement by the artist who painted it. After all, the paintings were going for pennies on the dollar and if you didn't mind as an artist, it was a great opportunity to buy paintings. 


The Trails End Festival Plein Air Sale at the North Light Gallery in Millinocket, ME.


The Trails End Plein Air Festival took place in Millinocket through the North Light Gallery and was a four-day paint-out from Friday September 12th to Monday, September 14th. I was actually only able to take part on Friday afternoon and all day Saturday. Having to teach art classes at the Indian Island School, I actually didn't get to painting in the Baxter Region until 4 PM in the afternoon on Friday when most of the painters were returning. Directed by gallery owner and friend Marsha Donahue, I painted at Compass Pond just off the Golden Road for my first oil painting. This art sale also allowed multiple paintings that could go on display at the North Light Gallery.



"Katahdin From Compass Pond" an oil 16 x 20 inches by Michael E. Vermette.                                 Doubletop from Kidney Pond, a watercolor

        19 x 25 inches by Michael E. Vermette  CLICK HERE.



The pond was unbelievable with lily pads in full bloom and great fall foliage reflecting from the mountain's rich autumn colors. The next morning I was able to walk with "the Artists of Katahdin" in the Parade carrying one of my paintings along with two others painters. Behind us two other painters carried our banner with the owner, Marsha Donahue. Next year we might throw out art supplies such as crayons to kids. And although it was the shortest parade I had ever participated in, I really enjoyed how well received the painters were by the local people. After the parade, all the painters went back out to paint. I went to Kidney Pond to paint a Lowery overcast view of DoubleTop. But what made it exciting for me was the bull moose that came out into the pond and stayed for over an hour.  Submerging his head down under the water to consume the plentiful water grass, he no doubt was enjoying the salad bar. I had to use a canoe to get to my location and enjoyed discovering the remoteness of this new location. In fact there were many new painting possibilities that I hope to return to later in October.


I learned the value of this festival and that when you take part in a festival like this, you need to be available. The advantage of talking and meeting with other painters of Katahdin in a gallery setting, having an opportunity to show with them and share the rich ideas that are  among the group are invaluable. That means you need to carve out time and set a priority for yourself to be present to the other artists and most of all your own painting on site. Next year the plein Air Festival might begin Thursday September 25th and I'll be ready this time because I hope to serve on the planning committee with Marsha and other painters. It promises to be one of the best Katahdin Plein Air Festivals ever! 


In closing I just want to say how these paint-outs, wet paint auctions, shows, sales and festivals were a lot of fun to participate in. They represented a lot of good causes that I was able to support through the sales of my work. This makes me proud that my art in a small way is changing our world for the better.  And next year if I have the opportunity to do it again, I will continue down this plein air painting trail with the insight that I will be more ready, allow myself to be led by the spirit more and listen to the spirit of truth through my painter friends. I will resolve to make myself more available by carving out time to fully take part, and never give up on the opportunity to sell my paintings to the right buyer no matter what the autonomy. Wet Paint/Fresh Paint opportunities not only give the artist a chance to support causes, but they also get you out into our beautiful state to discover beautiful areas that you may have never painted before. On the other hand, returning to the same place year after year is nice too because it will never be a matter of running out of subjects to paint for me. Because if painting is more about listening to the spirit and allowing yourself to be inspired by the landscape at the moment and less about finding new places to paint, then there will always be an endless supply of images to draw from in Maine for me. Fortunately, Maine has both!


I wish to thank all of those who made my painting on location in these events this summer so special. My wife and I are so blessed, grateful and enriched to have worked with you all.  We look forward to next summer with hopeful expectation towards new adventures.


All the best to you all,


Michael E. Vermette

Coordinator of the Plein Air Connection 


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Meca Logo

"Tying The Trawler Net, Bar Harbor" a watercolor on 300 lb press watercolor paper 19 x 25 inches by Michael E. Vermette


COLLECT: MECA's 2014 Fall Art Sale, featuring the work of MECA faculty, students, alumni, and others is coming soon.

Build your collection with a wide range of work in a variety of media by emerging and established artists, while supporting MECA's scholarship fund and over 200 participating artists.  

Michael E. Vermette, "Tying The Trawler Net, Bar Harbor "a watercolor on 300lb press watercolor paper,
19" x25", 2014.  Michael E. Vermette has taught classes through MECA's Continuing Studies program for over 16 years.

Preview more work on our Facebook Events Page.

9am-3pm October 8
For Architects, Interior Designers, Store Buyers
By Appointment Only

6-9pm October 8
Reservations Required

10am-8pm October 9-11

6-8pm October 10

Free and open to the public.

For more information visit or email





Petruccelli, Martin & Haddow, LLP


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THE PlEIN AIR CONNECTION September 11th, 2014

THE PlEIN AIR CONNECTION September 11th, 2014


"Feeding the Gulls Lobster Shells" a watercolor 19 x 25 inches by Michael E. Vermette

Selected for the New England Watercolor Society's 14th Biennial North American Open Show 2014 at the Plymouth Center for The Arts in Plymouth, MA.


The North American Open Show of the New England Watercolor Society 2014.

On the first week of October, I will be traveling to Plymouth, Massachusetts to enter my painting into the 14th North American Open Show sponsored by the New England Watercolor Society. The watercolor show, which includes watercolors from watercolorists all over the country, will be on display October 18th at the beautiful Plymouth Center for the Arts in Plymouth, Mass. This is very exciting for me because I only need to be juried into one more group show sponsored by NEWS to apply for signature membership. Needless to say I plan on doing a lot of watercolors this year to increase my chances. Awards will be announced at the opening reception on October 18th from 2-4 PM and I will let you know if my work is selected for any awards.


The start-up meeting date for the Plein Air Connection.


It is time for the Plein Air Connection Group to reconvene and plan our schedule for the Fall and Winter months. We will need to decide what book we will want to discuss, so please bring in your suggestions. We will also plan where we would like to paint in the state and abroad. There has been some discussions about returning to previous locations and new areas we have yet to explore. Also we want to keep each other updated on which plein air shows and festivals we would like to encourage our group to apply for and take part in for the coming 2015 year. Many festivals and wet paint auction committees are already planning for next year and we should be informed about their deadlines. 

      We'll need to decide how often we will want to paint outside and what opportunities we have coming up for weekend paint outs in the Fall and Winter months. The first Plein Air Connection meeting will be Saturday, September 20th from 10:00 am to noon. We will meet at the Peace and Justice Center in Bangor which is located at 96 Harlow Street, suit 100, Bangor, Maine. It is across the street from Peirce Park, next to the Bangor Public Library. 


We hope you can make it to the meeting and help us plan our Fall and early Winter activities!


Two One-Person Shows in the Area.

The Art Walk for Bangor is this Friday and 10 of my works are now on display at 11 Central restaurant. The work looks great on their brick walls and the other painted walls that are colored perfectly for artwork in mind. So it is a beautiful place to show artwork and I hope you can get out and see my work and the work of others at this fun event. I am displaying some new works along with works that have not been exhibited for years. This is a good chance for you to see a small cross-section of my work over the years and I hope you can get out to it and try out their excellent cuisine. 


I am also showing at the Audubon Fields Pond Nature Center  216 Fields Pond Road, Holden, Maine.  I am showing 10 plain air works that I have painted throughout last year. I have made these paintings available and affordable for everyone and I hope you will get a chance to see the show and maybe buy a piece of your own. We had a wonderful workshop there on Saturday, August 23rd and I would recommend it as a great site for Plain Air painting. They are also looking for future artists to show their. My show will be up until the end of November, 2014. 

If you missed the broadcast you can get a glimpse of one of my paintings on WCSH 6 Route 201 special that featured my painting along with other works from (MARC) Monhegan Artist Resident Artists. Mine is a watercolor of Vern Burton, a Monhegan Fisherman rowing in the harbor of Monhegan.






Open invitation to all artists to the paint-out during the Trails End Festival next weekend.  Register for $10 at North Light Gallery from 8 a.m. Friday, the 12th, paint all day and then exhibit your work all day Saturday, the 13th at North Light Gallery during an open house and reception with refreshments and live music with Mark Miller.  What could be more fun and, word is, other artists are coming so you won't be painting alone.  For more information, call Marsha at (207)723-4414 or email

We welcome spectators both to the sites and to the reception so plan to visit the artists on Friday and celebrate on Saturday.  Many artists stay to paint on Sunday, as well, and the gallery will be open 10-6.

The Trails End Festival will have great music, crafts, and food...and special feature is a pub don't miss a good time.  We'll see you next weekend!

Marsha Donahue
North Light Gallery
256 Penobscot Ave  Millinocket  Maine  04462
207.723.4414 ~ 800.970.4278



  I will be going up on Friday after school at 2 PM to reconnoiter the area and painting most of the day early on Saturday and into

the afternoon. If any of you would like to join me I will be painting Katahdin from Daicey Pond on Friday and/or Chimney Pond on Saturday. To coordinate with me call me at (207) 827-7573 or e-mail me at 


Have an fun-filled month saturated with creative inspiration!


Michael E. Vermette

Coordinator of the Plein Air Connection


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with Michael Vermette


"Monhegan Lobsterman Rowing" a watercolor 19 x 25 inches by Michael E. Vermette

 Michael Vermette, who emulates the vision of one of the island's great painter's of the past, James Fitzgerald (1899-1971), adds impasto oomph to iconic views. -Carl Little, The Unfailing Muse, MONHEGAN, the Island Journal Volume 30



This painting class emphasizes the technical skills for the beginner to achieve award winning results in watercolor paintings. These lessons are based on ten techniques most often used by famous artists presently and in art history. The instructor will demonstrate these techniques each week through in-class assignments and give an out-of-class assignment for the student to put into practice their newly acquired skills. Students may choose their own subjects from their drawing experiences using their own photographs or from direct observation.

This course gives technical insight through visual aids and slide presentations of watercolor movements and artist trends that have elevated watercolor painting to what it is today. These presentations are intended to provide the student a solid base to build their own painting experiences upon. Group critiques will be featured each week to provide the student an opportunity to develop their powers to talk about their work in a supportive environment. This course is for anyone who desires to acquire technical control in watercolor painting skills while balancing a healthy desire to play with the medium.

Requirements / Prerequisites

Course fee does not include materials.

Code: 6200.09.0.414.4.108484
First Class: September 8th, 2014
Sep 8 - Nov 17th2014
Mondays for 10 weeks from 6:00 - 9:00 PM


885 Broadway
Bangor, ME 04401 Get directions


Contact: Michael E. Vermette
Phone: 207.827-7573

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"Katahdin After A Thunder Storm at Katahdin Lake" a watercolor 19 x 25 inches by Michael E. Vermette

On August 8th I hiked the 3.8 mile hike to the Katahdin Lake Wilderness Camps that overlook from a bluff, Katahdin Lake in Baxter State Park. I had only my camera and cell phone on me as I tanked up with water before leaving at the Avalanche Field trailhead. I took momentary refuge in the outhouse there because it began to rain. Not the greatest outlook for what I hoped to do on the day and the next day. But when I decided to go there was no turning back. The weather improved the further I hiked on the trail with the sun finally broke through. Then I heard the plane fly overhead carrying my equipment with a drop off at the lake's only dock. No doubt there would be plenty of hands to help with the unloading and loading of the plane. There was a  Boy Scout troop that was in the Camps working on several merit badges including wilderness survival. When I arrived sure enough the staff and the scouts had helped to bring my three bags to my favorite cabin, the "Traveler,"an old guide's cabin I have taken a liking too over the years. I Met with Holly Hamilton the Camp guide and her friendly staff briefly before heading out with a canoe to do some scouting of my own of the beaches on the south-east end of the lake. The wind continued to blow across the lake from the north and it reminded me of another time I took an hour to paddle to the North Shore. But not today. My plan was to do a watercolor at Painter's Beach which is the furthest beach on the southeastern end of the lake. I set up my easel and began drawing Katahdin starting with the Knife-Edge. I always use my small binoculars to study the shapes. I didn't bring my coat because It was warm enough and sunny. But soon after I arrived the wind picked up and I realized a storm was brewing that would be upon me before I could even paddle back to the camps. I had seen these thunder storms move quickly before when I hiked East Turner Mountain. I got soaked that day and I knew I had to think quick. So I broke down my easel and stowed my painting. Then I pulled my canoe up onto the beach, flipping it on my back and propping one end of it on a rock. This canoe was going to act as my shelter from the down pour. An eagle flew over my head just above the  tree tops and eventually took cover in the thick spruces across from the beach. And sure enough the sky opened up and it poured for about a half hour. But I was dry with all of my gear underneath the canoe. Then after it passed the sun slowly came out and I was able to finish the watercolor painting I had started earlier above. It never rained again that day and even though I was alone, I kept my head and was rewarded with a great image. 

My canoe propped up upon a rock to act as a temporary shelter to keep my equipment and me dry.

The whole reason why I was determined to paint a watercolor that day was to have an example to show the Maine Youth Wilderness Leadership Program students that I would be teaching the next day. My plan was to expand my watercolor class I did last year by including a canoe excursion to all three of the main beaches that painters in history actually used. I wanted them to stand in the very footsteps as such great painters as Frederick Church, Marsden Hartley, and James Fitzgerald. Fortunately I have reproductions made by each of these painters painted on essentially all three beaches. But I decided to name each beach after an artist with the farthest beach for example, becoming the Frederic Church Beach rather than Painter's Beach and so to with the other beaches. They would become in my class the Marsden Hartley Beach, The James Fitzgerald Beach and The Frederick Church Beach. When I got back to camp I was dry but tired so I rested up, knowing the weather would improve the next day. Holly and I met together after supper to plan our day. It was great to have a time to talk with her about how things were going. There was a very dramatic sunset, but I saved my last large sheet of watercolor paper for the Alpine Glow (The first Light upon the peaks of Katahdin) early the next morning. 

"Alpine Glow In August, Katahdin Lake" a watercolor 19 x 25 inches by Michael E. Vermette

The next morning I got up at 5:00 am and made my way behind the large cabin to a trail that lead to the beach we all refer to as the Marsden Hartley Beach. I sat on the board that many painters have sat proped between shore rocks with an excellent view of Katahdin. The alpine glow is not as bright as it usually is in winter but it still has the full color of summer, particularly in the variant greens. Everything that the sun is reflecting from has a dominate pinkish orange glow that yields superb contrasting maroon violet accents. The water is mostly reflecting indirect light an appeared iridescent turquoise against the cool overhanging trees in the shadow.  I finished at 7:30 am and prepared for the students to arrive. The boy Scout troop  that I had got to know left before the Maine Youth Wilderness Leadership Program students arrived. They reached the camps later than last year by 11:00 am. Because of this my schedule had to be adjusted and so would Holly's. But I would not change the sequential order in my lesson plan, just the timing of when it would be taught. I began with an introduction after they all got water and met Holly and the camp staff. I explained to them how beauty can save our world and how many land trust organizations throughout america are holding wet paint plein air auctions to raise funds to buy land to preserve for future generations. We have such an auction in Maine through the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust. I continued by showing them my two large watercolor that I had done the day before and this morning which became more tangible to them than reading off a litany of my credentials. Then I put the challenge to them to consider that they too are all artists capable of creating beautiful paintings being found in such a beautiful place as this. I explained how 16 painters once had an auction to help save Katahdin Lake; to ultimately be included as the crown jewel of Baxter State Park. 

But their eyes really opened wider when I started to treat them as artists and handed out brand new top quality art materials that were donated by Blick Art Materials at to complete their assignment for the day. I worked with Sherry Godsil the donation Program Coordinator for Dick Blick who said, 

"Blick Art Materials is pleased to assist the Friends of Baxter with their current project. (namely the painting project at Katahdin Lake for the Maine Youth Wilderness Pprogram students) Enclosed are the painting supplies that we previously discussed. Thank you for your interest in Blick Art Materials and we are pleased that we were able to assist you! If there is anything else we could do for you in the future, please do not hesitate to contact us." 

We got the same response from Daniel Smith Artist Materials who generously provided watercolor tubes of paint to complete and round out their 12 color palettes.

 They received folding watercolor palettes, watercolor paint and a brand new watercolor brush. I donated the 300 Lb watercolor paper and boards to paint, enough for each student to have two sheets to make two paintings. I created watercolor painter kits with miscellaneous supplies including pencils, erasers, cups for water ect..for them to use on site that were in plastic waterproof boxes with extra-large freezer bags to use as waterproof portfolios.

When we arrived at the beach in front of the cabins I had already set up to save time.  They proceeded to watch my demonstration. I discussed with them that I would demonstrate everything that I expected them to do which included a 15-minute quick sketch called a watercolor "Quickie". I had one of the students time me as I talked them through it and completed a watercolor sketch. Then I asked them to do it and that I would time them giving them an extra 5 minutes for a total of 20 minutes of painting time. When every one was ready to go I said: "Begin" and everyone participated as they were given as much artistic license as they may have required. My aim was to expose them to a process not make them work a particular way. The only requirement was that they had to paint without drawing with a pencil first.  After the 20 minutes was up I stopped them and  we had a very short critique. I figured they didn't need a long critique because they hadn't painted too long. They were amazed at what they created in such a short period, everyone's painting different and unique. Then after a brief deliberation with the councilors we came to an agreement that you can't teach students on an empty stomach, so we took a break for lunch and the student cheered at the thought of eating a home cooked meal by Rachel and her kitchen staff.  But before I let them go I had then all promise to come back and paint one more painting with me and they agreed.

The MYWLP students painting Katahdin at the dock in front of the Katahdin Lake Wilderness Camps.

During lunch I got word from Holly that the plane would be landing at the camps in just minutes.  So I ran to my cabin and packed everything into the bag the students' art materials came in and the paintings went into my large portfolio to fly out so that I wouldn't have to carry them along with everything else I had to carry. There would be no later flight that day so I had to make the best of the situation since I knew I would be hiking out with all my gear alone. The plane came and landed in its dramatic fashion and almost as soon as he came he was off again with half of my gear. All I now had to carry was my camera and watercolor back pack. 

After lunch at about 1 PM in the afternoon, I met with the students again to give them the afternoon assignment. I wanted to take them in canoes and kayaks to the three famous beaches where painters in history had painted. There was a concern whether they would be able to paint for two hours so I lifted that requirement and gave them the choice to paint at least up to an hour. They agreed and some painted close to the camps at the Hartley Beach, some further at the Fitzgerald Beach and still others with me at the Church Beach the furthest down at the southeastern end of the lake where I painted the day before. Each group had about 4 students that also included a counselor or instructor and students couldn't swim until they all came back together. But they could wade up to their knees if they finished early. 

Painting on Fitzgerald Beach after paddling out to the location.

The wind had picked up which made paddling slow going.  But all of us made it to our destinations. My plan was to reach the farthest beach with the students that wanted to paint the longest time and after setting them up, go back and visit with the other students. But I also had to paint another watercolor that was this time a study. The assignment included the use of pencils and an eraser so that students could study and pre-plan where their watercolor washes would go.  I painted a 1-hour study so that I could use the 2nd hour to meet up with all the students on location. This didn't happen of course because I didn't have enough time to go all the way back to the first beach and then back again to the farthest beach to pick tell them it was time to finish and pick up. Fortunately the ones who chose the farthest beach all used kayaks which fared better in the wind and waves.

"Katahdin From Frederick Church's Beach" a watercolor study 11 x 15 inches by Michael E. Vermette

But then as the hours seem to fly by something amazing happened. It was just as I hoped would occur. The students all began to make a connection with Katahdin itself. An hour went by, then another hour, then a third went by and they were still painting. Whether it was how the mountain seemed to rise up high above the trees on the shoreline the farther you get back from it or the absolute gift of giving them the time to be alone with their subject; they all went way over their time finishing at 4 PM in the afternoon. Even they were amazed at how time seemed to fly by as the mountain placed them under it's majestic influence. I knew right then and there that I helped to facilitate a greater class that what had planned for. It was beyond what I could have made happen. These students had a heartfelt experience with Katahdin who chose to show her glorious beauty to them.  That day they all joined that long line of painters in history who had made a similar connection and  muse. 

Painting the view Frederick Church Painted at what we named Church's Beach.

At four in the afternoon I began pulling students off the beaches and we returned for our last critique. Their art was amazing and nothing but positive energy filled the beach as even guests got drawn in to the beauty they created in their paintings. People often wonder why I teach, why I even bother with students since I could make a better living as a full-time painter. Well this is why, and I can give you 12 reasons why imparting into the future feels so good. And I like so many of the other instructors who have imparted their knowledge into this future generation of leaders must have felt, was so humbled and proud to leave them with a genuine love of Baxter State park and Katahdin as seen from what is considered the Crown Jewel of the park. 

The MYLP Students, councilors and instructor displaying their second and final painting just before their afternoon swim.

It was most fitting that these students would end there program here. They had spent a week going from one campground to another.  I shook every one of their hands and told them they were now Katahdin Painters. I gave my quick sketch and study to the two councilors for helping me with the day. Then I packed up and left them all to their swim. For the experience was all theirs and they btruely earned a refreshing afternoon swim under the shadow of the mountain they had just painted. 

Remember everyone; beauty really can change the world! The very best to you all,

Michael E. Vermette
Artist and Instructor of the Maine Youth Leadership Program
A Friends of Baxter

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  • Saturday, Aug 23, 2014 9:00am – 12:00pm
  • Location: Fields Pond, Greator Bangor
  • Members: $15.00 - Non-members: $20.00


Michael E. Vermette painting at the British Canal during the Castine Plein Air Festival 2014.
  Come and be inspired as you engage your mind, your heart and your artistry. Michael Vermette, the upcoming featured fall artist at Fields Pond Audubon Center, will lead you in helping to capture a perfect Plein Air muse.
Please call to register.



Contact: Holly Twining
Phone: 207.989-2591

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THE PlEIN AIR CONNECTION August 13th, 2014

THE PlEIN AIR CONNECTION August 13th, 2014


Auction poster -


All of the Plein Air Connection group members will be participating in this years Bangor Paint-out and Auction and extend an invitation to all artists state-wide. I am happy to announce as the vice president of the Bangor Art Society, and the MC for the event, that this year we have raised over $1,500.00 for awards and special door prizes for the participating artists and bidders! The event will be held at Husson College at the Gracie Theater Atrium. The event is open for all painters of all ages and we do not require pre-registration, which means you can register on the day. Registration is $25.00 and doubles as a membership fee for those who would also like to join the Bangor Art Society. There will be an early registration for painters at 6 am in the morning on Saturday August 16th and will end at 10:00 am. Painting substrates will be stamped upon registration. Artists can get stamped up to 3 canvases and artists can enter up to two works in the Auction by the end of the day. No pre-drawing allowed but surfaces can be pre-toned with one colored ground.



There will be a Silent Auction and a Live Auction this year. The works will be juried by juror's Donna Festa and Kal Elmore and then placed into the Silent Auction or Live Auction between 3:30 PM and 5:30 PM. All works that are received after 3:00 PM will automatically go into the silent auction. There is no size limits for the paintings and we strongly urge painters to frame works since they have a better chance of selling. There will be two tables set up for assisting artists with framing, but artists are responsible for their own frames and framing supplies. Our two local picture framing sponsors for the day are School Street Picture Framing and Bangor Frameworks. Please see them for all your framing needs. Again 3:00 is the deadline for receiving works framed that are to be considered for the live auction. There will be posters for all artists to sign and these posters will be given to the our sponsors at the end of our auction as a thank you. We appreciate your coöperation.



There will be a preview for both auctions between 5:30 to 6:00 PM. Refreshments will be put out at this time in buffet style from up to 16 local restaurants who are sponsoring this event. Please feel free to take their menu and enjoy their excellent cuisine. We also have for all participants current issues of Plein Air Magazine to give out.Come enjoy the taste of Bangor, Orono and Old Town and read how Beauty is Changing our world for the better through plein air paintings in America.



The  Silent Auction is at 6:00 to 6:45 and Live Auction begins at 7:00 PM and ends around 8:00 PM. 

 We are very pleased to announce that our auctioneer this year is Steve McKay from WLBZ Channel 2 News. There will be a brief introduction by Jim Bird for raising funds for the Orono/Bangor Bog Boardwalk and I will talk about raising funds for the Bangor Art Society programs. Then I will introduce Steve McKay who will begin the live auction. Bidders will be given paddles for bidding upon registering for the live auction between 5:30 PM and 7:00 PM.



This event is free for everyone to come out and take part in these most worthy causes. So come and paint with us! Enjoy the fine art, food, be entertained, buy the art and know that every time you look at your painting you are reminded of the cause you helped to support! After all, as the saying goes, "No one appreciates the painting more than the one who pays the most for it!" So bid high and bid often!


I hope to see you all there,


Michael E. Vermette

Vice President of the Bangor Art Society

Coordinator of the Plein Air Connection


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"Tidal Falls at Waldoboro, Maine" an oil on canvas 12 x 16 inches by Michael E. Vermette 
A warm Welcome to all of you new subscribers to the Plein Air Connection Newsletter! 

The Plein Air Connect paint out will be at the "Paint The Town Fresh Paint Out and Auction" this Saturday in Waldoboro, 
Maine. The wet paint auction is a non-juried wet paint auction that all artists can register the same day as the event. The fee 
is $25.00 and it willwill take place at the Waldo Theater this year. It's an elegant building with a great history for celebrations 
in the arts in Waldoboro with plenty of good seating. Best of all the auction will be indoors! This is one of the best wet paint plein air  
auctions in the state!

Waldoboro's been working hard this year. Among the new features is a lovely store front next to the drug store.  
It's called Old Number Nine and it's the home of MAP, the newly minted Medomak Arts Project, a community based arts  
 education group. Workshops, art shows, performances, book signings and events too creative to be named are happening there.  
This space will be yours to use all day, from the breakfast gathering from 7 am to 8 am, to the early afternoon. Some framing supplies  
and plenty of work space will be available for our use. It's a very short walk to the Waldo Theatre.

There are some new restaurants in the village this year as well. The organizers thought we might enjoy choosing one of these 
instead of carrying a bag lunch out to the field. When you check in at Old Number Nine for breakfast, you'll receive a voucher you  
 can use at one of the restaurants serving a range of options including salads, seafood, pub fare, fresh-made pizza, tacos and burritos.  
Or if we prefer, we can have a sandwich, fruit, cookies and bottled water packed up to go.

Please let them know at the Tidemark Gallery if you'd like them to pack your lunch and let them know what you like in your sandwich.
 As with last year, you may submit one piece of work previously completed and one fresh one painted en plein air on the day. As far as I  
know work is to be framed for the auction or at least it sells better. New work must be checked in at the theatre by 3 PM. The preview  
 reception will begin at 5 PM and the auction at 6 PM the same day, both at the Waldo Theatre.  
Another new feature this year is the option for a second chance for any work that doesn't sell at auction. Old Number Nine will be open  
from noon to 5 PM on Sunday, August 3, for a silent auction. Each artist will be responsible for transporting their work from the  
theatre to Old Number Nine after the auction on Saturday night and it must be removed by the end of the day on Sunday. ( This is 
because a new show is being hung there on August 4!)

Within 14 days, the artists will receive a check for 75% of their sales, with the remaining 25% being shared among the volunteer groups
that make this event happen.

For more information and directions on how to get there please contact The Tidemark Gallery in Waldoboro, Maine. We look forward to seeing you next Saturday. It's going to be a fun filled day! 

Michael E. Vermette
Coordinator of the Plein Air Connection

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