THE PLEIN AIR CONNECTION NEWSLETTER, April 12th, 2015

THE PLEIN AIR CONNECTION NEWSLETTER, April 12th, 2015

 

"Pulpit Rock, Monhegan Island" an oil 16 x 20 inches by Michael E. Vermette

 

The Plein Air Book Discussion to resume at a new meeting place: The Green Gem Holistic Oasis on Saturday April 18th of the New Moon.!

 


 

Spring has finally sprung and it's about time we met a few more times to finish up on our book discussions of  Art And Fear,  Observations On The Perils (and Rewards) of ARTMAKING by David Bayles and Ted Orland. Its also time to discuss our upcoming paint-outs. Our last book discussion took us into the second part of the book to the end of chapter VI and it would be great if we can continue to discuss in our next book discussion chapter VII The Academic World. We have not met for quite a few weeks now. So please come out and invite all to join us who would like to participate in a lively light-hearted book discussion. We will be meeting next Saturday April 18th of the New Moon.

 

The place we will be meeting is at The Green Gem Holistic Healing Oasis, which is a non-profit Holistic Healing Community Organization who have graciously invited us to meet at no cost. The organization is located inside the Dr. William C. Peters House at 900 State Street, Bangor, Maine 04401. 

 

Directions: From State Street in Bangor, head North. Stay on State St., along Penobscot River, just past traffic light at split to Hogan Road. Immediately past Riverview Efficiency Motel parking lot is driveway on the LEFT with 4 mailboxes (868, 902 etc.). 

Come up hill (*4 wheel drive is a plus) and stay to RIGHT towards big White Mansion. Park just past mansion, in multiple plowed out spaces, in front of garage and around cul-de-sac.

 

This is an important first meeting at The Green Gem Holistic Healing Oasis because we will discuss as a group how we might want to partner with this group to have our own future Plein Air Connection art meetings, art shows and even art workshops. So if you can make it, and if you believe like I do that our future will be greater than our past, I would like to have as many of you who have met and painted with us in to please come out and share your ideas.

 

We will be having soup and bread as a light lunch, so please bring your own beverages. We will be meeting in their  Bluebird gathering room and follow up the discussion with a light luncheon. Should feel a little like Downtown Abby but without the butlers!

The event is free and of course all are welcomed to take part in our meetings and future paint-outs. Although there have been very few occasions when youth are involved in our programs the organization stresses that all young adults under 18 and children must be accompanied by an adult while on the premises.  Hope to see you all there!

 

Plein Air Wet Paint Auctions and Festivals 

 

1. The deadline for the Castine Plein Air Festival is April 30th. The cost is $25.00 to enter.

2. also the Tidemark Gallery has released their Call to all Artists registration for May 1st, 2015:

contact: charlotte davenhill at 832-7897
Call for artists to "Paint the Town" Save the date; Saturday, August 1, for this year's Paint the Town out-door art festival in Waldoboro. Registration will open on May 1, 2015.
Now in its tenth season, Paint the Town has become a cornerstone event on many summer calendars, sharing a weekend with the long-established annual open house at the Old German Church, held on the first Sunday in August. 
As details develop, information will be posted at medomakarts.com 
3. Call to Artists: 1st Annual Bucksport Arts Festival August 15th, 2015.

You are officially invited to participate in the 1st Annual Bucksport Arts Festival on the waterfront in Bucksport, Maine! The festival will be held on Saturday, August 15th from 9:00am to 4:00pm.

Fine artists and craftsmen of all kinds are encouraged to apply. We welcome paintings, photography, ceramics, glass, jewelry, fiber, woodworking and more! We have space for up to 75 artists, and will also have food vendors and music available for all to enjoy

Registration is $60 for a 10'x10' booth. You can apply online at http://www.bacasmaine.org/artregistration.html or download a paper copy to submit by mail. Once your application is received, you will be notified of acceptance and payment must be submitted in full.

The event is being organized by the Bucksport Area Cultural Arts Society (BACAS), an organization dedicated to supporting and promoting the cultural and performing arts for Bucksport and surrounding communities.

For more information, visit www.bacasmaine.org or feel free to contact me with any questions at (207)852-9570.

 

Many thanks,

Lyndsey Marston

Festival Coordinator and Artist

www.3leggeddogink.com

 

Short Letter from the Coordinator

 

As we begin the plein air season I hope to get as many of you as possible who are away to stay involved in the plein air connection painting group. I also hope to gather those who have hibernated over the terrific winter we have had. By the time some of you vacation here in Maine who live out-of-state throughout the summer you will miss the deadlines for festivals and wet paint auctions. In the last newsletter I sent out information on the Paint For Preservation Wet Paint Auction in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Their deadline has been closed for about two weeks now. They have selected 30 participating artists that are not yet posted. But I am happy to announce that I have been once again chosen this year as one of the 30 participants.  If you did not get into that one there is still time for the Castine Plein Air Festival in Castine, Maine and the Paint The Town Art Festival in Waldoboro, Maine. We have a very bright future as a group and we have a lot of fun plein air painting in the summer months. But you must enter soon to get into the excitement and fun at these places for the summer. 

 

We will also have our own paint-outs and will be discussing our next one coming up over the week of April 19th to April 25th. If you come to the book discussion meeting you can have imput on where we might paint anywhere in the state of Maine.

So please keep in touch and join us if you have always thought you might. Paul Cezeanne was quoted to haver said,

 

We must not be content to memorize the beautiful formulas of our predecessors. Let us go out and study beautiful nature.

                     -Paul Cezeanne


Maybe this is your summer to discover something about nature that you never knew before that will open the way for your successors! Maybe you will discover something in studying nature in plain air that will stir and breathe life into your work. Either way nature is the best teacher.

 

  There is a huge movement of painters around the world who are gathering to share resources and their deep appreciation of painting outdoors in nature in all seasons. Weary of workshop formats, conference schedules and structured studio lessons, 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 and each other. It is not cheap, it comes with a price, but it is  absolutely free of charge.  It is the open-minded study of the visual order found on the inside, not the outside trying to copying nature. It is a greatness that comes through the influence of the art spirit entering into the very life of the painter; and the outdoors is the setting where we engage with our full senses. 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. 

 

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 rooted in identifying what the Spirit has prepared for us on location as a subject idea.  Then making a picture like nature that captures the true essence of color, light, shade, and shape brings about a living visual expression. Many artists paint studies and sketches on location and use them for references for larger studio works, a tradition passed down from great painters such as Paul Cezeanne, Frederick Church, John Constable, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Marsden Hartley, James Fitzgerald, and many more painters today. It is considered an important discipline to bring life into the dusty studio by painting studies and sketches on location. 

 

If you think you might want to join us, below are the guidelines. 

 

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 and nature is the instructor, not us.

 

       3. You must be willing 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 in nature.

 

       4. You have to be willing 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 group critique.

 

      5.  All personal expenses are the responsibility of each artist including, money toward gas, meals, lodging, and travel tickets for boats and planes.

 

We try to meet every 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.  In the Summer months we discuss ideas about where to go for a painting location each week and 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 that is inspired by the study of nature, 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 Painting Location for this week: To be announced after the first meeting.

 

Kay and Daryle Carter

 

Please keep Kay and Daryle Carter in your prayers for the next month or so. Without divulging the specifics, Daryle has been diagnosed with a very serious and rare disease and they both need our prayers and full support right now. They have been a very big support for the group and now its time for us to show our support to them. Maybe we could put our heads together and see what we can do for them during this difficult time.

 

Have a wonderful painting week filled with light and the beautiful study of nature,

 

Michael E. Vermette

Coordinator of the Plein Air Connection 

 


 

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"Why Do You Cry?"

Happy Reserrection Sunday everyone! I painted this image in the worship part of the service to the song composed by Kirk Franklin called "Why Do You Cry?" The painting was quickly rendered within 6 minutes. Then I took it home to touch it up for a longer period of time.
Happy Resurrection Sunday,
Michael E. Vermette

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Fundraiser to help my daughter Sherri in her fight against Celiac Disease!

 

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The Plein Air Connection Newsletter, February 25th, 2015

The Plein Air Connection Newsletter, February 25th, 2015

 


"Snowy Katahdin From Millinocket Lake" an oil on gypsum panel 12 x 16 inches by Michael E. Vermette.

 

The Katahdin Trip last February 18th to 21st, 2015


The planning of the Katahdin paint-out really began on Valentine's Day on February 14th at our "Art and Fear" book discussion. Guest artist Susan Gilbert Lord from Monhegan Island joined us as we reviewed chapter 6 "A View Into The Outside World". We began our discussion by talking about how ordinary problems can keep us from making our art and how it can affect our morale. It seems the more effective our art is the more likely the viewer's first response will be anger and denial - followed by a search for someone to blame. "We have after all, a time-honored tradition of killing the messenger who delivers the bad news. Then we talked  about the common ground we find with the viewer when time is taken to visit the world we have created in our art. It is certainly refreshing to know not everything has been created that this is ever to be created and that the world is not done appreciating it. Some of the art issues we talked about is the existing art network that involves the formal training of an  MFA as a prerequisite to making art. We acknowledged that there is a betrayal that exists between the artist who paints from the heart verses painting for the emotional concerns of the curator, publishers and promoters of art. "Unfortunately, healthy artistic environments are about as common as unicorns" says the author. It is true that we live in a society that encourages competition and the need for demonstrating a high level of accountability for judging who wins. Fear that you are not getting your fair share of recognition can lead to anger, even depression. The motivation to produce art that attracts high praise can cause one to be extremely driven if without the ability to tell yourself that you are OK. Better to focus on the life source found in the art work itself regardless of how they stack up as personal favorites. Our art works are our babies and with it can come the wonderful obligation to explore and  answer the questions that might be asked through it. When navigating through the art systems in our world it helps to understand that we are not living in the healthiest of times. In a world where self-expression has become an end in itself it is important that we reach for a more cultural niche for our art. We should all tap into the deep well springs of our art, our materials and our subjects to see how it rings true regardless of whether it fits with the contemporary attitudes that make sense over time. 

 

With these thoughts in mind we went snowshoeing for about four and a half miles to practice our six-mile trek into Baxter Park in route to Katahdin Lake.  Whether it was the packing, planning or training I didn't see the e-mail from Holly Hamilton who regrettably informed us that she had to cancel our Katahdin Lake paint-out due to a malfunctioning satellite dish in The Katahdin Lake Wilderness Camps. Their communication with the outside world was simply non-existent  and unsafe to have guests at the camps. So subsequently all reservations including our own were cancelled. So even though all our planning had reached a roadblock, we continued to make plans for us to stay at the New England Outdoor Center. We got an incredible deal on our resort style cabin that had all the amenities. This eliminated the need to ski or snowshoe into Baxter Park and we took our two trucks filled with gear and drove right up to our cove cabin.

 

It was a two-floor cabin with three rooms, two bathrooms, heated floors and a complete kitchen with dish washer, microwave oven, refrigerator  in an open concept design that overlooked the living room with cable and wi-fi access. Needless to say we were spoiled, finding ourselves in a resort compared to other wilderness cabins. 

 

We arrived there early enough to each do a painting of the spectacular view in front of the Twin Pine Camps on Millinocket Lake. The sun was out and the temperature was in the upper twenties. We had an awesome view of Katahdin and we painted until dusk. I hiked around the back to the cove where our cabin was located in a large cove facing east. We ate our suppers mostly at the River Driver's restaurant located right there at the New England Outdoor Center and the meals were reasonable and excellent. We prepared our breakfast and lunch diners in our cabin as we took all our meals together offering a moment of silent thanksgiving. The four artists who went were Paul Girdzis from McLean, Virginia; Susan Gilbert Lord from Monhegan, Maine; Kay Carter from Hampden, Maine and myself from Indian Island, Maine. That night we all got a great night's sleep.

 

Kay Carter (left) and Paul Girdzis snowshoeing out of Compas Pond, Photo by Michael E. Vermette.

 

  In the morning the weather changed dramatically to snow all day long. So we decided to capture photographic images from the Golden Road and work from those and the experiences we had on location back in our cabin. We snowshoed into Compass Pond in the driving wind and I remember how the windblown snow crystals would sting our eyes as we ventured onto the open pond. We didn't stay too long because there was white-out conditions and no view of Katahdin; but we enjoyed taking pictures of each other. 

 

"Abol Stream in February" an oil on gypsum panel 12 x 16 inches by Michael E. Vermette.

 

After our Compass Pond hike we continued on to Abol Campground where we stopped at Abol store to warm up. We were able to park where the rangers parked their vehicles above Little Abol Bridge were we collected excellent images from which to paint from. I got down to the deep snowy banks with my snowshoes and was able to get two images that I painted at the cabin into the night before turning in at 11PM. After the morning in the cold wind we were glad to arrive back at our warm cabin where we found Susan Gilbert already painting away. We all proceeded to do the same after a hearty lunch.

 

The next morning when we loaded up the truck once again to go on another printout.  We found that the snow had stopped and that the sun was beginning to come out. It was still frigid but we had a hope of seeing Katahdin from Rhodora, Frederick Church's old camp now know as the Woodworth family homestead. We received directions from the maintenance man who came that morning to fix the lock of our back door. A collector of art in his own right, he gave us encouraging information that Rhodora was not far from our cove cabin. When we got out to the road we noticed that a staff plow truck was out and so we stopped him and asked him for better directions. He was kind enough to not only show us the way but also plowed the road up to the Woodworth Family Homestead's driveway. Once there we found theyounger son "Woody"  snowplowing their road out with a large tractor and snowblower. We couldn't have timed it better.  We followed them right into the camps and introduced ourselves. The family was very welcoming but the wind was not. Coming out of the north with gale force winds there was total whiteout conditions with no view of the mountain. The family tried to leave a message for us earlier that morning at the front desk of the New England Outdoor Center but we never got it because we were already on our way by then. They were kind enough to give us a personal tour and we proceeded to ask them if we could paint the interior of the camp and they agreed. They not only gave us a wonderful tour of the amazing Victorian log cabin but they offered the wonderfully rich history that brought the cabin and artist to life. It was like stepping into the past and we all got goose pimples when we realized that might be standing in the same place as Frederic Church did when he painted one of his masterpieces of Katahdin. The family made a rip-roaring fire in the fireplace for us using huge logs and even made homemade cookies for us with fresh hot coffee. We painted for four to five hours when we finally completed our paintings and all day the Woodward family came out to check up on us, see our work, and keep us supplied with huge logs that warmed us all day. We tried to offer them a donation but they wouldn't take it. They were the nicest people I had ever met and we all promised that we would be back later in the year. 

 

  

A special thanks to the Woodworth Family who warmed our hearts and made us feel so welcomed in such an amazing place. From left to right, Susan Gilbert Lord, Michael E. Vermette, Kay Carter, and Paul Girdzis.   

 

There were whiteout conditions with a North Wind Blowing off Millinocket Lake creating beautiful four foot snowdrifts around Rhodora Camp. The following is what the Family wrote about us on Facebook.

 

Woodworth Family Homestead and Churchs' Camp Rhodora

 

6 degrees, 25 mile an hour winds-gusting even higher, unplowed roads, snow drifts, whiteout conditions, and not even a hint of Katahdin....yet these four artists were not to be deterred! The allure of painting at the camp of Frederic Church trumped all else. By far our most "hardy" artists yet. Susan Gilbert, Michael Vermette, Kay Carter, and Paul Girdzis spent a chilly 5 or so hours painting in front of the roaring fire today.


  Later in the day and into the evening the skies cleared and the Northern Lights were out on the right side of Katahdin. We learned this when we talked to a young mountain climber and kayaker in the morning who saw them the night before. It would have been a great painting but we weren't aware of it. That next morning we all got an early start raising by 5:00 to 5:30 am and getting out on landscape by 6 am. We stayed in the protective cove in front of the New England Outdoor Center's Twin Pines Camps because the wind made it nearly impossible to paint in the 19 below zero wind chill on the open lake. Two of us painted very quick beginnings and retreated to the cabin.  Although my fingers on my right hand were freezing I was determined to stick it out until my painting was near completed.  I couldn't have done it without the help of hand warmers inside my gloves that were brought to me by Paul Girdzis. It never ceases to amaze me that the painting that became the most painful and difficult to paint made it worth the whole trip for me in the end. Church's "Rhodora Camp" provided the much needed inspiration!

 

 

"Alpine Glow from Millinocket Lake in February" an oil on gypsum Board 12 x 16 inches by Michael E. Vermette.

 

By 9:00 am we all had enough of the brutal cold and retreated to have a late breakfast at our cabin. We checked out of our cove cabin by 10:00 am and we went on a photo trip up the Golden Road. We stopped at Abol Falls and this time could see the full view of the mountain. We continued northwest on the golden road until we reached the Telos bridge with impressive rapids. The wind and the cold made it too brutal to paint on the bridge so we just captured more photos.  Then it was back on the Golden road and off to view Ripogeus Gorge from the dam. After spending some time walking the snowy dam we then decided to go back to Bangor through Greenville which was 40 more miles. We were able to see a clear view of Mount Kineo and we stopped in Greenville to eat a late lunch before returning home. 

 

View from the Telos Hole from Big Eddy Bridge just off the Golden Road. 

 

I really missed not going into Katahdin Lake this year, but I think The New England Outdoor Center proved to be an excellent second choice. The staff and owner were so very kind and helpful in making our stay so comfortable and rewarding. It would have been a lot more difficult to go into Katahdin Lake that week even though I think our group was up to the task. But what really surprised us all was the unexpected beauty that awaited us in areas that we could simply drive right up to or snowshoe into at short distances. We all felt that we must do this again sometime, but I would still like to do Katahdin Lake this April especially if the winter extends like it feels like it might. But this truly was an excellent adventure and Paint-out!

 

Upcoming Juried Shows

 

I thought you all might like to know of the juried shows, art auctions,

and festivals that are now open for you to apply to in Maine. Just click on the 

following show titles below for more information. 

 

Open Call For Johnson Hall, Harlow Gallery in Hollowell, Maine.


The 25th annual Maine Open Juried Art Show 2015, Waterville, Maine.

 

The Cape Elizabeth Paint For Preservation Wet Paint Auction 2015.


The Castine Plein Air Festival 2015.

 

The Bangor Art Society Open Juried Show 2015.


 

Paint from your heart and tap into the deep well springs of your art this week,

 

Michael E. Vermette

Coordinator of the Plein Air Connection

 

 


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THE Plein Air Connection Newsletter, February 2nd, 2015

THE Plein Air Connection Newsletter, February 2nd, 2015

 

Katahdin Lake, Photo by Bridget Beesaw

 

Winter is really pummeling us with snow so far this month! But even so, we have a lot of plein air painting experiences planned for Febrauary beginning with our paint-out at Bigalow Mountain at Nora West's camp. It has been cancelled and will be rescheduled for a later date hopefully this month or in March.  We will regroup again at Hampden with a book discussion on Valentine's Day Saturday February 14 at Kay Carter's house. Then it's off to the Katahdin Lake Wilderness Camps on Wednesday February 18th to Saturday February 21st.  We will end the month with another book discussion at Becky Whight's house on Saturday February 28th 10:00 am to noon. 

 

Bigalow Mountain Paint-Out Cancelled until further notice.

 

Thanks to Baxter State Park's 2014 artists-in-residence Nora West, we will be painting Bigalow Mountain this February or March at her camp/ or house. We will all need to bring our painting supplies, sleeping bag, towels and money for any extra expenses. Nora's house/camp is well equip with many things we can use there rather than adding to our list of things to bring. But please bring your own outdoor painting supplies as with any winter paint-out. We will be meeting on a Friday to car pool at Dysarts restaurant Truck Stop in Hampden, Maine. We will travel to the Bigalow area and get settled that night to be near our painting location for Saturday to paint all day and part of Sunday. Please bring skis and/or snowshoes where there will be about a mile hike to get to the locations with the great views. If you are planning on going please call me because there is limited space at 207.827-7573.

 

Book Discussion.


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

 

   The next book discussion will be at Kay Carter's House on Valentine's Day. We will share lunch together after and make Block printed Valentine cards.  Please read Chapters six to seven and be ready to take part in a lively discussion at Becky Kay's house with good food and encouraging friendship in Hampden, Maine from 10 am to 12 noon.  For directions please call Kay Carter at 207.944-7814.

 

 

The Book Discussion at the end of February will be on Saturday February 28th at Becky White's house. We
will car pool from the Penobscot Plaze parking lot in front of the old Aubachon hardware store and leave together by 9:30 am. If you plan on traveling on your own please call me for directions at 207.827-7573. 

 

 

Katahdin Lake Wilderness Camps Paint-Out!

 

The Plein Air Connection Winter Painting Retreat. It's not too late to register! We can take one more person.


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 more painter. We have 5 artists currently going. There are views like these and many more awaiting up to 8 artists.  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 not need to bring our own equipment in on a sled. We will park our cars at the public parking lot below the Abol store on the Golden road. There 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.  It is a good idea to cover your equipment in plastic bags to protect your equipment from the snowy ride in. Holly does have a tarp to cover the equipment but you never know. After she brings us to the Togue Pond gate house in Baxter Park, we are expected to cross country ski or snowshoe up to 6 miles. If we can not make the whole distance she will bring us in individually by snowmobile only if you are injured or completely exhausted for an extra fee. She will stop to check on us a few times on the trail. Otherwise she will give us all a second ride on the snowmobile 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. So a six mile ski in is not bad at all!

 

 

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, towels and of course our warm winter clothing and paint gear.

 

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

 

What to Bring 

 

Each person will need to bring their own sleeping bag (not necessarily a polar one because there are plenty of wool blankets) and towels for washing up. All of the cabins have sinks, but there is no running water in the cabins and water is provided in a 5 gallon jug with a steel bucket to heat on the wood stove. Not all if any have gas stoves, but all have gas lighting that you need to turn out when leaving the cabins unattended. Of course you need to bring in your own art supplies. You must also bring a day pack to carry at least one quart or more of water for the ski in and some snacks for energy. You will burn a lot of calories skiing.  Please be ready to ski at least six miles on the well-groomed snowmobile trail in the park. It is also a good idea to bring a flashlight (headlamp) and a good compass. We will be sticking together for the most part but who knows. Also be prepared to bring proper ski pants for the ski in, snowmobile pants for standing in one spot for long periods of time when painting, a good winter coat, a polar vest or sweater, thermo or padagonia underwear and good smart wool socks and boots for possible below zero degree temps. You will also need gloves and a good hat with ear flaps that cover your ears from the wind. I always bring a facemask that I have on me at all times because the weather can turn on a dime. I use wool ( cut-off at the fingers) gloves and wear a rubber surgical glove over them when oil painting. But when skiing in between locations and the camps I have my thick wool gloves for polling. 

 

The Dinner Before

 

We will be having a pre-paint-out dinner at Kay Carter's house at 5:30 PM on Tuesday Night, February 17th that will include a soup, salad, bread and a lot of excellent conversation. 

 

The meals at Katahdin Lake Wilderness Camps

 

 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 instead of preparing food for ourselves. let us know if you have any special dietary needs when you send your deposit.

 

 If you are that one person who would like to go with us and this is something you would like to do, please notify me immediately at Michael.Vermette@roadrunner.com. At this point, you will need to bring your deposit of $93.75 with you at this late in the schedule and pay your balance by 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 is injured or exhausted and can not ski or snowshoe any more and are "Done" for the day. She can then bring you all the way into the camps for a fee. If anyone wants a ride on the Katahdin Lake Trail there will be an extra 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 last 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 me if you have not done it yet at: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 end of the week. Holly will also make sure everyone in your party knows who is bunking with who before we arrive at the camps. 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 have begun teaching another watercolor painting class at Bangor High School that started last Monday January 26th, 2015. Class is cancelled for tonight February 2nd, 2015 due to the storm. However, there is still room if you'd like to join this smaller class of 11 students that will resume for 9 more classes next Monday. Classes are held 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. Next week the featured artist is Winslow Homer. Basically the same material as last year's watercolor composition class will be covered but with a totally new spin on it that reveals painting methods, approaches and watercolor painting styles. If you would like to join us please call me at 2067.827-7573 or simply show up as a walk-in student at next Monday's class.   Hope to see you there!

 

CELT Paint Auction 2015

 

CELT Paint For Preservation Wet Paint Auction 2015 at Cape Elizabeth is now accepting applications for participating artists. Just click on the link below for information on how to apply. 

 

http://www.capelandtrust.org/get-involved/paint-for-preservation/

 

Celebrating with you the personal victories in all of your work and Congrats to the Patriots for their Super Bowl win!

 

Michael E. Vermette

Plein Air Connection Coordinator

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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.
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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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