Thursday, August 23, 2012


My friend Betsy came over to Maine from her home in New Hampshire to paint with me for a couple of days.  This morning we went over to Brown's Wharf to paint the working waterfront of Boothbay Harbor.

As we were scoping out the scene, I decided that I would paint one of the many lobster boats tied up to the dock.  To identify the locale, I wanted the landmark Catholic church on the hill in the composition, but that would require "moving" it. I also decided to lop off the top of the steeple so it wouldn't act as an "arrow" pointing off the page. In addition, I needed one of buildings on the right to be placed on the right side of the paper. I had a variety of dock debris to choose from, and, of course, I included a sign!

After a few minutes, Betsy came over and said, "I think I want to paint that lobster boat, and I'll need to move the church and run the steeple out of the painting, and take out one of the buildings and put it on the right."  Great minds....!

When starting to paint, I decided to start with the warm relief in the center of the composition and then work outwards to the cooler colors.  Then I carved out a path of white and painted a path of darks toward the center.
And I eliminated all the trees in the background, something I wouldn't have thought of five years ago.

Lesson:  Try compacting subject matter by moving elements of the scene to where they are needed to form interesting shapes.

All in all, I'm pleased with the painting.  This is a great location that I will return to.

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