Spring is easily the dreariest of the four seasons in coastal Maine — raw, cold, wet, overcast. It snowed yesterday, which at least gave the plow banks a fresher appearance.
Spring is also the season to plan for the summer tourists, who arrive in droves from July 4 to Labor Day. I decided to make a batch of notecards to sell to our visitors. Deer Isle in four seasons seemed a good idea, especially since I had paintings of each season.
Unfortunately, I’d sold two of the paintings and one was too big for notecard size. So over the past two days I repainted the big one and the two I sold (I figured I’m allowed to do that), all in notecard size.
The painting above shows a gardener (real) and a cat (fictional) on the Oceanville peninsula on Deer Isle. When spring finally does come to Maine, the wildflowers, especially the lupines, are so abundant they almost make up for April.
For summer I chose the Deer Isle Bridge from Caterpillar Hill in Sedgwick, Maine. A fellow artist once said to me, “You can sell those bridge paintings all day long.” (Meow. It was just after I’d sold one.) The bridge itself is quite steep so the sailboats on Eggemoggin Reach can sail under it. More than a few drivers are terrified to drive over the bridge, and it isn’t unusual to see a car stopped on the mainland side of it as the driver realizes he or she has to go over that thing. The driver will then proceed very, very slowly, hugging the center line.
The daily traffic count over the bridge is 123. So to all my Washington, D.C., friends who post pictures of their lovely spring flowers when they aren’t stuck in traffic, I say, “Take that.”
The view from Caterpillar Hill actually deserves the adjective ‘awesome.’ From it you can see the site of the worst American naval disaster until Pearl Harbor, the Penobscot Expedition. Paul Revere was court-martialed for it, but that’s another story.
For autumn I already had a little painting of Dan hiking through Scott’s Landing, which is Island Heritage Trust property. It used to be the old ferry landing. Then the bridge was built in 1939 and changed the island — not for the better, say some. Scott’s Landing is great for collecting beach glass and watching birds, usually sassy crows, hungry seagulls,sanguine ducks and the occasional cormorant. The poor cormorants are getting eaten by eagles as the fishery declines.
For winter I chose a painting of a lobster boat on the hard. Stonington, one of two towns on Deer Isle, is the top port for lobster landings in Maine. Last year fishermen hauled 17.4 million pounds of lobster from the sea. Lobster fishermen make a good living, and many of them take their boats out of the water in the winter and go to Florida.
Three paintings in two days, however small, is a lot for me. Fortunately my wonderful sister Christen Miller sent me a new paintbrush (among other things) for my birthday. It was the perfect size for what I was doing. I’ve had painting instructors who told me it doesn’t really matter what brush you use. To them I say, “Wrong!”
And to the summer tourists eager to spend money on memories of Deer Isle, I say, $20 for all four seasons.