Friday, March 21, 2008
Come, take a walk with me--Part I
House on Preble St.
Oil on Canvas 20X16
Fishermens' Shacks III
Oil on Canvas 20 X 16
View of Spring Point From Willard Beach
Oil on Canvas 24 X 18
Willard Beach Solitude
Oil on Canvas 20 X 16
During the winter, I take a 3 or 4 mile walk every morning. (In warm weather I bike 15 miles more or less--that's another blog, if spring ever comes). Most people have an idea of what they think Maine is like, but actually it is very diverse. Where I live, my walk takes in several different worlds--all of them interesting and stimulating. I traverse a neighborhood, a beach, a working waterfront, a college, a marina, a seaside park and a couple of lighthouses. So I invite you to join me and let's see what we see.
My neighborhood is in the Spring Point section of South Portland, on the other side of the river from Maine's largest city, Portland. It has a wide range of residents ranging from artists, to aging hippies, to fisherman, working folk, soon-to-be tycoons, retired people, college people and others undefined. It also has very diverse architecture--winterized beach houses, triple deckers built in the 40s for shipyard workers, MacMansions, large homes converted to apartments, and some oldies but goodies such as the mansard roof Victorian above. So I start my walk with a good ration of architectural eye candy, and a few "Mornin's" to passersby who must wonder where this guy is going every morning, all bundled up with sunglasses. My wife says I look like the Unibomber.
Then I head down to the beach, called Willard Beach. It's a crescent beach, probably 3/4 mile in length, but somewhat shorter when the hign tide covers a portion of it at each end. The first view is of these shacks out on a point that are painted by artists all the time. It is said they were (and are) fishermens' shacks, but they have a wonderful weathered and run down look. But it looks as if someone makes an effort to keep them standing, even as they often are battered by the northeast storms that roar through here. I've painted them several times. The one shown is from last summer. The beach is also loved by dogs whose owners congregate here in the morning while the dogs frolic in the sand. Naturally, there are people who don't like the dogs on the beach--it's a big controversy actually--but I enjoy the dogs and I'm glad their people are getting outdoors.
I usually walk on the hard sand, except when the tide is high. As you look to the north you see the Spring Point Lighthouse which marks the entrance to Portland Harbor peeking over the remnants of Ft. Preble, a Civil War military post now the home of Southern Maine Community College. This painting is from a couple of years ago when I was in a "blue period." I since have learned a lot about ocean water and skies, but a friend said she loves the colors, so I gave the painting to her.
When you get there, the view from the north end of the beach to the south normally reveals another lighthouse, Portland Headlight, but I left it out of the solitary figure picture, because I was fascinated by the particular situation of the lone man with the setting sun on his back.
I've gone halfway by now and I'll take you the rest of the way another time. Please stay with me.