Monday, March 3, 2008

Lobster Shack

Closed for the Season
Lobster Shack, Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Oil on Canvas, 20 X 16

One clear sunny day a few weeks ago, I was wandering around the area looking for subjects to paint. I ended up in one of the more remote places around, a point in the so-called Two Lights area of Cape Elizabeth. In the summer, thousands of people find their way out here because of this place--The Lobster Shack. It serves fresh Maine seafood "al fresco" and it's especially known for lobster. You stand in line to give your order inside and find a place to eat at one of the many picnic tables that are arranged outdoors. To the back of this view, the waves crash on the rocks. So as you wait for your number to be called, you can enjoy an often spectacular view of the open sea. Those of us who live here have these views anytime we want them, but for folks "from away" they are a real draw. The crowds that come here during the summer season are hardly hinted at during winter.
As you can see, no one had been here in some time as the snow was unbroken. I was tempted to paint a gloomier scene with clouds and faint light, but the sun was so brilliant, I felt an irony here in an otherwise desolate scene. Besides, Edward Hopper, who painted in this area would have seen it this way. Would that I could capture what he would have! Anyway, I like the desolation plus the light, the picnic tables all piled up in front and the colors in the snow.
If this scene chills you to the bone, here is a lobster recipe that will warm you, I hope.

Easy Lobster Quiche (Serves 6)

Ingredients: 1 9" unbaked pie crust (store bought OK), 4 large eggs, 2/3 cup milk (can be 2%), 1 clove garlic-minced, pinch fresh grated nutmeg, sea salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste, 1 cup fresh baby spinach-chopped, 1 medium onion-diced, 1/2 cup mixed red and yellow bell pepper-thin sliced, 8 ounces fresh Maine lobster tail and claw meat-sliced, 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese--can be smoked.

Preheat oven to 425.
In medium bowl whisk milk, eggs, nutmeg, garlic, salt and pepper until lightly beaten and well-blended. Add spinanch, onion, peppers and lobster and stir well.
Pour filling into pie crust and sprinkle cheese over.
Bake at 425 for 30-45 minutes until solidified and lightly browned.
Let cool a bit before cutting into 6 slices. Serve warm.


Frank Gardner said...

I really like the way that you painted this one Jack. Great sky. Nice design with all that snow up front.
I get the feeling of closed for the season with the snow on the benches and tables, and all the unbroken snow in the foreground.
I may have the sun and 85 degree weather, but you have all those delicious lobsters.

Barbara Pask said...

This is really lovely. Feels exactly like you described it. Thanks for visiting my blog and for your nice comment. I'll stop back. Barb

Cooper Dragonette said...

Great light here Jack! You've really captured the winter in this one. (Waddya say we meet you down there next spring for fried clams and plein air!)

Jack Riddle said...

Frank, Barbara, Cooper--thanks for the nice comments. I like to describe the context in which I choose a subject and you seem to pick up on that. Cooper, you're on for the fried clams--they're fabulous too. Maybe we should get together to paint in this area--when it's warm, of course.

Elizabeth said...

I like your paintings a lot.
Very 'painterly' and beautifully done.
I particularly like the still lives.
I always like them best.
So glad you are going to do the "Doors" post.
Don't worry too much about links.
I will try to do that.

Joanne said...

Hi Jack,
Can't believe that I get to look at great art AND get a great recipe to cook up all at the same time! I like how clear and crisp the air appears in this painting. In addition, the shadow coming in from the left side points us into the picture - very clever! My husband and I went out for supper tonight and I had a lobster bisque - so I related to your painting on a gourmet level as well (LOL). Very nice work. I'll be back.

Jack Riddle said...

Elizabeth and Joanne--Thanks for visiting. Elizabeth, I see you like Verdi. You might be interested in one of my earlier blogs about opera. I recently painted some "imagined" scenes from operas which I'll post soon. Joanne--My wife is flattered by your complement on her recipe. She's a great cook and I'll post more when they tie in with the subject of the blog. More seafood recipes are on an earlier blog.

FCP said...

This is lovely. You make painting snow look so effortless, but I'm not fooled. You really captured the intensity of the light.

Jack Riddle said...

Thanks, Faye, appreciate your comments and yeah, "nothing good comes easy." Stay in touch, Jack

Julie at Virtual Voyage said...

Love the painting, and the recipe sounds delicious. Found you through the House in Marrakesh - am taking part in the Doors theme.

Jack Riddle said...

Julie-thanks. I visited your site and saw that you handled the links the same way I did. I couldn't figure how to get them on my site, so I refer the reader to Frank Gardner's site where they are listed. Love your post on doors.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

MMMMMM I want some of that lobster quiche and a glass of wine from the previous post ;)
Nice job on the Lobster Shack. The cold and desolate feeling of a summer place closed for the season comes through.