This past summer I finally got to Monhegan Island! We went by way of a few restful days on Pemaquid where we rented a cabin on Johns Bay. We had planned for a simple overnight on Monhegan, but my children surprised me with a special birthday gift, an extra day there and a celebratory dinner at Monhegan House. It was great for me after all these years to get there and of course I returned with my brain swimming with ideas for new paintings, a couple of which I post here. You can see more on my website
This is a well-known landmark on the island that must have been painted 1000 times. I did a lot of research on Monhegan painters and studied how they painted it and decided that my approach would be more representational than usual for me. There's a nice contrast between the smoothness of the "gull" and the more sharp and unforgiving foreground rocks. I also liked the back lighting and the slight halation that occurs as a result. But I went further with another famous rocky cliff
If you study the work of Henri, Hopper, Bellows, Rockwell Kent and others, you'll find that they create dramatic effects using sharp light and dark contrasts. When I studied this scene it was a typically bright August day, but I decided to experiment with what these artists did and congered up this light and dark scene. I didn't go as far as I wanted to (it takes some courage), but I got an acceptable result I think.
We've also decided to return to Monhegan next August and I'll bring all my painting gear. It'll be a struggle to lug it out to these choice spots, but if the artists of my inspiration did it then why not I?
Visit the rest on my website and let me know what you think.