The place, Owls Head, Maine. The time, late afternoon (years ago). We thought we’d drive along the coast and enjoy the setting sun’s effect on the harbor. When we rounded the bend and saw the largest Windjammer in the Maine Windjammer Fleet (the Victory Chimes), moored in the harbor at low tide, I knew instantly I had to paint the scene. It was about as “Mainey” as Maine gets.
Low tide in Maine means up to a 12 foot drop in sea level. When this happens, floats for docks lower with the tide, docks appear to elevate, and the rocky coast is exposed. Seaweed blankets the wet rocks. The beach-like areas are often covered with rounded stones, shaped over time by the pounding surf.
Artists for centuries have found the lighting in Maine to be unusually dramatic. The golden hour, when the sun gives off its warmest glow just before it begins to set, is something to behold. Many of my Maine paintings were of bright, sunny days. I love the Maine blue skies and the crispness and clarity the sun lends to its landscapes and seascapes. This painting was different.
The warmth of the sun affected every color on the palette. A conscious effort had to be made to add a little yellow, orange, or red to other colors in order to warm them up. White was the most obvious. White trim on boats became light yellow in the brightest areas. By doing so, it created an overall warm tone or glow to the painting.
My painting Low Tide sold quickly. I remember having a hard time parting with it, because it had become one of my favorite Maine paintings. Taking on the lighting challenge along with a tremendous amount of detail in a large 30”by 40” oil painting, was a challenging process, one that in the end helped me grow as an artist.
I’m currently working on a large painting of the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. Like the painting above, we recently drove around a bend and there it was… a scene I knew I had to paint!
Please check back soon to see and read about my Blackwater painting featuring six Great White Egrets. Thanks as always for your interest in my artwork. It’s appreciated very much!