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Saturday, June 13, 2015

Day 10: Eagle Lake and Cadillac Mountain

After finishing yesterday's blog and having a pretty relaxing morning, which was nice but part of me really hates wasting any sunlight, I drove to Cadillac Mountain where I've wanted to go this whole trip. I had dreams of hiking to the summit when I first got here, instead of driving, but today realized that wouldn't happen. I've had to make decisions this week about how to spend my time, as there is so much to do even in this comparatively small national park. Many many cool hikes that will have to wait for another trip because for this experience my focus is on sketching and painting. Most days this leads me on some kind of hike, which has been so nice but left me itching to explore more of the trails. Again, for another time...Dan, you get to come with me on that trip. :)

On my way up the western side of Cadillac Mountain I had a view good views of Eagle Lake, but all were in pullouts and I just didn't want to spend my whole day at a pullout under the sunlight nowhere else to go. I got to the summit of Cadillac Mountain and realized after walking around a bit that you can't see Eagle Lake from the summit - so, per usual, it worked out well that I didn't hike up to the top because, although stunning, it wasn't the western facing view I was looking for over Eagle Lake.

The wind really picked up as I worked - I was literally on the side of a mountain and some rainy looking clouds were blowing in. One big gust blew my easel and camera over and it crashed against the rocks as I ate lunch. All was fine except my camera is having issues with the lense the end of the night it really wasn't working so I have my first Brueggeman problem where I have to "work the problem." I have my phone for pics but they really aren't as good at my camera. I'll have to stop at a Best Buy or somewhere to find a new one unless little magic elves come into my camper van overnight and fix it.

I head to New York on Sunday - originally I was supposed to leave here tomorrow but I want another day (week, month, year...) to hit a few more spots Church worked. I might spend the day without paints and just sketch as many scenes and places as I can. The sketch I posted yesterday of his notes for the sunset painting really made me want to sketch more specifically in his style with the kind of notes he took on color, light, time of day, etc. I would like to leave with a bit more material to reference. But there's so many things I still want to paint! *Sigh,* tomorrow it will all work out like it does each day.

Two more notes I have today: on time and cell phones. I thought I'd have all this time on this trip. Time to read, build fires, cook breakfast...but the little "tasks" each day on top of drawing and painting keep me so occupied! And now that I've been painting sunsets I don't even get done with the day until about 8:40. I really want to read more and hope to make that more of a priority from here on out. But I said I'd do that tonight, and here I am still working on this blog post at 12:14am. I need to wake up earlier and commit to finishing blog posts before I go to sleep so I have more of this elusive thing called ~time~. And on cell phones - today and yesterday I had cell service where I was painting and it was incredibly distracting. I need to turn it off or leave it in the car because anyone with a smartphone knows how easy it is to be on Facebook or see an email and follow a link which makes you think of this or that...the interesting thing is that the same kind of thinking and stream of consciousness flow still happens when I don't have cell reception, but it happens organically in the real world with real things. Whoa. Mind blown.

Anyway, overall everything is going so well and I'm surprisingly keeping too busy to be lonely. Us Fellows are our own best friends on these trips and my fellow Fellow Amanda Burns wrote an amazing summation of four conditions "being your own best friend" comes with. Quoted from

  1. You are not allowed to be upset with yourself for not having all the answers or accomplishing every goal. If you are upset with yourself, you are then without your best friend which is tough when you are on your own, so be understanding.
  2. You have to listen more than you actually realize, like cues about hunger, thirst, rest, etc.
  3. Be honest with yourself. Don't try to trick yourself into thinking you definitely know the right way or that you don't need to ask for help and definitely don't try to trick yourself out of your feelings.
  4. It's okay to have a disagreement with yourself, but just be nice about it. It does you no good to lose your biggest ally. Trying to figure out what to do each day sometimes needs to be a conversation.
So things with Emily and Emily have been going well, but it's more than me being my own best friend, it's like art and I are become even better friends than we were before. I talked about this with my artist friend Katherine yesterday. We both feel we will never be lonely or bored as long as we have art. Might sound a little cheesy but it's late and I just heart art.
View from Cadillac Mountain Summit.
View from Cadillac Mountain Summit.
I painted that yesterday!
Painted on Western side where I had a great view of Eagle Lake.
Chasing the light
Literally on the side of a mountain.
The studio.
Eagle Lake from Cadillac Mountain.
Terrible pic but best I could get with iPad! Church's eagle Lake Viewed from Cadillac Mountain, Mount Desert Island, Maine.
Better pic of yesterday's sunset painting in Bar Harbor.
Tonight's sunset...not as spectacular with colors, but still lovely from the mountaintop.
Maybe a better pic with flash?



  1. Church did not have cell phone distractions....leave it off/in the car...just keep your GPS tracking thing with you!
    You have a friend in you.... (Very wise Amanda!)
    Keep 'hearting' art! ... (Such a great friend Katherine)
    Again, I love your paintings and seem to gravitate to the bluer sunset!
    Love, mom

  2. I heart Art too! Enjoying your blog! Thanks for letting us come along on your adventure!