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Friday, June 5, 2015

Day 3: Drive to Acadia National Park

Just made it after the longest 11 hour drive ever! Not much to report...listened to a lot of Eddie Vedder (if the soundtrack to Into the Wild isn't adventure music, I don't know what is), finished an audiobook of When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams, talked to a few friends, and crossed four states.

Williams' book is about her mother's journals, which she leaves for Williams when she dies. They are all blank and the book is about her searching for the meaning in that. She drew parallels between Robert Rauschenberg's white blank canvases (hadn't heard of these) and John Cage's symphony that had no "music," the naturally occurring noises in the theater made the music. Though I am not the biggest fan of conceptual visual art like this, what resonated with me was how both artworks made people stop and contemplate. With the paintings, people had to think about what they were seeing - discuss it, direct it, really look at it, and perhaps start to see colors and shapes emerge on the white canvas. Similarly, the symphony made people listen and exist in silence.

Williams and her grandma "Mimi" are birders and hearing her talk about birds with such enthusiasm made me want to pay more attention to flora and fauna as I'm working. I'd like to identify the plants and trees in my paintings in order to reference them again at home, but also to gain a deeper understanding of the landscaping I'm painting.

Here's a clip from my fave National Parks documentary that gives a little history of Acadia and talks about some of the many artists who painted here. Acadia video - it's the second video on the list. I can't watch it on my iPad or I'd make a few more comments on it. I may write more later or do another post about Frederic Church later tonight - I'm going to do more reading on his time in Maine and try to map out my time here.

Thanks for all the positive feedback and love that have been sent my way!


  1. Busy mind even with a blank canvas and silence...
    Love, mom

  2. I know what you mean about wanting to identify the flora and fauna around you while you are so immersed in the wild and your outdoor environment. I too am working harder to indentify trees and birds better. But then again, I have to remind myself that sometimes my ignorance and lack of detailed naturalist knowledge is an easier path to wonder-- it is a greater look at the whole and the expression of the creation in front of me. I love and miss you. Working en plein air is not the same without you. Keep writing!! It is such a great record of your process!!

  3. My favorite National Park--hope you enjoy it too!

    Aunt Sue