Sunday, February 28, 2010

Cemetery, Cathedral Woods, Sunset looking South

February has been mild and mellow as far as weather, and if we hadn't had our first round of visitors, I'd say it would have been an extremely quiet month, which is really what winter is about.

Peering Across the Cemetery- 16x20" oil by Frank Bruckmann©

We meet the kids for their lunch break at school, and then found a sunny corner out of the wind up at the cemetery. As you see, Frank painted... while I sketched and drank in the sunshine.

In the quiet of Cathedral Woods, I met up with Frank and snapped this shot. It was beastly quiet in there that day, and I wanted to just sit and listen and watch the sun hitting all the trees, rocks, snow effects, it was so lovely, but my toes and nose had froze. See Frank's painting, finished, below.

In that Open Spot in Cathedral Woods-12x16" oil by Frank Bruckmann©

Sunset Looking South- 16x20' oil painting by Frank Bruckmann©

Friday, February 26, 2010

Italian Restaurant Night

I was lucky enough to participate in preparing for Italian Restaurant Night at the Monhegan School. Curriculum was suspended for one whole day while the kids transformed the school into an Italian Restaurant....The kids decided on the kind of restaurant they wanted (Italian), the menu (pizza, garlic bread, salad, iced tea, and cookies), they estimated how much pizza dough we "kneaded" to make, how many baguettes for garlic bread, they made placemats that had their drawings on one side and Monhegan School trivia on the other side, they borrowed real tablecloths from the Trailing Yew and set up 3 long tables for 30 total, and when the guests arrived, they greeted and seated and served them, and finished up with presenting them a bill which asked the diners to rate their restaurant experience! The students sat at their own staff table, behind a divider and roamed around the "restaurant" making sure everyone's glasses and plates were filled. Another parent helped bake pizzas, and a grandmother orchestrated the whole was highly successful, and very tasty.

4th graders got some experience kneading the dough for baguettes/garlic bread.

Cookie making teammates

Setting up the tables with centerpieces of scented geranium and placemats of kids' drawings was a very nice touch

The kids named the restaurant "Pizza Alla Mare", translates to "Pizza by the Sea". see the fish eating all the menu items?

Full house! Full bellies
Monhegan School Trivia time....see the little Italian flags on the table? our kids' finishing touch.
The waiter asking diners if they'd like more. note waiter's hairstyle.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The VIsitors

We have had some fun distractions the past couple of weeks...first Mr. Frank Curran of New York's Hudson Valley arrived, with enough art supplies and provisions (read: wine) to last through the winter. Hey Frank, we still have that last couple fingers of AppleJack left for you so you can claim the FREE shot glass! When he wasn't out painting with my Frank, or skinny dipping in the tide pools under Burnt Head (true story) he was making chocolate French toast for our kids, antagonizing me, or on the phone with his family, who were swimming with dolphins and other tropical things in Mexico.

Here is Curran waiting for the rest of us to suit up before getting going....i like the Mike Stiler seagull in the background. We were sorry to see you go Frank, but with your departure came the arrival of Margi, JoAnne and 5 out of 6 of their kids. Jo's teenager opted to stay home with Matt (read: hang with his friends)

What else would 5 kids want to do but find the biggest rocks they could carry, and dump them onto a frozen brackish pond?? Only 2 kids fell partially in.

Beachcombing on secret each set up their own "shops" to sell and trade their treasures of sea glass and other flotsam, to the other kids who had set up their own shop to sell and trade treasures.If they hadn't gotten cold, we could have stayed there all day. me too. love to beachcomb.

Jr. Paparazzi, taking pics of us as we all said goodbye on the dock. i love the size of camera/size of Scott ratio.

And these were my most unique birthday greetings. thank you my boy, the legomaniac, and to frank curran the whittler.

this was my bday gift, a floatrope basket, woven by Monhegan resident Rusty, who's studio is in the corner of his very teensy tiny kitchen, where he is very organized, as you'll see here:

he's created a loom out of found objects. i won't give any secrets away. but very impressive. he also weaves doormats and square boxes, of all different colors. even takes commissions. of course, he has no website or email, and as we found out, you cant wait until the last minute to purchase something from him...on the way to the wharf, my friends went to purchase doormats, but he'd moved his stash to the other end of the island....

Getting back down to the wharf, Monhegan style.Thanks guys for coming all this way and bringing that infusion of Westville to Monhegan. It was sorely needed.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

seals, sweets, art

Frank spent a lot more time on this painting of lobster cove. Now the snow is long gone from here, though my mom and sis in law in PA have sent footage of their snowstorms, keeping kids out of school almost all week long. how we long for another big storm up here!

Lobster Cove and the DT Sheridan (shipwreck) 12 x 16" painting by Frank Bruckmann©

Painting from life out on the rocks, and wielding her artistic license.
surface of a beautiful Valentine's Day cake with frosted hearts, and the Monhegan Harbor beyond. Thank you Susan for inviting us to help you eat it! it was soooooo good.

outdoor desktop of juniper shrubs.

check out this guy! he was sunning himself on the rocks, until we got too close. this is up at the North end of the island, pebble beach. the seals in winter seem very sociable, swimming in close to check us out. We saw over a dozen on this hike, splashing around as if to show off. i was riveted!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Two-sided Whitehead

From Whitehead, looking South- 12 x 16" painting by Frank Bruckmann©
From Whitehead, looking North. 12 x 16" painting by Frank Bruckmann©

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bingo again, clanging bells, and walking the cat?

Looking out my bedroom window is the first thing I do every morning, to make sure Manana (the island across the harbor) is still there. On this morn, the glow was so beckoning, i went out on the porch to get the full view....
It was a very sunny day, and after we took the kids for a picnic and sent them back to school, frank and i headed up to paint at the cemetery....can anyone find the backwards "N" on a headstone, and more importantly, does anyone know WHY the "N" is backwards? typhographical error?

yes, we are walking our cat, to get her used to the surroundings before letting her loose. isn't that silly?

it was Monhegan School Bingo night tonight. Look at those sweets made by the sweets. there were also sugar cookies shaped like sea creatures and sprinkled to death with all sorts of valentine's confections....
For a 360 degree view from the lighthouse, and a very creative use of the last bits of icy snow, press "play" for this riveting (hee hee) one minute movie. please excuse the wind.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Art from the whole family

On the way to lobster cove, you happen upon these clues that you are about to pass a fisherman's house....I like how Frank can paint all that gear to look pretty.

Webber's Stuff- 12 x16" painting by Frank Bruckmann©

We tell people there are no cars on Monhegan, and that is true, but there are trucks, which are needed to haul all that fishing gear (above) from here to there. So we all get around on foot. On an island that is just 1.5 miles long by 1 mile wide, there isn't really anything that is far away, but when it's cold and the wind takes an extra coffee and layer of clothing before i agree to walk with the kids to school. still, i find myself walking and walking and walking, i'm outside so much more here than back at home. by the way, there ARE 17 miles of hiking trails on this tiny island....
so here is a truck...maybe someday i'll recognize who's truck is who's.

Red Truck in Town 12 x 16" painted by Frank Bruckmann©

shunning the papparazzi, she is, while i give 'em my best smile...

who was busy on the frozen pond before us? okay, birders, i want answers here...
road kill with buoy!

when kids take your camera and then alter their pics in photoshop...

the kids and i met frank and some others who were painting overlooking boar's head, near burnt head, and we got there in time to have a quick picnic and for me to get out my brand new sharpie paint marker, do a lightning speed sketch, and then fill in with watercolors. i felt like i was a hunter...saw the view i wanted, attacked with the ink, finished up the scene with watercolor before returning back to my cave.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Painting in Snow

It gently snowed all day today, and Frank got this block-in down before the snow turned his oil paint into colorful crumbled gook.

aforementioned gook, above

oh and then it cleared a bit, and all those scudding clouds and grayness and light over Manana. so pretty!

The Wharf in Snow and Approaching Lobster Cove... new paintings, AND skating AND shrimp!

The white stuff is falling again, and looks lovely swirling around and blanketing the view from here. Frank is satisfied with the wharf painting he painted with fellow artist Susan, one afternoon last week. He's touched it up and here it is below:
The Wharf in Snow- 12 x 16" Frank Bruckmann ©

Approaching Lobster Cove- 12 x 16" by Frank Bruckmann ©

Island Intrigue:
And then it was time again for Monhegan School's "Community" Gym Class, this time on the Ice Pond. My kids aren't skaters, yet. It was cold and sunny and everyone was happy, especially the pug dogs, brothers, named "Port" and "Starboard" that were harnessed to a red plastic sled with their one year old charge, dragging him across the pond. Another mom brought hockey sticks and pucks and I tried that for a while and felt empowered gliding round the ice with a hockey stick wrapped in hot pink tape.

We never knew the fisherman netted shrimp out here. And I didn't realize that shrimp....are kind of cute, but I still watched (kind of looked away) as Frank threw them into their bubbly death...fried 'em up with garlic, served over rice. ummmmmm. Oh, we got a phone call from a fisherman (who over the years rather keeps himself scarce)..."Hey Frank, do you guys like shrimp?" Uh, yea. So he came over with the catch, Frank said he had a huge bushel, and was very generous to us.

oh and my mom will be so proud to know that I have had now 3 or 4 gatherings with a few others, just to sing! some strum the guitar, we all sing, sea shanties, folk songs, whatever, and I found that the bible is that "rise up singing" book that all my musical friends in new haven carry with them at all times when there might be a chance of song. now, maybe, i will finally make the cut and get invited to the hoot a nannies (sp) that happen around our 'hood!