Island Time: Painting Trumps Reading for a Few Days

Hello friends, I am leaving for a painting retreat  about 10 miles off the coast of Maine on Monhegan Island (30 miles from my house if I were a mermaid).  It takes a bizarre amount of preparation for a four day trip and I get totally unplugged out there. The cell service is negligible.  There are 2 Inns, most of the rooms in either have shared baths. I generally pop for the suite so I don’t have to share.

This is a crowd on the dock waiting for the ferry circa 1910. It looks much the same today but without the long skirts!

This year I’m staying one night at the Island Inn and three at the Monhegan House.  This is where the rest of us stay and I have always felt I missed out on time with the rest of the group.

My husband took this photo of Monhegan and it’s little friend, Manana, last month on his way to Denmark. (copyright Don Desbiens 2018)

Monhegan is a famous art colony and is very beautiful. Artists come from all around the world to paint here. Last year I met four women from Australia who had come all that way just to paint on this tiny island way off the coast of Maine.

Sears Gallagher (left) painting on painting Frank Pierce on Fish Beach, Monhegan Island, Maine. 1940s

The Islands in the Gulf of Maine are many – they were all called the  Calendar Islands by some early explorer because there was one for every day.  I can’t recall how many there actually are but this one is small and  just a few year round residents.  In fact I cannot imagine how one even resides out there in the winter – the stores are closed, there are few boats out to it, no medical or dental facilities, one or two small grocers. None of the 4-5 restaurants serve alcohol. There are about 5 trucks for commercial use, and no cars or golf carts to cart people around. There aren’t even bocycles.Since there is no medical facility you need to be pretty hale and hearty to go to Monhegan. The winters are long and fierce the summers short and filled with people like me!

Getting ready for the trip has limited my reading time.  I am listening to several new books and plan to start reading a print book tomorrow on the boat if the seas are calm. It can be damn scary to get out there, or it can be a lovely ride,  The first trip was a sunny day with seas that, to me, seemed as if they were right out of A PERFECT STORM.

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