The Damariscotta Pumpkinfest was held last week, complete with the improbable “Pumpkin Regatta” where contestants race their boats of hollowed-out pumpkins across the Damariscotta River. Unsurprisingly, many don’t make it to the finish line!
We missed the festivities, but made it a week later for some of those fabulous Damariscotta oysters at the comfy King Eider’s Pub and to check out the entries in last week’s pumpkin decorating competition. Some of these beasts approach 500 pounds, so their decoration requires both artistic skill and a strong back! Here are some of our favorites (click on thumbnail to enlarge):
Winslow Homer, Weatherbeaten. Photo courtesy of Portland Museum of Art
The Portland Museum of Art has mounted a comprehensive new exhibit of the later works of Winslow Homer, timed to coincide with the opening of Homer’s restored studio on Prout’s Neck, south of Portland. The 38 major oils, watercolors, and etchings, many of which are dramatic views of the sea from Prout’s Neck, are on loan from museums across the country. The exhibit runs until December 30. The studio can be visited by guided tour and access is by bus from the museum; reservations must be made in advance. We have scheduled a visit to the studio later in the month and will report on it in a subsequent post.
Two more examples of paintings in the exhibit (click on thumbnail to enlarge):
The biannual Festival of the Arts was held this past Sunday (July 22) on the lovely grounds of The Mooring B&B. Dozens of local artists and artisans contributed, as well as Georgetown musicians. The day was spectacular and the event, as always, memorable.
Of course, the annual Independence Day parade in Georgetown is the highpoint of summer (see photos of the 2010 parade here.) But there are other events on the social calendar. Last weekend was the annual Georgetown Volunteer Fire Department Auction. The auction provides a opportunity to pick up things you didn’t know you needed or wanted (and which you can donate to the auction next year…) But there is always an amazing array of “good stuff,” including paintings by local artists, antique furniture, boats of various sizes and means of locomotion, etc. Here are a couple of shots that give a flavor of the event:
The auctioneers are always entertaining
And the audience is always attentive
Another Midcoast summer event is the annual “Salad Days,” a fundraiser for the Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts, in Newcastle — just across the bridge from Wiscasset. Watershed is a non-profit organization dedicated to giving ceramic artists a place to hone their art, work in association with other potters and — for one talented individual each year — a year of full financial and artistic support at the center. In exchange, this artist creates several hundred individual salad plates which form the basis of the Salad Days event. For a $30 donation, attendees receive a plate of their choice, upon which they can then heap salads prepared by local restaurants, caterers, and the center staff. There is music (a talented bluegrass band played this year), an invitational show and sale of ceramics by artists associated with the center, and tours of the facility. A couple of pictures, taken by iphone and a bit fuzzy:
Come early for the best selection of the plates (if you come too late, they may be sold out).
This year’s selection of plates
And you get to use the plate right away!
The selection of salads
After a chilly February spent on the Cote d’Azur, we returned to summer weather here in Maine. All this week we have had sunshine and temperatures more common in July than in March. Yesterday broke most Maine records — Portland reached 80 degrees. We had to go kayaking, a first since often we don’t get our boats in the water until late June or July. We drove to the Boothbay peninsula and put our boats in near the Maine Botanical Gardens, near Sawyer’s Island. Smooth water, warm temperatures, and a picnic on a little beach we found on Sawyer’s Island.
Put-in near Sawyer’s Island. Note short sleeved shirt
Is this March?
Picnic site on Sawyer’s Island
Moonrise Five Islands. Tom McCandless, photographer
We had dinner at the Five Islands wharf the other night, to celebrate the rising of the full moon and the gorgeous weather. It was captured beautifully by our good friend and photographer, Tom McCandless. One of my all-time favorite images is Ansel Adams’ “Moonrise Hernandez.” Tom’s picture is almost as beautiful.
Marsden Hartley, Jotham’s Island (now Fox), Off Indian Point, Georgetown, Maine. Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts
This summer, until September 11, the Portland Museum of Art is featuring an exhibit entitled, Maine Moderns: Art in Seguinland, 1900-1940. It celebrates the art colony established in the first half of the 20th Century in Georgetown, by a group of artists based primarily in New York. Here’s the description by the museum:
This exhibition of 65 paintings, sculptures, drawings, and photographs will examine the personal and professional relationships of a small group of American modernists who worked in Maine in the first half of the 20th century. Although much of their artistic activity was centered in New York, along with their mentor the photographer and art dealer Alfred Stieglitz, these artists all chose to summer in the small mid-coast communities south of Bath, in a region that was then known as “Seguinland.” It was there that they developed a camaraderie and sense of place that strongly influenced their work. This exhibition will feature works by F. Holland Day, Clarence White, Marsden Hartley, Max Weber, Marguerite and William Zorach, and Gaston Lachaise, among others.
Called “…a jewel of an exhibition…” in the Boston Globe, the exhibit was put together with assistance of the Georgetown Historical Society, which has its own exhibit this summer of work by many of the same artists at the Society’s building in Georgetown: Georgetown Goes Modern: The Modern Art Movement Meets An Island Community.
This Saturday, June 11, will be a busy one in Bath and Georgetown. Reid State Park in Georgetown will host its first (annual?) “Reidfest” — with top local bands appealing to a variety of musical tastes, refreshments, and the promise of fine weather at the beach. For more information, click here. The music gets started at 2 pm and runs until the musicians don’t want to play any more. Visitors are suggested to bring blankets, lawn chairs, snacks, and (of course) bug spray — though the mosquitos aren’t too bad so far this year.
In Bath, the 10th annual home and garden tour, sponsored by Sagadahoc Preservation, will be held. Lovely home and beautiful gardens will be on view. Folks who stay at a local B&B (including Coveside) get half-price admission to the tour, as well as coupons for reduced price meals at most local restaurants, and price reductings on lodging (see below). For more information, check with Sagadahoc Preservation. The tour runs from 10:30 to 3:30.
As for Coveside: We still have a three rooms available this weekend. And the weather promises to be fine for either event, or for just lounging on the porch. These last-minute rooms will be available at a 30% discount if you ask for it when making a reservation. New reservations only, please. For availability and room selection, check here.
Just when the piles and drifts of winter snow were almost melted, and the daffodils were tentatively poking through the ground, we got an early spring pounding! This year’s winter has been long and harsh; last year, it was warm and short. Never a dull or predictable moment here on the Maine coast. We’re pretty sure, however, that the snow will be gone in time for our season opening on May 20….