Sunday, August 3, 2008

Summer lull

I did go climb the monumental Gull Rock after my last post, made famous by painters trekking to Monhegan for over a hundred years. You don't have to spit far to hit somebody working at an easel right now on the island. I almost felt guilty that I hadn't brought more art supplies myself. We realized this was our fifth year of visiting the Murdock family during their vacation. Every summer we climb the hill to the Monhegan Museum; this summer's exhibit of Lynn Drexler's work was fantastic. Here's a shot I snuck in the gallery. I love Drexler's colorful expressionism, and she sewed swatches of color with the same abandon as her paintings.

Our friendship with the Murdocks grew out of the bond formed between our daughters. The girls gravitated to each other back in preschool, both shy but imaginative. Ruby is older; the age difference showed up during our walk to Cathedral Woods, home of more fairy houses than you can count. Daisy was eagerly intent on creating hers, while Ruby idly shuffled around, waiting. I siezed the moment to sketch her. She didn't sit still long, though. The mossy roots we both perched on soaked into our skin.

Daisy's fairyhouse had a flag.

It was back to the house, dinner with the family, and watching the sky change color. I did this pastel after last year's visit, called Goodnight Manana.

Later, as we went inside to launch a rather silly talent show, the skies opened. Marty set off to document a nearby bonfire, a small piece of island theater.

Fires on an island are dangerous, but controlled burns are highly anticipated. A couple of years ago, Elena was thrilled to get the go-ahead from the burn man for her pile of debris down on the rocks in front of her house. Conditions have to be just right, weather-wise. I drew this pastel, Time to Burn, with double meaning for the drama added to simple events on Monhegan.

Here is a shot by Marty of the crowd at the fire, just before the rains and thunder scattered them.

The images from Monhegan manage to sustain me for months.

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