Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Maine Event, 2016 version

There's been some serious neglect going on here at Brush and Baren and apologies are definitely in order. The pace of the last few weeks has allowed for the occasional Instagram or Facebook post (mostly because one auto-posts to the other), but a format requiring thought and articulation? Not so much.

I'm in the east! The eastern US, anyway. I've been on the coast of Maine for just over two weeks, running amok with back-to-back sessions at Hog Island Audubon Camp.

Warming up in my own journal on an overcast arrival day.

First up was Arts & Birding, a week of sketching and painting skill-building, bird anatomy drawing, and trying to put it all together in the field. Another group was also learning and practicing photography skills, and each evening before dinner we came together for an informal salon. It was great fun to see and share in everyone's work.

Evening salon in the Fish House

Arriving with our Arts & Birding campers was our third Bingham Cottages Artist-in-Residence, writer Alex Dunn. Alex spent two weeks off the grid out at the cottages, coming back to camp in the evenings to share our evening meal and even to conduct some interviews as part of his book project. (And okay, to have a shower and use the wifi, too.)

Unfortunately I was so busy during Arts & Birding that I didn't have time to take many photos... a situation that improved only slightly during the following week's Educators camp.

Field sketching in the island's hummingbird garden.
Makers on the beach at Sand Cove, Hog Island Audubon Camp

One night during Ed Week we explored night activities... astronomy, insects, games... and bioluminescence! There are luminescent critters in Muscongus Bay, and it's SO fun to lie on your stomach on the dock, gently swirl the water with your hand, and watch the sparkles! I wish I could get a photo of it to share with you... but I'm afraid you'll have to settle for the full moon over Crow Island.

Full moon rises over nearby Crow Island.

While camp sessions are now over for me this season, my time on the east coast is not! This week I'll travel down to Massachusetts for a few days to teach a workshop and present a lecture at a reception for my work at the Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon. Then it's back to Maine for Hog Island Audubon Camp's 80th Anniversary celebration and to welcome the island's next Artist-in-Residence, Sean Murtha. Whew! Another wild summer vanishes like a guillemot carrying a red rock eel.  (You don't think that's too esoteric a reference, do you?)

Of course it's friends and colleagues who make the time here extra-special, and despite our chock-a-block schedules we always try to sneak in a moment or two to just be together. Sometimes the moment for stopping all work and just hanging out is completely obvious. Like this one:

Or this one.

And of course, this one.

Because what's a trip to Maine without sunsets and puffins and friends? Find your moment, wherever you are!


  1. Great post, Sherrie. So happy for you that you get to spend your summer this way. Good for the soul. And we can never get too many puffins. xoxo

  2. Puffin!! :D

    esoteric, hmmm maybe a little ;) lol

    1. What? You mean not everyone will know how fast a guillemot disappears into its burrow with food? ;-)

    2. I think most people don't know what a guillemot is :p

    3. Maybe I should give everyone the link to International Guillemot Appreciation Day on FB: :-)

  3. Sounds like a great summer, wonderful photos, I love the moon rise aand the puffin.


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