Great Spruce Head Island Art Week 2013

WHAT A THRILL! I was one of 10 national artists selected to go to the Fairfield Porter Family’s Great Spruce Head Island Art Week, developed and managed by family member and artist Anina Porter Fuller. It was a dream come true to be amongst such interesting, inspiring, and creative folks from all over the USA exploring their craft of painting, sketching, writing, and photographing. All we had to do was spend the hours in creative thought, experimentation and critique. No cooking – Barney and Chip took care of all the meals – all we artists had to do was create! What could be better!

Here are some glimpses of the week.


Arrived at Deer Isle Yacht Club to catch the mail boat with Capt Carl from MN and Capt Bob from Eagle Island. Bob’s family has owned Eagle Island for over 200 years. After a 30 min boat ride we arrived at GSHI.

Mail boat comes each day to drop off mail to surrounding islands as well as GSHI

After unloading fireman style into the Big House , unpacking and exploring the main island, we gathered to the bell for a delicious supper of Halibut, salad, and corn. All of our meals were enjoyed at the great table on the porch. We each had a schedule for kitchen duty which meant that four of us at each meal  helped set the table, serve the meals, and clean up afterwards. Our cooks, Barney and Chip were culinary wizards!

The Big House interior is as it was when Fairfield Porter resided there each summer. (I did a plein air painting of the big house from a location similar to that shown in the picture above. See my plein air oil painting of this scene below.) My room was on the second floor of the fireplace wing overlooking a forest from my bedroom room window and the ocean from my porch view. Anina Porter Fuller was my roommate in the wonderfully rustic surrounds. We rarely spent time in our room unless it was to paint the interior view with our green twin beds, windows wide open, curtains blowing from gentle breezes.


Each day we would rise to the 8 am chow bell (or rather for me the coffee bell).  I would be painting in various locations around the island from about 845 on ’till the next food bell. One lunch we had lobster and clams which we gathered at low tide! YUM !! After lunch- back out to do more plein air painting.


I wheeled the red wheelbarrow ( “Island Work Horse”) all around the island- carrying supplies and also used it as a painting seat – just like Fairfield.




After a leisurely dinner, we all convened by the fireplace for poetry or literary readings, guitar and banjo sing-a-longs or stories of GSHI Art Week gone by late into the night. The next day was always refreshingly the same- finding a new spot to explore and paint- photographing- keeping a watercolor diary and just having an exceptionally creative day inspired by all participating artists.



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