Auburn Farm / 18x18
I saw this farm for the first time when I was driving through the area on my way toward Winter Harbor. It was late in the afternoon, and I was due at Jim and Linda's house, so I couldn't stop to paint.
I circled back the next morning, but a low-lying fogbank had obliterated it.
So I went off to Winter Harbor, but vowed to make my way back past the farm to try one more time. And this time, it worked. Not only could I see the farm, but I found a better place to set up to paint than I'd imagined I'd find the first time through.
This farm had everything. Lots of buildings, clustered together. A commanding perch on top of a pretty hill with a great pattern of bushes and shrubs, large and small trees, hillocks and hummocks and little ripples.
As I painted, the wind came up, and I struggled to keep everything from going over. The wind pushed me to paint fast, and I think that's one of the things that gives this painting its life. I really like this one, the bits and pieces of color, the patterns of light and dark, the farm like a fortress halfway up the hill.
We moved to Maine the first time about 23 years ago, and moved back about five years after that. I can figure this out only because we moved back when our little cat Samantha, who just passed, was a very young girl. She was 18 when she died, about 10 days ago.
We bought a house in Bolsters Mills, a village of about 40 houses, in southwestern Maine, sort of near Oxford, Paris, Norway, and Bridgton, on the other side. In other words, sort of in the middle of nowhere.
But Ioved our tiny town, with its cast of characters and its beautiful houses. There was the young couple with a huge barn and a DeLorean. There was the old guy with about 100 cats. There was our neighbor who sold his house and moved away with his wife, only to move back a week later and take up with the new owner of the house.
And there was snow. Lots and lots and lots of snow, so much snow that we'd have to climb up on what we'd shoveled, and shovel it down because it was so tall we couldn't throw more snow up on it.
Also, there was cold. The realtor had told us this was a cold spot, but we didn't totally get what he meant. When it was 45 degrees below zero one morning, we got it.
We had a great house in Bolster's Mills, maybe our best house ever - and certainly our most troublesome. The floors tilted, the basement was terrifying, the barn even scarier. Ice dams formed on the roof in the winter and water leaked in and ran down the walls and out of the ceiling lamp in the dining room.
The house was problematic, but it was wonderful. Those tilted floors were made out of beautiful old wood. The ceilings were high, the windows big and sun-filled with warmth in the winter. The kitchen was big and workable, and attached to a sunporch, and the whole house seemed to be filled with light and depth and love.
But our wonderful old house, above, has gone to seed. It made me sad to see it.
Above, Big Hill Road, the dead-end street where we lived.
Below, you can just see the church, beside the library
Above, the bridge over the Crooked River. In the summer, the windowboxes are filled with flowers. Below, Chet's fields stretch out behind his house and ours. Peter and I used to love to walk there with the dogs.
Dog of the Day
I laughed out loud when I saw this sign. I've never seen an intersection described like this, and all I could think was that it looked like a dog!
A Final Thought
"The autumn wind is a pirate. Blustering in from sea with a rollicking song he sweeps along swaggering boisterously... The autumn wind is a raider, pillaging just for fun."
- Steve Sabol