the foggy days

The first several days on Monhegan the weather was foggy and warm, an unusual combination. Sitting still was not so bad, although the fog tended to bead up on my glasses making seeing a problem, but walking anywhere became a sauna-like proposition. We were renting a house near the top of the hill, and saw nothing much farther than the trees at the edge of the lawn for a couple days. Sometimes Manana would appear, only to vanish again when the fog came back.

I started the painting project in this foggy weather, and some things about it really spoke to me. I like the idea of veils showing and hiding things that are normally in view, and the shifting fog was very explicitly veiling the distances. I love how the fog intensifies the colors that are close, and mutes those in the distance.

My favorite painting of those first couple days started off as more of a tantrum. I was trying to get a glimpse of Manana, and fog kept shifting. Finally I added a wash of white paint thinned with medium every time I got exasperated, and in between fits of frustration I painted what I could see. The result makes laugh every time I look at it – because I remember the aggravation, but I see the shifting veils of mist and the spikes of pine trees and the skeleton of a dead tree at the edge of the property. I’ll see if I can take a decent photo of it, but you might just have to visit me to see it.

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