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The Rain in Maine

Back to steamy Baltimore after another amazing stay on the coast of rainy Maine. Rain seems to be the theme everywhere this summer, but not to worry, it made for some miraculous cloud displays and sunsets -- big N. C. Wyeth clouds. The Maine coast is an inspiration generator, with its constant parade of clouds, fog, torrents of rain, wind, and yes, some of the most peaceful, meditatively calm moments I've ever experienced.

I posted about Alex Katz's recent exhibit at Pace, monumentally sized paintings of pine trees, painted at his Maine studio across the bay from me near Camden. I was often reminded of his work during my stay, and a comment on my Flickr site suggested that one of my photos reminded him of these paintings -- I agreed. So many artists have influenced my experience, from Winslow Homer to Fairfield Porter and Lois Dodd -- it's a long, full list.

On my way home I tried valiantly to see as many of the seven museums on the Maine museum tour. After the Portland Museum of Art and many galleries, I ended with the Colby Museum of Art, one of the finest university collections I've seen, now celebrating its 50th year. The John Marin Collection, which includes paintings, watercolors, drawings, AND prints, is alone worthy of the short detour off of I-95. They also have the largest collection of Richard Serra's works on paper, in addition to his steel cubes gracing the museum entrance.

The museum's Alex Katz Collection includes Rudy Burchhardt photos, paintings by Jennifer Bartlett, Elizabeth Murray, several Marsden Hartley still lifes, one of Dana Shutz's hole paintings, and a very nice Lois Dodd painting -- Burning House, Night, Vertical, it's a beauty.

I like how the Colby displays paintings alongside photographs and how conservative 19th-century work in the Lunder Collection gets a pinch from Claes Oldenburg's Typewriter Eraser. In addition to the two hundred Whistler prints, many on display, and two very nice George Inness landscapes, this small museum has a very enthusiastic friendly staff, ready to share information and stories about the collection and the many events in celebration of their 50th year.

More images on Flickr.

This summer's most memorable pie (a near-impossible choice to make) has to be
Diana Santospago's rhubarb peach pie at The Inn At Isle Ah Haut

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