I've painted these dories for years. Every time I come to paint on Mount Desert Island, I look for this string of dories. Some years I find them. Some years I don't and I worry they're gone forever, these living history boats.
I know there are several different ways to fish from dories, lines from them or nets strung between them. I think these are probably net fishing dories because of the tarps and floats I see in them. I imagine them belonging to someone fishing as he always did. Or maybe someone fishing like his grandfather taught him. Sometimes it's nice to not know any more and just appreciate the beauty of old tools being used still.
I sketch and photograph these boats every time I see them. Sometimes in Seal Cove, a few times in Salisbury Cove, in Southwest Harbor. Probably more picturesque tidal coves I can't remember. I've painted them with bright orange floats, these greenish tarps. Riding low in the water and perched in the mud.
I must have sketched them fifty times. I've painted them three times.
I love this painting of the dories on Seal Cove. It's just about to rain and the summer sun is making the water glow and shimmer in the watery light. The colors of the boats and their reflections are luminous, glowing like stained glass on the water.
This will be a quick rain shower because I can see the sunlight coming through the haze. It's low tide, so these dories won't leave the cove for awhile. Maybe they're waiting for dawn, maybe Saturday fishing.
This little painting is a luminous reminder of traditions gone and still present and that lovely fleeting Maine summer we'll see again next year.
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