Work in progress Traditional Musicians, my latest oil painting
Thanks to joining the Art Group at the bowling club, I have renewed my enthusiasm for oil painting. This morning my mind was wandering back to some early sketching that I did one summer when I worked in Ogunquit Maine. Ogunquit has been a popular spot for artists for many years. Stretching back to the late 19th century, there was an artist’s colony located in Perkins Cove in this small costal fishing village in southern Maine. I think that my uncle’s mother, known to me as Mimi, was a part of this artist colony in the early 1900’s. In any event she was a recognized artist and she and her sister, auntie Alma, had a shop called the Brush and Needle Studio. The “needle” was Auntie Alma’s part of the business and the “brush” was Mimi’s. Some of Mimi’s work now resides in the Ogunquit Museum of American Art. I remember her hand tinted postcards in particular. And ever since, I have had a fondness for postcards of this type.
In the course of time Mimi and Auntie Alma retired and the Brush and Needle Studio was sold to become what is now Barnacle Billy’s. Looking on the web, I find that 2009 will be Barnacle Billy’s 48th season so the Brush and Needle was probably sold in 1960 or 1961. In the summer of 1957 I worked in the Brush and Needle. I lived upstairs over the shop in a small room, under which the fishermen kept their dories. My job was not only to serve in the shop in the afternoons but also to cook for Mimi and Auntie Alma. They were so busy during the summer months that they needed someone to cook for them. My meals were very rudimentary for these 2 gentle elderly vegetarian ladies. After breakfast I had a couple of hours of free time and I used to walk the Marginal Way to Little Beach where I sunned myself and had a good swim in freezing water.
For pictures of Ogunquit and the Marginal Way and other scenic spots along the Maine Coast try http://www.tripadvisor.com/LocationPhotos-g40790-w10-Ogunquit_Maine.html Ogunquit is a beautiful much loved summer location. Our family’s introduction to this area came in the late 1940’s when my aunt and uncle purchased a hotel there. Subsequently they expanded to own 2 other hotels, 2 of which continue today, long after my aunt and uncle sold them. My aunt continued to have a beach view apartment in the Sparhawk but she at age 94 has now relinquished it and resides year-round in Florida.
I have a great fondness for Ogunquit. Back in 1957, the summer I worked there, I wish I had taken more than a passing interest in the artistic aspects of my surroundings. How I would love to go back and immerse myself in a summer of painting those marvelous views.