Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Friday 22nd September: Pemaquid Point Light - from top to bottom

Pemaquid Point Light... is the delight of artists, photographers, and tourists. Pemaquid Point itself entrances both land and water visitors by the fascinating northwest-southeast varied veins of rock formation that look for all the world as if great giants had 'pulled taffy' while the rocks were in a molten condition." Malcolm F. Willoughby, The Boothbay Register, 1962

Bottom Up (Pemaquid Light, Maine)
8" x 10" pencil and coloured pencil in Moleskine sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

I woke on the Friday morning with an absolutely stinking head cold - but the day was saved by the owner of the B&B I was staying in (of which more in a subsequent post) producing something which cleared it up immediately! I was amazed and subsequently bought supplies to bring back with me for the next bad head cold!

So - I started out later than anticipated and then had to get back earlier than the previous day as my friend Kathy was returning from her conference that afternoon. So naturally I decided the best course of action was to go on a very long trip up the coast - the obvious thing to do really!!! Actually it wasn't so silly, as by the time I got to Pemaquid Point the head cold had more or less cleared up and I was feeling a lot more like sketching. That and the fact that it was a day with sunshine and brilliant blue skies and I had appropriate clothing for sitting on the rocks doing sketches.

The reason I made the long trip was to see the geological formation of igneous and metamorphic rocks at Pemaquid Point - which is rather stunning. Basically about 420-430 million years ago, the muddy sand and silt layers at the bottom of the ocean turned into sedimentary rock. This was subsequently transformed, about 360-415 million years ago, into metamorphic rocks when it experienced extreme heat caused by a geologically active mountain system (under the ocean). Subsequently magma from volcanic activity deep under the earth forced its ways though cracks in these metamorphic rocks. Then at some point the rock was tilted over and forced to the surface where it is now exposed - and eroded by the sea. So what can be seen now are all the edges of the layers of the greyish sediments - which were changed into small crystal rocks - alongside the harder bigger crystal rocks, which are light in colour.

This is where I sat to draw the lighthouse. I sat on one of the ledges on the rock platform with the waves crashing on to the rocks behind me. I kept one eye on the lighthouse and positioned the other in the back of my head watching the waves!

When I first started it was very difficult to see what I was sketching because of what appeared to be a boatload of visitors. However they all gradually disappeared and the scene became clear. When that sort of thing happens I just sketch what I can see until I can see better. It's no big deal.

This is the first stage of the sketch - I'd got the pencil drawing down.

As I began to add colour it I began to get worried about how close the waves were getting and then noticed that all the visitors had disappeared. Then the spray started to get rather more obvious and so I completed it sitting rather nearer the subject.

The final version of the sketch of the lighthouse from down on the rock ledge is at the top - and a subsequent drawing was developed which is posted on my main blog here.

Top Down (Pemaquid Point, Maine)
8" x 10" pencil and coloured pencil in Moleskine sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
I then sat at the top just beneath the lighthouse, looking back to where I had been sitting on the rock ledge and sketched the waves crashing on the rocks. This was a lot more difficult than it sounds as the tide was coming in and the sea was boiling with very little that was consistent or rhythmic about those waves. I did however get to add in some seagulls who posed nicely for me on top of the ridge of pegmatite which I was sat upon. The plant in the foreground is a beach rose (rosa rugosa).

I viewed the exhibition by the Pemaquid Group of Artists at the Pemaquid Art Gallery in the Lighthouse Park - they were celebrating their 78th year!

I drove home - having forgotten to organise or eat lunch (such is my dedication to sketching!!!) and snacked until I went out for a very pleasant meal with friends Kathy and Gordon that evening. We relived in part some of the events and incidents of our trip out west in July - see Travels with a Sketchbook in the southwestern states of the USA.

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  1. Are you going to share the cold rememdy?

  2. Hi Jeanne!

    You've just had me searching high and low for it. I'm beginning to think maybe I used it all up while I was out there. However I do remember it came as a cotton bud type of swab thingie which was coated in something which I had to wipe around the inside of my nostril. Too much info I hear you say!!!

    I'll try and find out from Donna what it's called - I know we found it quite easily in a pharmacy.

  3. Your color pencil work is outstanding. It is a treat to see your artwork.

  4. I've been reading both your blogs and enjoying your drawings and commentary immensely. I was happy to see my favorite place in the whole world - Maine - and in particular Pemaquid Point. I've sat in that same spot so many times that I've probably left an indentation in the rocks. I love your sketch looking down on the gulls and rocks.



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