Artists reflect on challenges, techniques and experiences at Acadia Retreat.

Last week artists traveled to Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park for seven days of creative adventure at the rocky shores and rich maritime forests of Schoodic Point.  Four Master Artists and several ranger/naturalists led programs focusing on the maritime forest and coastal ecology in this quiet yet spectacular area of the coast near Winter Harbor, Maine.

The Summer Acadia Artists Retreat group gathered in the Dorr Classroom on the Institute campus for their review session on Friday. The group went around the room as each artist presented their work from the past week  and talked about their process. Photographs and paintings of the maine coastline were broken down into elements like light, texture, color, shape, and shadows.

Noah Rosenberg photos

Artist Melissa Fischer shared a watercolor she painted from memory of a spot along acadia’s coastline.

Reflecting on the experience, Kate Petrie, Acadia’s Education Coordinator stated “Sharing creative time with these people, who come from a wide range of backgrounds, is enlightening. I learn so many new things, as take them on a guided walk or a geology talk”.

This artist shared her technique of holding up her canvas to the sky to gauge its shade of white.

One of the programs leaders, Jana Matusz, shares two of her recent paintings that portray the beauty of Acadia’s forests.

The morning was both a presentation of art as well as a reflection on the challenges, techniques, and lessons they experienced during the retreat. Many agreed that the breadth of knowledge they were exposed to, from geology to natural history, drastically informed not only their work but their internal philosophy and were thankful to have been so fully immersed in Acadia.

Petrie considers this a special opportunity for the park stating “retreats like this are relative to the park’s mission two fold. First, retreats offer artists the opportunity to connect with Acadia and deepen their sense of stewardship over time, and secondly, in a way, as a bonus, each artist’s work, shares the uniqueness and value of Acadia, with all the people who see their works in exhibits and galleries”.  Continuing, Petrie said “their questions, comments, and approach to learning, always teaches me something, and helps me value the precious resources we have in Acadia, even more”.

To learn more about the Summer Acadia Artist retreat please visit our website.