Maine Part 2
I have split this part of the blog into 2 parts. One part is about my workshop, The Pen and The Camera. I will show you the photos I took for my assignments and let you read some of the written work. I also philosophize … you may or may not want to read all that, so I have put it apart. Click here if you would like to read it and see the work.
The other part will be more the travelog you are used to … Not much because I really didn’t get around to see many places or things.
I didn’t see or do much, but I looked more closely and thought harder.
Let’s start with Rockport, Maine, this tiny burg in mid-coast Maine, about half way up Penobscot Bay. It has a beautiful little harbor and an even smaller commercial district. From the school, it is an easy 10-minute walk to the harbor and commercial center. Sometimes there is a sidewalk, other times just a walking lane marked off by a solid white line. In town, there are a couple of restaurants, a hair dresser, a gallery, a real estate office (of course) and a photography bookstore.
It also has an “Opera House” where Monday night, the entire school convened for a presentation by the photographer Cig Harvey. Her presentation was about her artistic journey out of a very bad place in her past to a good place in the present. We watched as she healed and her photography morphed along that journey. I will never be the photographer that she is; her work is eye-opening.
Tuesday afternoon, we visited the bookstore and talked with Timothy Whelan, the proprietor. (Funny note here: all the references I found to link talked about how this bookstore closed back in 2010! Unless we were in a time warp, I assure that the store and the legendary proprietor are right there!)
Tim is photographer and writer, and he appreciates good photography books. For our class, “The Pen and the Camera” he pulled from the store’s collection all manner of photographic and prose/poetry collaborations. My classmates and I are in this workshop because we all write and take pictures, so we are collaborating with ourselves. But Tim showed us, and our instructors have given us, examples of lots of other types of collaborations where image and word were partnered. Artist with writer, artist with viewers, artist with subjects of his photos, artists with strangers; writers of poetry with painters and photographers, writer with a woodblock artist who framed the words with relevant, or not, images … And relevance is loosely interpreted, too. We are not writing to analyze or dissect the pictures, but to interpret them! To give voice to the feelings they evoke. It is wonderful – a swirl of possibilities!
In true travel blogger style, I have ranged a little farther afield looking for my traditional muse, interesting things to see and tell you about. Later on Tuesday afternoon, Rebecca and I went in search of the Belted Galloways. Practically mythical beings, so exalted is their status around here (Is it maybe because the name is so fun to say?), we did see them, sort of. Just three of them, lying in a muddy corral. Not the picture I envisioned. So we continued on, knowing there were many other days this week that we might get to see them.
We drove to the town of Camden, a real town, just minutes north. People describe Camden as overrun with tourists. Those people have a very low tolerance for tourists, it seems, because counting ourselves, we maybe were two handfuls? The village is lovely, lots of little shops with “tourist” items – products from the area. I found them very tasteful and loved the wares I saw in the windows. There might have been postcards and baseball caps, but I saw pretty pottery, fine linens and interesting art.
The harbor in Camden is larger than that of Rockport, and the tides produce more dramatic swings in the water level. Walking along the wharf, we were way up over the water, and a wide swath of murky stones and kelp were exposed on the shore. There is a waterfall in the harbor. I have to ask where the water comes from, but it tumbles down from a reservoir just behind the shops on the main street, bouncing over rocks as it streams into the harbor. The ducks and geese seemed to love it.
Wednesday, the beautiful weather finally ended and it was foggy and a little chilly that morning. Seemed like a picturesque scenario for taking pictures of cows, so I got in my car and drove to the Aldermere Farm, just at the edge of Rockport. This herd was the first herd of belted galloways, or “belties” established in the US. The farm, protected by conservation easements is owned and operated by the Maine Coast Heritage Trust. The story is interesting, and you can read it at the link. I had to smile when I read that part of the Trust’s mission is to preserve the scenic beauty of this part of Maine … and the animals are definitely scenic! Please forgive me for calling them cows. Belted Galloways are cattle, bred for meat, but what I saw were mostly cows and calves.
We, my classmates and I, did venture off campus to eat twice – making it to 18 Central Oyster Bar & Grill for dinner on Thursday evening (great food and service!) and to SeaFolk Coffee for breakfast on Saturday (wonderful breakfast and baked goods) before we scattered to the four winds.
When we did finally scatter, Pat and I drove down to Rockland to see the Farnsworth Museum. Rockland is a bustling town, the epicenter of the area. The museum was excellent. We saw a good number of Wyeth works, both Andrew and NC; we saw an interesting exhibit of gold animal heads, re-interpretations on decoration of a palace that was destroyed by war, and quite a number of disparate works with ties to Maine. Well, displayed and well-documented. Afterwards we wandered about the town and grabbed an outdoor lunch at a food truck.
I dropped Pat off back in Rockport, and continued north and on to Bar Harbor.
Driving along the coast of Maine is not something to do in a hurry – for that you should take the interstate. Because the coast is highly indented and irregular, you will drives miles and miles to find a bridge to take you across water and allow you to continue. Along the way north on Route 1, I crossed the Penobscott River on the Penobscott Narrows Bridge. I was pretty impressive! I will leave you with these two views: