Sunday, July 23, 2017

Plein Air Workshop Report: Rockland, Maine

Port Clyde Puffin
(no, it's not real)

I just finished up a fantastic week in Rockland, Maine, teaching a plein air painting workshop for Coastal Maine Art Workshops.  Usually in the summer, I don't venture far from my quiet home on Campobello Island.  The Midcoast area is always much busier with traffic and tourists, but that's all part of summer.  Fortunately, I had an organization behind me that knows the territory:  where to park, where to avoid traffic, and perhaps most important, where to get the best crab roll.  Director Lyn Donovan and her crew made life a lot easier for this traveling teacher.

Painting Near 'Keag

Evening at McLoon's Lobster Shack

Unlike my workshops in Lubec, this workshop was five full days.  We started in the morning, worked through lunch (stopping only for a crab roll), and then continued on until late in the afternoon.  Despite some fog the first couple of days and rather warm weather, we were able to get out every day to practice our skills.  To make the week even more special, we took the mailboat out to Monhegan Island one day to paint, and also spent an afternoon visiting the Farnsworth Museum to see the exhibition celebrating the Andrew Wyeth Centennial.

"A Summer's Moment"
9x12 oil by Michael Chesley Johnson - SOLD

"Breaking Fog"
9x12 oil by Michael Chesley Johnson - SOLD

"Going to be a Hot One"
9x12 pastel by Michael Chesley Johnson - AVAILABLE

I'll have a special blog post on our Monhegan trip in the near future.  In the meantime, please enjoy a few photos from the week below.

By the way, if you would like to paint in a place where there are few tourists and little traffic, I encourage you to come to one of my workshops in Lubec.  I have one opening in each of my August 1-4 and August 8-11 weeks.  For details, visit

Monhegan Ferry

Fish Beach, Monhegan


Rockland Waterfront

Camden Waterfront

Painting at Camden Waterfront

Painting at Birch Point

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Heading to Rockland and then Castine - Painting the Maine Coast!

Morning Glare
4x12 oil by Michael Chesley Johnson
$175 unframed - Available

I'm about to head down to Rockland, Maine, to teach a workshop for Coastal Maine Art Workshops.  Although I've visited Rockland many times, I've never painted there, so I'm excited to paint this part of the Maine coast.  Even more exciting is the possibility of a day trip to Monhegan Island. Monhegan is legendary among landscape painters because so many well-known artists, including Andrew Wyeth, Rockwell Kent and Edward Hopper, have painted it over the last hundred years.  If you're a last-minute-type person, I do have space left in this workshop.  Click here for details.

After the workshop, I'll be stopping by Castine to judge paintings at the Castine Plein Air Festival.  I've participated as one of the artists the last few years, so it'll be a different experience to see the festival from the other end as a judge.  I'll also be able to reconnect with some painting friends, but I won't, of course, let that influence my judgement.  (There will also be a second judge, Maine artist Jerry Rose.)

I just finished up a workshop in Lubec, Maine, this week.  I've included a few of my demonstration paintings in this post.

Storm over the Cove
5x12 oil by Michael Chesley Johnson
$175 unframed - Available

Summer Marsh
10x10 pastel by Michael Chesley Johnson

Friday, July 7, 2017

A Few Paintings from the Week

Quoddy Head
9x12 oil by Michael Chesley Johnson
I can't believe both Canada Day and Independence Day have come and gone.  Where's the summer going?  It's been awhile since I posted, so I thought I'd share some paintings from this past week, which marked the start of my plein air painting workshop season in Lubec, Maine.   I teach through August, so I'll be sharing more paintings with you as time goes by.

This week was a perfect week for outdoor painting.  Every day was sunny and glorious and temperate--just the way I like it.

"High Tide at Cranberry Point"
9x12 oil by Michael Chesley Johnson
Available - US$700 includes frame and shipping to US - Contact Michael

By the way, I have room -- plus the lodging package available -- for my August 8-11 workshop.  Contact me if you're interested!  More details here.

Fish Shack Study
12x9 oil by Michael Chesley Johnson
Here's a short video clip from one day.  It gives you an idea of the peace and quiet we painters experience here.  (Can't see the video?  Here's the link: