CAMPOBELLO SEVENTEENCrossing over into Canada, the FDR bridge rose high over the Bay of Fundy. This amazing area has one of the highest tides in the world. Every twelve hours, the tide will rise 27 feet! Islands appear and disappear every day! Painting plein air becomes even more challenging, because in addition to fighting weather conditions, bugs and changing shadows, the rock formation you are trying to capture becomes an underwater blob!

FDR BRIDGEThe little town of Lubec, Maine, shown in the distance, is beautiful! Clean, quaint, and very friendly. We arrived mid afternoon and found our cabin on the coast just what we were looking for. Here is the view from our front porch.

CAMPOBELLO TWO Note the sandbar in the midground – it will be gone soon, as will part of the island. Tomorrow, the workshop begins.

CAMPOBELLO THREEOn location at Raccoon Point, our teacher Michael Chesley Johnson with two of the four workshop participants. Michael keeps his classes small and is a wonderful teacher – his suggestions are to the point and he is very good at finding our strengths while trying to help us with any weaknesses. It was a beautiful clear, cool day, and after a short meeting at his studio, he took us on location and demonstrated some of the finer points of plein air painting.

First, he studies his subject and makes a small thumbnail value study.

CAMPOBELLO FOURNext, he uses a thin mixture of paint to block in the major masses.

CAMPOBELLO SEVENThen he begins applying the values. Next he begins to pull in colors and lighter values. Note his island appears to be disappearing – that’s because the tide is coming in!

CAMPOBELLO EIGHT I go to find a shady spot and set up to paint my own impression on this, my first day in New Brunswick.

CAMPOBELLO SIX AND A HALF After an hour or so, I’ve done all the damage I can do. Happily, all of us felt we had learned some of the techniques we needed. Tomorrow, we will meet in Michael’s studio for some critique and advice.

CAMPOBELLO TWELVEHere is Michael’s finished painting. Beautiful!

MY RACCOON POINTHere is mine. Suggestions were to lighten the trees in the background, so that the island is pushed back. End of day one, we are all pleased with our efforts. Tomorrow: Forward through the fog!



  1. Now I have learned something too. Thanks Shirley and Michael!


  2. Thank you for such a wonderful blog post! Truly enjoyed working with you. – Michael


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