Maine: Things Go Bump in the Night!
I stayed at The Island Inn on Monhegan. It’s the large, old building up the hill a hundred yards from the harbor where the ferry brings you in. My room was on the third floor with a terrific view overlooking the harbor. There is a large veranda on the main floor which is a perfect spot for coffee in the morning or drinks in the late afternoon. There is a nice restaurant in the Inn (one of the few on the island) that serves breakfast and dinner. If you want wine with dinner, you need to bring your own and the little store / cafe at the harbor sells beer & wine to go. Breakfast is included in the price of the room. Dinners were quite good but I was more impressed with the early morning fare of lobster scrambled eggs and stuffed blueberry French toast to name a few. The Inn’s only negative in my mind is that the walls in the rooms are paper thin.
I live in Atlanta and the difference in sunrise times between there and Maine is about an hour-and-a-half. On Monhegan it is very light by 5 a.m.. On Sunday morning, I was up at 5 and getting my gear ready for a day’s worth of painting. The dresser was next to the wall and as I went to scoop something up from the top of it, I accidentally dropped whatever it was which made a slight plong on the top of the dresser; an irritated knock-knock-knock sounded through from the other side. I was tempted to react but didn’t. I had gone to bed fairly early the night before and because I heard noise from the room next door, I was fully aware of the need to be quiet when I got up.
I woke up long before daylight but stayed in bed and enjoyed the view from my room and the sounds and smells from the harbor. It was relatively clear and there was a nice breeze coming in through the window. The seagulls were already up for the day and you could occasionally hear a faint foghorn sounding.
In addition to brushes and paints, my tools also include two cameras and a Sony Minidisc recorder which makes incredible stereo recordings. I quietly grabbed my Nikon digital SLR and the Sony with the intention to record, as best as possible, the scene before me. A great thing about a digital SLR camera is that it allows you to not only make manual settings but because it is a digital camera, it allows you to see the image immediately which helps you correct the exposure settings.
Although it was still dark and I had a tripod at my disposal, I was not concerned with sharp-focused images; I was more after a painterly effect with the camera. It was the light and color that held my interest. With that, I made dozens of hand-held exposures. Some of these images were made by deliberately moving the camera during the exposure. I simply placed the Sony’s microphone on the window sill and began recording. So, from my bed with the camera balanced on the window sill (the screen was conveniently missing), I sat there in my pajamas firing away. The results were interesting.
To see more images and hear my recording, watch the YouTube video below. The tapping noise you hear in the video is actually drops of water hitting my window sill. It wasn’t raining but the air was so laden with moisture that drops did form. I apologize that I could not think of any possible way to transfer the wonderful smells of Monhegan!