Why, yes! Not every day, but some Spring days in Acadia National Park, are very nice for painting outdoors, even for wading, if you don’t mind ice cold water!. If you can come to Acadia in the Spring, you can capture some impressive scenes that will make people think you braved low temperatures. Even when the air is warm and no coat is needed, you can find cliffs draped with icicles as high as a two story building! It takes a long time for them to melt, especially in the steep shaded crevices of granite cliffs along Ocean Drive and on Sargent Drive along Somes Sound.
One of the best reasons to get out in the park to paint or take photos in the Spring is that you’ll have the place almost to yourself. Three times this month, I’ve been able to stop and take pictures without another car pulling up behind me. I’ve walked with my family out along the open section of the Park Loop Road and explored along the giant pink slabs of granite. Huge rolling waves smashed into the base of the cliffs, turning the turquoise blue into a mass of white bubbling sea foam more brilliant than the clouds above. If I’d taken an easel, I could have painted the view back toward Sand Beach without another person in the view!
My biggest advice for painting outside in Spring is: bring a waterproof mat to sit on, and expect bursts of wind. For me it often worked best to have the painting board snugged right on my lap, sitting cross legged on the mat, so that if a gust of wind came I could hold on tight. Some days are soft, calm, and serine. And the next day it can snow again! We take our opportunities as we can!
Emily Bracaleis a Bar Harbor artist and art teacher, author and illustrator of In the Lyme-Light: Portraits of Illness and Healing (2014) and Our Last Six Months (2018), grand prize winner of the prestigious North Street Book Competition.