View from Whitehead, Monhegan Island

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View from Whitehead, Monhegan Island

View from Whitehead, Monhegan Island


36×48 in. Oil on panel by Hall Groat Sr.


Artist Essay About Painting

Four miles off the coast of Maine, Mohegan Island is accessible by boat from Port Clyde. My son Professor Hall Groat and I went on a painting trip there about ten years ago. The Island has remained a primitive location and many artists paint there during summers. Some attend summer workshops. The accommodations are livable although rather Spartan.  Trails wind through the Island bringing artists to various vantage points to paint from. It had no electricity until recent years. You still walk with flashlight to find your way at night. The eastern exposure faces the Atlantic where German Submarines were spotted during World War 11. My son and I painted primarily rough surf waters that crash on the rocks. Although this is not a recommended practice, as a rogue wave can hit and drag you out from shore and there is virtually no way out of the frigid water. There are high ledges and anyone falling will be slammed against the rocks and there is only one way to survive. An exceptionally strong swimmer could possibly make it around the island facing the mainland and climb out— although hypothermia may prevent you from saving yourself.

Some artists have studios and return each year to paint. Don Stone, a noted seascape painter took a break from his work to show us his summer home, a short walk from his studio— Don showed us a watercolor Jamie Wyeth gave him. The Wyeth’s have a family home on the beach also. Jamie was spotted painting inside a large cardboard box— used as a studio house to keep tourists from annoying him.  A group of artists would have dinner together after a day of painting. One of the seasoned sailors who worked as a ship builder in Maine gave us important advice: “You guys better paint from a little higher vantage point or a rogue wave could drag you out to sea.” We took his advice and also painted some trees capes from higher up on Whitehead. Edward Christiana gave me a large watercolor he did at Mohegan. He was director of the art school at MWPI, Utica, N Y. It`s good to exchange ideas with other artists on Mohegan Island. It was a memorable trip and we completed many new paintings to bring back home. It`s fun to review these works for a while as they are soon sold to our customers around the world.



View from Whitehead, Monhegan Island
View from Whitehead, Monhegan Island
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