Maine Coast Sojourn
A Year Painting a Legacy of Land Conservation
“Lives and works on the Maine coast”—that’s a phrase often found in a Mainer’s bio. But in the case of painter Timothy P. Wilson, it’s quite literally true.
Up and down the coast, all year long, in all kinds of weather, he sets up his easel and makes art on Maine’s rocky coast, often finishing a day’s work windburned and saltwater soaked.
Meet Timothy P. Wilson
Timothy was raised in rural Maine. Attending the Rhode Island School of Design for illustration, he worked briefly in the design field before returning to coastal Maine to pursue a career in painting.
“On the Maine coast, I can lose myself in the landscape. I feel a bond with nature that’s seldom possible in contemporary culture,” says Timothy. “Here, I find a sense of calm and inspiration. And that’s largely because there are places on the coast that are open and undeveloped.”
So begins a collaboration
Over the past several years, Timothy has amassed quite a following on Instagram, where he shares images of his work and his adventures on the Maine coast. “I have a platform, and I want to make sure I’m using it to support causes I care about, including land conservation,” says Timothy.
Starting in September of 2019 through the summer of 2020, Timothy will be visiting Maine Coast Heritage Trust preserves up and down the coast, immersing himself in these places, and portraying them on canvas. Cove Street Arts in Portland will exhibit this work in the fall of 2020 (stay tuned for more information), and the gallery and artist will donate a percentage of sales from the works to support MCHT’s mission. Timothy will also be documenting his journeys on Instagram.
Tim Glidden, MCHT President, says of the collaboration, “We’re excited about this unique opportunity and grateful for Timothy’s support. The beauty of the Maine coast has been an inspiration for artists for centuries, and we work to ensure it will remain so for those to come.”
Stop 1: Whaleboat Island Preserve, Harpswell
On a September evening, Timothy paddled out to Whaleboat Island Preserve to begin to familiarize himself with the island. An MCHT preserve since 2002, Whaleboat is the largest wild island in Casco Bay. At the center of the island is a meadow—a great place to pitch a tent on an overnight visit. There’s also a rocky shoreline and gnarly forests to explore. You might bring binoculars for a visit during spring or fall migrations, when raptors, songbirds, and shorebirds are plentiful.
Stop 2: Bog Brook Cove, Cutler and Trescott
In mid-October a powerful storm raged across New England, cutting power to thousands in Maine. During the storm, Timothy was staying off-the-grid in MCHT’s McCabe Cabin on Bog Brook Cove Preserve, in the middle of one of the largest contiguous blocks of conserved land on the eastern seaboard. TTimothy relished it, making photographs as well as paintings.
Stop 3: Boot Head Preserve, Lubec
On his October trip downeast, Timothy visited Boot Head Preserve as well as Bog Brook Cove Preserve. He stopped along the preserve’s stunning trails to paint a well-known view of bold cliffs and crashing water. From this spot and others along the trail, it isn’t uncommon to see whales.
Stop 4: Aldermere Farm Preserve, Rockport
In November, Timothy took a trip to the midcoast. In addition to open, pastoral land, Timothy painted the Belted Galloways and beautiful old buildings at this unique MCHT preserve. Aldermere Farm is home to a working cattle farm and a variety of agricultural programming for local kids and teens. It’s also a beloved community center, hosting events like Calf Unveiling Day in the spring and Beltie Holidays in December.
Excited to see what comes of this project? We are, too.
You can follow Timothy on Instagram, and bookmark this page and check back in over the course of the year—we’ll keep this story updated. We’ll also share content on MCHT’s Facebook and Instagram feeds. Like and follow us now if you don’t already!