Rockport grey

I’ve been coming to Rockport for several years, but this is the first time the weather’s been mostly cloudy and rainy. That gives me the opportunity to use limited colour and practice my grey mixes.

There’s a view across the channel that I love because instead of looking out at boats on open water, there’s a backdrop of rocks and houses and trees. When I got out there early yesterday, on a windless morning, the reflections were amazing. But as with all rapidly changing views like this, it’s best to record them in pencil before they change. Soon the wind picked up, other boats entered the channel, and the reflections were gone. Having the pencil lines in there helps, as does having a good visual memory.

I painted a second watercolour in the afternoon, of the lunch crowd at Roy Moore Lobster Co. Luckily this scene is right outside my door, because as soon as I had penciled in the shapes, the rain started to fall and I had to move my easel indoors to paint them.

33 Comments on “Rockport grey”

  1. Adina says:

    I am always in awe of your “sketches”. In ” because they look to me more like works of art in more than one way: awesome ability to pick the relevant, just enough simplification to allow for some 8″ x 8″ or so painting, great drawing skill & color choices. All these things I struggle with & sometimes simply hinder me to the point of giving up. I am looking forward to the workshop with you I managed to register for! Hoping desperately for a bit of enlightenment 😀 Thank you for sharing your art!


    • HI Adina, We will certainly work on simplifying a scene at our workshop in December. If that is something you want to focus on, please remind me and I will keep you on task for this. As for these Rockport scenes, they are quarter sheet watercolours, so in this case a little more complex than my usual sketches.
      Hope your summer sketching outings are fun. Practice as much as you can!


  2. I know these types of scenes well from spending time in Maine– they are complicated! You masterfully navigated here to simplify, create interest, make the colors vibrant, and add just the right amount of detail. Impressive! I just finished reading your book and wanted to congratulate you on doing a fantastic job with it. What a lot of work to paint new pieces, pull together artwork from others, and make the whole think cohesive, readable, and useful! I plan to share it with my students in Maine, and use it to push my own painting. Enjoy your travels and teaching this summer! Well done, Shari!


    • Jean, reading your note makes me so happy. Thanks so much for taking the time to read the book, and recommend it to others. Yes, it was a lot of work but so happy I did it! Of course when I look at my garden this year, I remember how neglected it was because I was writing that book all summer. Have a great time in Maine and hope it’s better than what I had in Rockport.


  3. okaypolliwog says:

    Good morning Shari —

    Exceptionally nice paintings and I love the way you describe the inherent difficulties in painting onsite a scene as dynamic as boats on water. I also love your lemonade out of lemons attitude — a great way to start my day.

    All the best!

    Amelia Hansen former illustrator maybe someday an artist again



    • Thanks so much Amelia. These were complex scenes to paint but of course what fun would it be without the challenge of moving boats on water. Hope you get back to painting soon too.


  4. Judy Sopher says:

    Great reflections on the water. My greys seem to be limited so I will work on that. I can just feel the mood of those rainy and overcast days on the coast.


  5. Donna says:

    Yes the weather has been so gloomy. Good practice for the grays. Your reflections are always right on. Thank you for sharing. I’m ready for Moore’s lobster!!!


    • I finally had my Moore’s lobster. Straight from the boat, into the boiling vat and onto my plate. Nothing better than that. Sometimes I go for the lobster roll but this time it was the full beast.


  6. Richard Lee says:

    Your water looks so wet. It’s amazing!


  7. Bernadette says:

    The moody backdrop of colors in your first painting captured the day you described well. Including people in your work adds so much….color and life to your second painting. Your watercolors are such a feast for the eye. They are beautiful.


  8. Marie-Claude Fortin says:

    C’est MAGNIFIQUE !!!


  9. Adam says:

    These are lovely. The hits of colour in the clothing are nice. I recently bought your book. It was nice, but mostly I credit you for getting me back in to WC.!



  10. Nice paintings, I really like your use of grey.


  11. munchmeister says:

    Wonderful paintings.


  12. Amazing paintings, no more words


    • You are a woman of few words. Thank you.


      • Good Afternoon Dear Shari,

        Can you find a woman with few words. No way.
        I am a Man:). You got misled by my name.

        You are highly a proficient artist.

        I enjoy all your works.

        Wishing you more and more success and prosperity.

        Lord bless you and your family with my blessings too.



      • Hello Uma. And now it is my turn to apologize. I only know people named Uma and both are female. The incorrect assumption was mine. So sorry, and thanks for letting me know. Shari


  13. joantav says:

    Your grays are perfect for rainy days along the coast of Maine. Will be up there for a few days this coming weekend.


  14. Betsy says:

    Lovely! Oh, please show us some more Rockport sketches!


    • Thanks Betsy. I actually didn’t do as much sketching as I had hoped because I was taking an oil painting workshop while I was there. But I think I have a few to post. Thanks for prodding me to get them on the scanner.


  15. Karen Young says:

    Wow so have a gift to be envied, keep painting ❤️❤️ My email is not active I simply text lol!


  16. Judy Sopher says:

    Not much to add. Love these paintings. Reminds me of all our trips to . Rockport, Maine. No traveling this last year so really enjoying reading about yours.


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