As winter approaches, I was reminiscing about painting on Monhegan Island this past September with my good painting friends Kim Ruggiero and Bob Schweizer. With the threat of rain, we took a shot at hiking over the island to paint the most distant of the headlands, Blackhead. The black colored rock, as I just learned (http://www.maine.gov/doc/nrimc/mgs/explore/bedrock/sites/apr10.htm) is called gabbro, which is igneous rock. What makes Blackhead really striking are the veins of white rock, which apparently is feldspar. It was challenging to paint the feldspar without it looking like sun bouncing off the black rocks, particularly since it was somewhat overcast.
In the photo below, you can see the unusual colorations of Blackhead. To get a sense of how big it is, look at how small the pine trees above it are. My easel is marked with the name "Henry Kallem," as we stayed at the former summer cottage of the late Henry Kallem, a well respected abstract impressionist who died in 1985. The island, with a population of about 35 people, has only a few vehicles, mostly all pickup trucks. When one of the small ferries comes in, you can have your supplies trucked up to your cottage. But once you're settled in, you have only your own drumsticks to get you up and down the beautiful trails that traverse this small painter's paradise.