Join Judy Taylor’s Painting Expedition to a Private Island off Mount Desert Island, Maine

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Aug 222013

Off Mount Desert Island Acadia National Park MaineIn 2011 the Spanierman Gallery in New York City brought together the work of 24 artists, including Will Barnet, George Bellows, and Marsden Hartley, to examine how Maine had inspired them.  Entitled “Maine – An Artist’s Retreat,” the show revealed many representations of the state’s coastline and islands.  Yet, what sets Maine apart, the catalog said, is how Maine’s forests, rocky shores, marshes, and harbors always present themselves as fresh, alive, and unexplored, no matter how many times in the past artists have rendered them.

The opportunity to discover these landscapes for yourself—fresh and alive–will be available to students in an upcoming painting expedition with acclaimed Maine artist Judy Taylor.  It will take place September 3-6, 2013 off the coast of Mount Desert Island, home of Acadia National Park in Maine.

What’s exciting about this workshop, however, is that it will truly be an opportunity to explore the unexplored because it will take place on a small private island.

According to Judy Taylor, the island, which has only one house which dates back to the 1930s, is very close to Mount Desert Island.  It has 360 views, with one side overlooking Indian Point Nature Conservancy “where the seals perch on rocks.”  Says Judy, “You can walk the entire island easily.  It gives us such flexibility to take advantage of light in both the morning and afternoon.”

Acadia National Park Mount Desert Island Maine

Lessons will all be about plein air painting, and students can work in the medium of their choice.  “Blocking in and simplifying shapes will be key,” Judy notes.  Lessons will also focus on color mixing, light and shade, composition, and atmospheric and linear perspective.

Students can register for two days for $350 or four days for $650.  They must arrange for their own housing on Mount Desert Island and bring their own lunch each day.  The day begins at 9am at the dock in Pretty Marsh where they’ll return around 4pm.

For questions and registrations, contact Judy Taylor at

Remember, to ensure optimal attention from Judy, the class size is limited to eight students.  It’s also the capacity of the boat that will take you to the private island!  So, sign up now.

Related Stories:

17 Great Ways to Enjoy Acadia National Park in Maine

Wildlife in Maine’s Acadia National Park: Bring Your Binoculars!

Figure Drawing Workshop on Islesford with Maine Artist Judy Taylor

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Jun 262012

What’s on your bucket list?  To swim with dolphins?  See the Northern Lights?  Master the tango?

Now that you’ve moved into fantasizing mode, how about learning to draw?  If that’s always been a dream, then a true fantasy vacation would be a sketch trip to an idyllic New England island with a well-known artist who teaches around the world.

Sketching along the shoreline of Little Cranberry Island

Sketching along the shoreline of Little Cranberry Island

On July 12 at least this dream can come true!  Maine artist Judy Taylor welcomes you to join her for an all-day workshop, “Drawing the Figure on Islesford.”

Yoga instructor Mary Kate Murray will serve as the model for the sketch trip which will feature figure poses throughout Islesford on Little Cranberry Island.  Says Judy Taylor, “We’ll draw on the dock, down by the beach, on the deserted road with pines, ocean, fishing gear and rocks as our background.  I’m so excited about the compositional opportunities!”

Isleford Nude - Judy Taylor

Islesford Nude - Judy Taylor

Ms. Taylor is particularly well known for her work with figures.  The Maine Department of Labor awarded her a commission to create an eleven-panel mural depicting scenes of Maine workers, which Governor LePage ordered removed last year, stirring considerable controversy.

This year Ms. Taylor has taught workshops in New York, Venice, and Florence, as well as Maine.  Her studio, which includes exhibit space of her work, is on the “Quiet Side” of Mount Desert Island.

The fee for the July 12th workshop is $150, which includes the ferry, lunch at the popular Islesford Dock Restaurant, and model fee.  Enrollment is limited to ten.  Reserve by July 7 by calling 207-244-5545.


Boathouses on Islesford - Judy Taylor

Boathouses on Islesford - Judy Taylor


Judy Taylor Hosts Workshop “How to Start a Painting” August 7th on Islesford

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Jul 272011

Judy Taylor, Boathouses on Islesford, gouache on paper

Have you ever passed someone sitting on the shore painting and thought, “I’d love to do that someday”?

On Sunday, August 7, Maine artist Judy Taylor will be teaching a workshop on “How to Start a Painting.”  She will be demonstrating elements of this process and then working closely with each individual.  “You may also work in a drawing format,” says Judy.

The workshop is taking place on Islesford, a small hamlet located on Little Cranberry Island, one of the five islands southeast of Mount Desert.  The island, a destination unto itself, has a rich history and today is a year-round community of lobstermen, boatbuilders, and artists.  A highlight of any day trip to Islesford from Mount Desert is looking back on the mountains of Acadia.

Workshop participants will depart on the 9am boat from the Upper Town Dock in Southwest Harbor for the thirty-minute trip to Islesford.  There will be a mid-day break for brunch at the Islesford Dock Restaurant. 

The workshop is $75, which includes boat passage.  You must bring your own materials, depending on the medium you prefer.   

A bonus of the workshop is that Judy Taylor will be lecturing on the making of the mural that became the center of controversy when Maine Governor Paul LePage had it removed from the Department of Labor building last March.  The 36-foot-wide mural depicts in its eleven panels scenes of Maine workers, ranging from shoemaking apprentices in colonial times to the 1986 paper mill strike.  The lecture at 2pm is free and open to the public.

To reserve a spot for the “How to Start a Painting” workshop, contact Judy Taylor by emailing