Valerie Lennon Art Blog
I recently added a series of watercolor landscape paintings to the gallery. (http://www.valerielennon.com/category/watercolors/) These paintings are inspired by my time on the Cranberry Isles, Maine. I have enjoyed painting outdoors on Maine for the past 12 years or so.
Nestled just 30 minutes by ferry southeast of Mount Desert Island, with superb views of the mountains of Acadia National Park, the five Cranberry Isles host a year-round community of lobstermen, boatbuilders, and craftsmen, as well as numerous rusticators who__™ve been returning each summer for years, if not generations.
These islands are called Cranberry Isles because low-bush cranberries grow profusely in fall, if you know where to look. The berries are smaller than store-bought fresh cranberries; they__™re about the size of green peas. They grow right on the dry ground, not in bogs. The whole plant is about an inch tall: leaves, berries, and all.
The town of Cranberry Isles spreads over five islands, but only two of them are inhabited year-round __" Great Cranberry and Little Cranberry. Each island has its own general store, post office, church, library, historical society, and school. Islesford Historical Museum on Little Cranberry Island focuses on the early colonial period; it exhibits implements, furnishings, documents, and photography.
Great Cranberry has 44 residents and Little Cranberry has 77 concentrated in the village of Islesford. In the summers, however, the population swells to about 500 or 600 at the season__™s height. A combination mailboat and ferry runs between Great Cranberry and Little Cranberry six times a day in the summer.
Sutton Island hosts a lively summer colony. The island has no roads, just paths.
According to Prof. William Otis Sawtelle, Sutton Island was originally called Somes Island. Marie Therese de Cadillac de Gregoire, the original grant owner, deeded the island to Philip Langley in 1788 for his work as her confidential agent and business manager. But Langley didn__™t live there; instead he lived on what is now called Greening__™s Island.
Sawtelle also states that the first settlers on Sutton Island were Joseph Lancaster and his wife, Nancy Rich Moore Lancaster, in 1806.
Most of Baker Island is part of Acadia National Park, though there are still a few private homes there.
Bear Island is occupied by two families. The Dunbars, with a cottage on the east side, own most of the island except for the lighthouse and its surrounding outparcel on the prominent west side, still owned by the U.S. government and leased to the second family.
The lighthouse is currently inoperative, and serves as a private residence.
I hope you enjoy exploring my series of Maine watercolor paintings. Please contact us to purchase: http://www.valerielennon.com/contact/