Winslow Homer's studio in Maine and restored the house to its near original state. It was first a carriage house on Homer's family estate before he renovated to be his live-in-studio. I had imagined this late 19th century painter residing on the remote coast, but even back then, Prouts Neck was a summer resort for city people.
Homer spent the winter in his New York City studio, but a natural recluse, he preferred the isolation of Maine. His studio home was fenced without a gate, and there were no windows facing the road since he didn't want the public peering in or visiting him. Winslow Homer makes me look like an extrovert.
This is his studio from the inside. The few windows faced away from the street. We wondered why he didn't install opaque glass on the roadside walls as it was quite dark inside. My daughter and I went on a museum tour of his studio in December before it was shut for the winter. It will reopen in April, but you can only visit on a museum tour.
The main living area was rustically cozy but not exactly inviting. Over the fireplace is a sign that he hung on his outer fence, warning intruders of snakes and mice! On the walls are photos and objects that he collected on his journeys. There were odd notes of his carved into the wood panels.
His original bedroom has now been converted into a tiny kitchen.
The new bathroom is much more luxurious than it would have been during his tenure.
Upstairs is his original attic studio, which later became his bedroom when he added that nearly windowless studio downstairs. The attic was quite dark too.
Our tour guide believed that a boat builder might have done the original work on the carriage house conversion. Doesn't the ceiling remind you of being inside a tall ship?
My favorite architectural element was the covered porch overlooking the ocean. It would be easier to paint stormy seas under this protection.
I was amused to see that Winslow Homer edited out neighboring houses and suburban development. I often remove houses and roads or shift trees in my paintings too.
Even on a foggy winter day, the porch view was superb. I recognized the rocky coast that I'd seen in his paintings. On a nice day, you can walk along the cliff path. It was closed during our visit due to freezing rain. My 16-year-old daughter and I highly recommend the tour. Our guide was entertaining and well informed. The bus leaves from the museum in Portland. You should reserve tickets in advance.
From this studio visit, I've gained a new perspective of an artist who inspires both my art and my writing. A character in my work in process is named after Winslow Homer and there is an art studio modeled after his. Homer's coastal landscapes inspired my photo essay of islands in snow and my watercolors too.
Weather Watch: Another big storm is coming tomorrow with 8-12 inches of snow predicted! I'm hoping for snow only and no rain/sleet. It's hard to imagine on this sunny day. Happy Winter!