Summers in Maine

Faculty Guest Blogger: Pamela Parsons

Pamela Parsons:  How do art faculty spend their summers? Many look forward to that stretch of time for recharging, devoting full days to exploring their muses in art. Some professors go home to enjoy the comfort and familiarity of their studios, while some travel abroad. I trek up to my house in Maine.

Stuffing my tiny hatchback with art supplies and travel easel, practice sword and summer books, I carefully establish my pet rabbit on the front seat among potted orchids and snack foods. In the back, between a large cooler and an electric key board, I define a plausible space for the dog.  I, with menagerie, journey nine and a half hours to the historical mid-coast town of Thomaston. My 1820’s Italianate is minutes from rocky beaches, lobster boats and clamming beds. The brisk salt air of late spring invigorates.  This is the place that informs my work in oil or collage.

I spend much of my summer painting along the coast on site, and in my studio. I comb yard sales and auctions for paper sources for collage. I kayak, bike and hike, filling myself with the sensations of this coastal environment. Seagulls amuse me; the changing ocean, leaden or fitful, appeals to my affinity for the romantic; the busy harbors provide good subject for cut paper.

sunsetHistorically,  Maine’s Monhegan Island has been an established destination for artists since the late 19th century.  Eduard Hopper, Rockwell Kent, George Bellows,  and Jamie Wyeth are but a few painters who found inspiration there. The ferry boat to the island is a twenty minute ride from my house.

By fall semester, I rejoin my colleagues at Marywood, all of us renewed in our creativity and excited to share with our students the possibilities of new techniques, fresh perspectives, and greater experience.


Pamela M. Parsons is a classically trained visual artist and professor of fine arts, whose figurative oil paintings recall some of the spirit of the Italian Renaissance. Her inventive story telling can also be found in her recent, colorful works in paper collage, created from vintage 20th century ephemera. She is the area coordinator for the graduate painting program at Marywood University and currently serves as Co-Chair for the Department of Visual Arts. To learn more about Ms. Parsons and her work visit her website at






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