Saturday, July 9, 2011

Adventures in Camden

The morning started out with Meghan cooking a delicious breakfast with eggs fresh from their chickens.  Then off to photograph Leeper and Kristy.  Leeper and Gideon grew up together, and I met him when I was 17 in NYC visiting Gideon.   He is one of the best story tellers, and funniest people you will ever meet.   He is a tug boat captain out of NY and does two weeks on, two weeks off. Kristy is a massage therapist and pregnant with twins.  They are living at the Leeper family camp on Megunticook Lake while renovations are being done to their house to accommodate the little ones.  I've been up to the camp to go swimming over the years and it is a perfectly traditional Mainer joint,  in both style and feel.  Doors are always open to family and friends to stop over or stay, swim, chat, drink beer and enjoy each other.  I met various nieces & nephews and family members while drinking coffee at the big communal table.

Then back the farm where Gideon grew up (and we were all staying) to photograph his mother, Mary and her dogs.  Mary is not on the FB, however one of Gideon's friends set up a page for her Irish wolfhound, Surely (my only animal FB friend).   I have stayed at the farm over the years many many many times, and until I started to photograph it for this project (I have also photographed it many times), I didn't realize how important it is to me, how important my friendship with Gideon has been over the years, and with his mom (and late father, Tony).  Their open door policy to friends of Gid, and true desire to share meals and conversations around the warm and inviting kitchen table is something that is hard to put in to words or to photograph.  Mary is a wonderful story teller and writer, and filled me with tales of her great grandmothers journey to Camden in the civil war.  She also reminded me that we met when she and Tony traveled to Hampshire to visit Gideon for parents weekend, and they went around having coffee with all of his friends instead of participating in the college's activities.

And then off to do a studio visit with Gideon up the hill on the property to the "cave" which back in our younger years was the party place.  He did a complete renovation with solar panels and all and now it is his annex studio.  I got to see his awesome new LP paintings, a departure from his giant paintings of the studio but equally as compelling and with his sensibility through and through.

And since none of us were able to take the holiday weekend "off" from work, Joe set up an easel in the pasture to get at least one painting done before his return to Boston.   He said in was the first time he painted in real life as opposed to a from a photograph in ten years.   He called down to us for cobalt blue, a rag and beer so we hopped on the motorcycle and joined him at the top of the hill.

Then back to Gideon and Meghan's house for a family portrait and Gid's famous applewood smoked burgers!

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