I had been longing to visit the Winslow Homer Studio since it first opened in 2012. Located on Prouts Neck in Scarborough, Maine the property sits high above the Atlantic Ocean. To visit the studio, one must register with the Portland Museum of Art, and take a small luxury van to the site.
When we arrived at the studio the wind was severe, flipping umbrellas inside out. The rain was cold, hard, and bone chilling, a typical inclement New England day. The sound and smell of the ocean seemed to overwhelm the group as we exited the bus. It was easy to imagine Homer feeling inspired by similar weather and painting some of his more famous works, such as Weatherbeaten, at this very place.
The studio itself is a peculiar building. A former carriage house, with no visible front door, painted in dark green and brown. Homer spent time at this studio from 1883 to 1910. Because he came to this site to work and only work, he often kept to himself, and thus was nicknamed the hermit of Prouts Neck. A closer look at the wooden beams inside the building reveal quotations and notes from Homer himself. Our tour guide did an excellent job of describing the life and work of the famous painter. Highlighting his affluent background and supportive family, she noted, he was never a starving artist. His love of the sea and the people who braved it, is evident in his impressive body of work. After touring the home, a few of us carefully wandered to the rocky coastline and admired the view.
Thoroughly soaked and chilled, we returned to Portland and popped in for lunch at Eventide Oyster Co. After a bowl of the red curry seafood stew, I was instantly warmed and satisfied. If you have the luxury of eating here, don’t skip the whoopie pie dessert! A true Maine delicacy.