Medawisla Lodge offers a spectacular location “off the grid” by the shore of Second Roach Pond.

This summer, Monson Arts is partnering with the Appalachian Mountain Club to host two extended weekend workshops at their Medawisla Lodge and Cabins facility at the edge of Maine’s Hundred Mile Wilderness. Canoe as a Studio, taught by Alan Bray will take place from June 20 – June 23. Participants in this drawing and painting workshop will work from the natural surroundings and scenery- even sketching out on the water from a canoe. The second workshop, Nature and Experimental Book Making with Rebecca Goodale will take place June 27 – 30. Participants will learn how to make sketchbooks and artists books that they can fill with their own images, words, and other content inspired by the natural surroundings.

Housing and meals for workshop participants are provided at Medawisla Lodge. Complete details about costs and online registration are available by clicking below:


photo courtesy of Maine Community Foundation

Canoe as a Studio- Painting and Drawing with Alan Bray, June 20-23

In this workshop we will endeavor to burrow beneath “scenery” and discover the structures and forms that comprise the phenomena that we see or think we see in nature. Participants will be encouraged to gather information from the surroundings via collecting, sketches, notes, photos or by whatever means they prefer and then work with this evidence as raw material to build on. This workshop is open to any drawing or water base paint mediums, but you should be able to carry it on your back. There are no studios per se but there are tables and chairs and space to work. One very exciting option that will be available is “the canoe as studio”. Alan has spent many hundreds of hours with a neatly packed studio in a canoe or kayak free from the pestering bugs. This is of course weather dependent but if you are prepared for a little rain it can usually be done successfully. So, prepare for a wilderness experience in a very beautiful part of the North Woods. One should have drawing supplies, some means of working in color, drawing and notepads and suitable paper for your medium. Some basic materials will be available as well. Alan Bray was born in Waterville, Maine, but he grew up in Monson, a small slate-quarrying town set in the northern reaches of the Appalachians. It was here, hiking and camping with liked-minded childhood friends, that he began to exercise his natural inquisitiveness as a tool for building woods-craft. Later, when Bray decided to study art formally, he enrolled in the Art Institute of Boston, where he first felt the appeal of image-making as a way of understanding the world. Three years of studio work revealed the need for a more traditional approach to the discipline of painting, one informed by the broader range of a liberal education, a revelation that prompted Bray to enroll at the University of Southern Maine, from which he graduated in 1971. While this education was in many ways a success – particularly in the way it engendered literacies in fields outside the fine arts – it was nevertheless incomplete: well-prepared now for the next leg of the journey, Bray traveled to Florence to study at Villa Schifanoia Graduate School of Fine Arts.

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Rebecca Goodale

Nature and Experimental Book Making with Rebecca Goodale, June 27-30

We will spend time in the lodge designing and making books- Sketch Books as well as Artist’s Books. These books will be filled with imagery inspired by our daily explorations out of doors. We will make images of the flora and fauna, the lake and the woods, and everything else in the world around us at Medawisla. This workshop will be engaging for anyone at any level of experience. Instructor: Rebecca Goodale creates unique and limited edition books many with sculptural components. Since the year 2000 she has been creating Artist’s Books about Maine’s rare plants and animals. Her books can be found in many institutional collections including the Maine Women Writers Collection at UNE; Bowdoin College Library; Library of Congress; Smithsonian Museum of African Art; Portland Museum of Art; State Art Museum of Hawai’i; The Herron Library at IUPUI, and the Fogg Museum Fine Art Library at Harvard University. She has been teaching part-time for the University of Southern Maine for 4 decades.

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