A new documentary about the legendary painter tells the story of a remarkable artist who also was just a regular guy.
By BOB KEYES, Staff Writer
August 30, 2009
ADDISON — It’s easy to understand why the painter John Marin was so smitten with the Down East coast.
After spending many years renting homes and staying at boarding houses from Portland to Stonington, Marin finally settled on a lonely section of the coast, far beyond the bustle of the city or the quiet of Deer Isle.
Marin, who came to Maine nearly every summer from his New Jersey home with wife and child in tow, rented a home in the Cape Split section of Addison in the summer of 1933 and returned the following year. But this time, he stayed at a cottage overlooking Pleasant Bay that he had purchased.
It would become his professional and personal touchstone, and a source of joy, until he died in 1953 at age 82.
Just outside his windows, the sea washed in around the glacial remains. Beyond the rocks, a series of islands lay before him, providing a stunning visual backdrop.
Cape Split offered everything Marin wanted. It was remote and inspirational. It afforded endless opportunities to paint, and also to hunt, fish and get on the water in his boat. Nearby, the Tunk Mountains provided the painter with paths to hike and other scenes to consider.
The cottage – expanded and modernized over the years – is still standing, and on a recent afternoon, filmmaker Michael Maglaras planted himself in an armchair on the porch where Marin painted and sketched.
“Everything I have read about him, everyone I have spoken to who knew Marin, every letter of his that I have read, leave me with two lasting impressions: He was enormously sensitive and intelligent, but he also was a regular guy,” Maglaras said.
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Check out behind the scenes photos.