A World of Unique Character and Natural Beauty

Exploring Inspiration--Origins

February 25, 2012      Author : Eric Hopkins and Peter Ralston    Category: Art      0 Comment(s)

For artists Eric Hopkins and Peter Ralston, island exploration by air and sea inspires the soul, bringing beauty and meaning to the experience of their work.  We are thrilled, honored, and humbled to share excerpts of Eric’s writings from 2010 and Peter’s responses - fascinating musings providing joyful insights into how these artist-explorers see, feel, and “re-present” the world of Maine islands:

“. . . I’ve always thought that Eric and I are sort of brothers in a very special visual and experiential way. I know we consider ourselves blessed in the lives we are able to lead, telling stories that we’ve heard with our eyes.”   – Peter Ralston

The happiest, richest times of life have been when I’m outside close to my Mother Nature. I guess it’s the immersion in the moment and the experience of Being Here Now. Alive. Alone. All-one. It’s pretty basic. I soak it in—absorb it into every cell in my body and still I want to express the feelings—capture and hold on to the experience.

To which I add “Amen!” There’s very little in my life, family aside, which takes me into the state I enter when I am out with my camera, my mind and eye utterly open. It’s very, very intense and, at the same time, a very calming state of mind for me.

However, I feel like I am doubly blessed here on the coast of Maine, my adopted home of thirty some years, because my exploration, my creative odyssey, also focuses (pun intended) on people. Eric is “of” Maine, he’s been here all his life, whereas I am from away, and I think that accounts for the duality in my work. While I love being completely alone and away from all others as I am working in the field or from the boat, I equally love getting up close and personal with the people who give this great coast its defining character. I am powerfully drawn to the men, women and children of the working coastal and island communities in which I have worked over three decades. Above all, I hope to honestly reflect the stories I see, and, in some cases, join.

Summer Island with Cove and Roses -- by Eric Hopkins

I have this constantly recurring fascination with the surface water patterns and what causes them—how they’re formed. I can’t help it. I want to know WHY? Why does the sky appear blue so often and why and how is some of that blue reflected in the water surface and why and how the smoother areas reflect the pinks and oranges. In one smooth area it was almost a bright, neon yellow-green. What causes those smooth areas of curving currents against the slightly textured rippled water? I’ve noticed it for decades—been aware of active and passive wind patterns on the water, but these flowing smooth areas befuddle me. I’m sure it has something to do with the underwater topography, the incoming and outgoing tides and the mixing of dissimilar water temperatures and salinity levels. All those questions most likely can be answered by analytical scientific thought. I usually answer by saying, “Wow! Look at that!” Then I draw or paint the patterns.

I think what excites me most is the awareness of life processes happening right in front of my eyes. I have this great perch on the world of daily occurring natural phenomena. I want to observe, explain, and express my sense of wonder of LIFE on many levels.

Light -- by Peter Ralston

My mother tells me that my first word, ever, was “light.” To this day, light, in and of itself, fascinates me, draws me in, and speaks to me. And I love stories, both as teller and recipient. Photography, the word, means writing in light . . . and that’s what I’ve done for forty plus years of my life. Life, light . . .

Next Eric and Peter reveal humbling moments, observing rhythms, taking colors home, and more passionate experiences absorbing Maine island character and beauty. –--Maine Island Living



More Eric and Peter at Maine Island Living Gallery Pages

More of Eric Hopkins' painting

More of Peter Ralston's photography


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