Pacers and pencils

Posted by on Oct 15, 2016 in collage, drawing, Illustration, Maine College of Art, pastels, travels | 2 comments

Maine College of Art’s Pace House is a legendary destination for alums and students. With great anticipation, I drove the MECA van with 7 of this year’s senior illustration majors and their fearless leader Mary Anne Lloyd under crisp October skies to Stonington, Maine.


The house is full of art by Stephen Pace and his wife Palmina, whose hats hang in the front hall. Annelise and Gunnar wasted no time in embodying their kindred spirits.


We made lunch and then scattered to scout out the local village and environs. I made a pie to bake later.


Mary Anne put her lasagna in the oven, and brought out supplies for making sketchbooks.


How fulfilling to feast together, dining on Palmina’s ceramic plates.


Stories were shared by a fragrant bonfire under starry skies.


Students made an enormous breakfast the next morning, and then we scattered again to draw. I sat on rocks at the edge of the harbor and drew the incoming tide.


Annelise came along and sketched, too.


I switched to pastels and made a quick study of the nearby fish shack.


We regrouped for lunch where I found Haley drawing nature objects.


Maxwell had done another witty ink drawing for Inktober from the same window where I drew during my previous stay at the Pace House.


Gunnar made a slew of tasty tacos for everyone, and there was more time for drawing or ambling about. I followed Moo, Heidi, and Cody through the woods to a serene reservoir.


Later I found a perch by myself to draw the pond up the road, using one of the handy-dandy drawing boards Mary Anne gave to each of us.


By 5:30 we all piled in the van again in search of the setting sun.


We got there just in time for that golden October light.



The woodstove was lit, and another delicious meal was served.


We hung out in the toasty living room, and shared what we drew that day. Better than any crit, I tell you!


Gunnar had spent the day painting with materials he found in the barn, so we went there for a look.


The boys got another fire crackling and the night was still young.


Before we left in the morning to return to school, everyone signed the guest book, where I found this collage by Nancy Gibson Nash from last summer. It beautifully sums up the love for this amazing place!


Indeed, thank you Maine College of Art and the Paces. What a legacy you have generously shared that sparks the souls of so many. Thanks to Department Chair Mary Anne Lloyd for all the planning, art supplies, and food!!!

I’m also grateful to MECA grads Liz Long and Hannah Rosegren, who filled in for my class of junior majors while I was away. I’m honored to know such fine students, both in the classroom and on the road.



  1. This is amazing!!

  2. What a special place and memorable way to spend a few days!

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