Corinne McIntyre: Painting in plein air

Wed, 07/10/2019 - 7:45am

Corinne McIntyre has owned Ocean Point Studio since 1992. Originally from Massachusetts, she came to Maine with her husband Fred. They honeymooned in a cottage on Grimes Cove and Corinne never wanted to leave. Some four years later, they were back for good. They bought a piece of land on Van Horn Road, built a post-and-beam house, then a studio, and finally her gallery.

McIntyre had studied at the Art Institute of Boston (formerly The School of Practical Art). For many years afterward, she worked as an illustrator, first as a technical illustrator at MIT and then as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer for a Fortune 500 company. But oil paint and nature truly called her. She quit commercial illustration and became a full-time professional artist. For the past 27 years, she has divided her time between painting and welcoming visitors to her gallery.

Working plein air is her quiet passion. “Just going out there, on the rocks, getting so involved, so focused … you lose all sense of time. It’s heaven on earth.”

Ten years ago she was at an opening with Roger Milinowski and Ron and Monique Parry when Ron Parry suggested that instead of always painting alone, they should go out every Wednesday morning and paint together. So began the Plein Air Painters of Maine (PAPME). Today, PAPME has 600 members in 10 chapters throughout the state. Each chapter meets once a week. There are no fees, rules, president, or treasurer, just fellow artists who like to get together and paint outside.

The Mid-Coast Chapter still meets on Wednesday mornings and for many years McIntyre was the organizer but she handed over the reins last year.

“It was too much and I was holding the group back. We were never going off the peninsula because I only like to paint here,” she said with a smile.

Still an active member, she continues to paint outdoors at least two or three times a week and paints every day — plein air, in the studio, or tweaking an almost-finished painting. Working almost exclusively in oils, she does enjoy sketching. “At night, if I’m bored, I’ll put on C-Span. I mute the sound and sketch.”

Most afternoons you’ll find McIntyre in her gallery. If she’s not there when you arrive, she’ll be right over from her home next door. She still loves the gallery. “People come in and share their stories. When they leave, they feel good and so do I. I’m a lucky woman.”

Ocean Point Studio is at 130 Van Horn Road, East Boothbay, and is open most afternoons, year round.