My classmates and I ferried over to North Haven, Maine, an island with a population of under 400 residents. Eric Hopkins lives and paints on this sanctuary that is accessed three times daily from the mainland. An old black Jeep was waiting, keys on the dash, to roll along rocky gravel roads to Eric’s home.
Eric has three buildings on a beautiful piece of land by the water. The calm breaking of waves can be heard from his yard. Red, blue and yellow lobster traps dot the bay. Eric’s sleeping cabin has no electricity because he prefers to avoid distractions that may impact his sleep. His studio is open and colorful. Finally, his home, not much larger than his studio has a wood fireplace at its center and a second creative space upstairs.
Eric, dressed in jeans and a flannel, flattened tall grass to show me all corners of his property. I was prepared with tall socks and tick spray while he opted to go barefoot. He received a call on his flip phone and mounted his picnic table to achieve better reception, We shared a mutual love for tea, agreeing that coffee just makes you too jittery and unable to focus.
Leaving his house I felt full of whimsy. Eric has established his life in a way that feels right to him. He made a voyage to the mainland with us and somehow managed to acquire a grocery truck. Local artist and produce delivery man. He is living his best life, and it's contagious.