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Painted Buoys at Marriner’s

I was mulling over what to do as a giftie for my Frayed Edges friends, when Mom and I ended up at my favorite diner for lunch:  Marriner’s.  It has been a fixture on Main Street in downtown Camden (all two blocks of downtown) since 1942 (isn’t that cool!).  Here’s the menu:

Marriners menu

If the waitress and I guessed the spelling correctly, the artist who did the artwork inside and outside the restaurant and responsible for some of the cool design elements is Jens Johansen (alas I have no further info).  That includes the graphics on the menu (which also appear on the staff’s shirts).  Well, he did the coolest thing… painted buoys (as in the things that are attached to the rope that is attached to the lobster trap)!  Here is one from the front part of the restaurant:

Buoy–up front

And here are some photos of other cool things… from old photos, to paintings by Jens based on old photos, starting with the Galley (kitchen) sign:

The galley

Here’s a shot of the harbor from the back of the restaurant; before the fire in the kitchen a few years back, the kitchen was across the back of the building.  When they renovated after the fire (the restaurant was closed for the first time in 40 years!  for several months as they rebuilt), they moved the kitchen and opened up booths toward the back and added a deck (heavenly in summer) with a view of the harbor:

Harbor view

Here’s a photo from the days of yore when the schooners actually carried merchandise, not just tourists in summer:

Old schooner in the harbor

Here’s another view of the harbor, back towards where the library now stands (well, I think that’s what it is):

Another old photo

And a painting by Jens based on an old photo.  Loved how he made the plywood ship’s wheel “frame” for it!

Jens’ painting

Here is another of Jens’ buoys:

Buoy over back benches

And this view of the back side of the Main St. Buildings and the falls will give you an idea of what he was painting–the one in the center with the peaked roof is Marriner’s, the one with the outside narrow deck:

Back view of Main St. bldgs, falls

And more of the buoys over the booths at the rear of the restaurant (can you tell I LOVED them?!)–this one with lobster boat:

Buoy with lobster boat

And yet another, with a rigged sailing ship:

Buoy with sailboat

SO…… my painting skills aren’t equal to his.  And I was plumb out of fresh ideas, so I swiped from a triptych I painted on canvas-covered boards last year or the year before and went for snowy valley and snug houses…’s the five I showed you before (in the post about the Frayed Edges, Dec. 2008)–since I was short on time, I used floats instead of buoys, and didn’t have time to buy fake greens to decorate….

Sarah’s buoys

And here’s mine, which is hanging  on the antique brass ladels my dad bought in Spain in the late 50s (when I was a toddler!):

My float with ladels

And a close-up (yes…my painting is…ummm….rudimentary?):

Sarah’s float

I’d like to buy some mistletoe next year to tuck in the knot at the bottom and use it as a kissing ball!  And,  I need to add a ribbon or something at the top… if you’re not careful the rope can come out the bottom and it’s a bear to get the folded end through the middle…. I also bought two buoys proper, and Eli and I will paint them for next year…..

Happy mistletoe everyone!

4 Responses to “Painted Buoys at Marriner’s”

  1. Gari Says:

    I can’t believe you are already working on next year. My DH and I spend three days in Camden several years ago and loved it. If only Maine didn’t have such cold winters, I would love to live there, too.

  2. Janet Says:

    Thank you for the local pictures – we spent a week on one of the schooners this summer. I loved walking around Camden, and hope to come back again.

  3. Bonnie Says:

    I know this place well. We make a yearly trek to Maine every year. We always stop in Camden on our way to Acadia National Park. What a beautiful town. We love just sitting in the park that overlooks the harbor.

  4. Cathi Says:

    Hi Sarah-I happened upon your blog under painted buoys-I also paint buoys-a different style.I enjoyed your pics of painted buoys-they are fun to look at!I was wondering where you get the round(oval) shaped ones-since I paint people on them-I would like to try this shape.Come visit my site too!-Cathi Doherty