CAPE ELIZABETH – The sun beat down on Ted Smith as he sat perched in front of his canvas early Sunday afternoon at Pond Cove.

“It’s getting to the time of day where my umbrella is doing me no good,” Smith said. “It’s been hard in the heat. I should have brought my swim trunks.”

Smith was one of 29 artists participating in the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust’s third annual Paint for Preservation event.

The fundraiser was highlighted by a Wet Paint Reception and Auction on Sunday night to raise money for the land trust’s Saving Cape’s Great Places initiative.

Pond Cove on Shore Road is arguably one of the most painted and photographed scenes in the area. Smith, of Cape Elizabeth, said he chose to paint Pond Cove for its dramatic surf and rocky coastline. He said the best times to paint are early in the morning or late afternoon.

“I was kind of hoping for somewhat of a foggy morning,” Smith said. “When I started this, it was a completely different scene. The light was different. The tide has gone out considerably.

“I’m trying to remember more of what it was this morning. The light was much more dramatic than what it is now.”

Other artists participating in the event include Lois Strickland of Pownal, who painted a brook in Robinson Woods. Berri Kramer, founder and president of Heartwood College of Art in Kennebunk, painted the Old Farm at 1148 Sawyer Road. Mike Marks of Portland painted a scene at Two Lights State Park.

The public was invited to observe the artists painting on site at designated public and private locations chosen to highlight Cape Elizabeth’s natural beauty.

Some said they had trouble finding the artists because the areas where they painted were off the beaten path or on private land.

Deborah Keyes of Portland visited some of the artists on Sunday.

“I think it’s really incredible,” Keyes said. “The artists we have found have been so willing to talk to us and answer questions. Finding them is a little like playing ‘Where’s Waldo.’“

“We’ll track them down,” said Keyes’ friend Patricia Scott of Falmouth.

“I like this. We’ve found places I have never been before that I probably would not have explored if I didn’t have a good reason to go do so. Looking for the artists has definitely been fun.”

More than 300 people were expected to attend the art auction Sunday night. The artists receive half of the proceeds of the sale of their work.

The rest of the revenue will benefit the Saving Cape’s Great Places initiative, which furthers the land trust’s mission to preserve and provide stewardship for land.

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at:

[email protected]