Eric Hopkins, in his North Haven studio, has donated one of his paintings for the benefit of the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust. Courtesy Matt Cosby

CAPE ELIZABETH — An original watercolor painting by Maine landscape artist Eric Hopkins will be sold at auction Friday, Aug. 23, to benefit the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust.

“Casco Bay From Back Cove to The Cape,” by Eric Hopkins, will be sold at auction Aug. 23 to benefit the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust. Courtesy Graham Wood

Hopkins, 68, is a North Haven island native. When he was a child, he painted directly onto the first fish that was caught during a family excursion, which catalyzed his career, he explained in a phone interview Wednesday.

Hopkins has since painted colorful, aerial depictions of the Maine coastline for 64 years.

“It’s just this whole sense of awareness of the importance of that private solitude space, even when you’re sharing it with hundreds of people,” Hopkins said. “I’m pretty fortunate to be able to visualize and express some of the amazing of life on this planet.”

Hopkins’ vibrant perspectives capture the intersection of the natural landscape, specifically at the edges of water, land, and air. Growing up on North Haven, Hopkins said, he has always viewed space through pockets of access.

“It’s not just land trusts, but places that have given me spiritual access to the edge where land, water and sky meet,” he said. “A lot of these (preserved areas) are either on the edge of heavy civilization or little islands and pockets of nature that we can have access to. How can you beat that?”

Next Friday, one of Hopkins’ many paintings will go up for auction to benefit the land.

Hopkins’ “Casco Bay from Back Cove to the Cape,” a 22-by-30-inch aerial view of the Casco Bay Islands that he painted in 1995, is valued between $4,000 and $6,000. Its sale at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries in Thomaston will benefit the land trust, with bids starting at $2,000. The auction begins at 11 a.m., either at the gallery or online, where a full catalog is available. Hopkins’ painting is lot No. 1079.

CELT is one of several organizations committed to preserving Maine’s natural landscape, specifically land in Cape Elizabeth.

“(Hopkins) works with several different land trusts and has always been a good supporter,” said Patty Renaud, CELT membership and development manager. “We’re thrilled.”

In July, Hopkins donated a painting to the Georges River Land Trust for its summer fundraiser, and earlier this month donated to Hurricane Island Outward Bound.

“I want to export Maine’s voice, vision and values,” Hopkins said. Donating paintings to benefit local preservation communities emphasizes the importance of natural beauty and directly supports the community, he explained.

Leading up to the auction, CELT exhibited “Casco Bay from Back Cove to the Cape” at the Inn by the Sea and at a community open house and exhibit at Ocean House Gallery & Frame. The one-day exhibit at Ocean House Gallery, which Hopkins attended, also displayed a broader selection of Hopkins’ works, and proceeds from painting sales were shared by the gallery, CELT and the artist.

Earlier this year, CELT also hosted its annual Paint for Preservation fundraiser with auctioneer Kaja Veilleux, who facilitated next week’s auction of Hopkins’ painting in Thomaston.

After a busy summer working with conservation communities across Maine, Hopkins is now packing up his belongings for a three-week road trip across the country. A longtime fan of flying, he said he plans to drive throughout the states and stop at small airports to view the country from the sky.

“It’s the big picture of the planet. I grew up on an island, but when you look at the solar system, there’s nine planets, nine other little islands,” he said. “It’s a sense of microscopic and telescopic.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.