Fine art photographer Cindy McIntyre of Waldoboro is planning a new career, one that will take her far afield: she will be returning to Big Bend National Park, Texas, as a seasonal ranger for the National Park Service and plans to add a summer park to her schedule.

Before she goes, McIntyre hopes to find homes for her hand-painted original photographs, especially the large framed pieces, and she has reduced the prices of her entire inventory. McIntyre is a founding member of the Rockland Art Market, which meets Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Sept. 30 at Mildred Merrill Park, Main Street across from the Time Out Pub.

More than 25 years ago, McIntyre began hand-painting the black-and-white photographs she made in her darkroom. When she moved to Maine in 1993 from Washington state, she set aside her portrait and commercial photography to focus on fine art photography and developed a unique style that was more painterly than photographic.

McIntyre traveled all over the country and at numerous art/craft shows in Maine selling her work and was able to support herself and her son Ryan that way. When the recession, hit she began looking for another way to make a living and supplemented her winter income by working as a health care worker, a Census enumerator and a substitute teacher/ed tech.  Then she took her own advice, which she had given a young wildlife photographer, and applied to the National Park Service for a winter job. To her surprise, she was hired last October.

“It was the best winter I’d ever had,” she said.  “I was in heaven working at Big Bend. It’s a remote park on the Mexican border, and from my window at the Persimmon Gap Entrance Station I could see desert bighorn sheep, coyotes, gray foxes, deer, javelinas and numerous birds that would pose for me on the mesquite tree.”

McIntyre said she also feels she is doing good work for a good agency, and she enjoys helping people appreciate what the park offers, including good birding. She added many new birds to her life list, including the rare Colima warbler. This is not, however, the first time she has worn a uniform. She wore Army fatigues in Germany in 1974 and ’75 and is a Vietnam-era veteran.

McIntyre’s new photography is all digital, and her hand-painted darkroom-made images represent the last of a dying art that began before color film was invented. A large selection of the originals will be available at the Rockland Art Market through the end of the month. She also is available for portraits through Oct. 1. For more information, visit CindyMcIntyre.com.

Rockland Art Market also features wooden bowls, marquetry and furnishings; polymer clay jewelry and sculptures; fine art photography; watercolor and acrylic paintings; paper and fiber arts; turkey calls and sporting accessories; quilts; and funky hats and costume wear.

For information on the market, contact Debra Thuss at dthuss@gwi.net or 236-2449 or 542-1666.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to dernest@villagesoup.com.