Notable Maine Artists
Seventy-eight of the state’s most collectible artists, from emerging to established.
A native of Waterville, Julie Cyr began her artistic career as a musician and singer. Now she paints full-time in her studio in Belfast. Much of what Julie found beautiful growing up in Maine continues to inspire her to bring that beauty to life on canvas and board. An optimist by nature, she sees the light and shapes that arise out of the simple scenes around her, including landscapes, barns, and wildlife.
Tutu and Tookie, oil on wood, 16” x 20” | juliecyr-art.com
Philip Frey is a nationally exhibiting artist best known for his bold paintings of Maine’s coastline, landscape, and working waterfronts. His primary focus is color and light, and the inherent forms found in nature, interiors, and figures. He paints from direct perception, preferring the dynamic quality, richness, and challenges of working from life. In 2016 the University of Maine Museum of Art mounted a solo exhibition of Frey’s work. His work has been highlighted in several books, including Philip Frey: Here and Now (2018) by Daniel Kany and Carl Little, as well as Art of Acadia (2016) and Paintings of Portland (2018), both by brothers Carl Little and David Little, and in numerous publications, including Art New England, Gettysburg Review, Maine Policy Review, and Maine Sunday Telegram. Frey’s work is held in private and corporate collections both nationally and internationally. He studied at Columbus College of Art and Design and graduated with a BFA in painting from Syracuse University in 1990. Frey is a longtime Buddhist practitioner and has traveled to Nepal and India to study with renowned teachers. In 1995 he became involved in the Ellsworth Meditation Center and remains an active member. Frey lives in the downeast area, where he maintains a full-time studio nestled in the woods.
Double Cannon Ball, oil on canvas, 24” x 24” Maine Art Hill | Kennebunk | maine-art.com
Often referred to as a “colorist,” Paul Bonneau makes work that is fresh and directly painted. His simple, concrete shapes and strong contrasts of light and shadow provide the platform for his intensification of local color. His goal is to capitalize on the joy of a place that has made an impression on him and to hold it somewhere between reality and memory. Bonneau was recently juried into the Providence Art Club’s National Open show and the Rocky Neck Art Colony member show, and he received the North Shore Arts Association’s Award for Excellence in New England Impressionist Landscape as well as their Guerrilla Painter Award. He has also earned a first place in impressionism/landscape from the American Art Awards. He has shown in many invitational shows, including the Rotenberg Gallery’s Selected Boston Artists show, as well as shows at the Danforth Museum, the Bedford Art Museum, the Thos. Moser Gallery, Maine College of Art, and Ogunquit Art Association. Bonneau is a seven-time participant in the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust plein air invitational juried auction, as well as the Boothbay and Castine competitions and a number of local charity auctions. He completed independent study at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, the New England School of Art and Design, and the University of Massachusetts.
Through the Dunes, acrylic on canvas, 20” x 24” Wright Gallery | Cape Porpoise thewrightgallery.com
For over 30 years, artist Monica Kelly has created paintings inspired by Maine’s landscape. After an unexpected turn of events in her life, Kelly began to see dramatic changes and unfamiliar imagery appearing in her paintings. Her most recent work reflects a period of untethered exploration. Kelly’s sense of liberation on so many fronts also came with feelings of isolation and fear, just as many artists speak of the loneliness of the creative process. The following quote from Edith Wharton’s The Fullness of Life deeply resonates with Kelly: “I have sometimes thought that a woman’s nature is like a great house full of rooms: there is the hall, through with everyone passes in going in and out; the drawing room, where one receives formal visits; the sitting room, where the members of the family come and go as they list; but beyond that, far beyond, are other rooms, the handles of whose doors perhaps are never turned; no one knows the way to them, no one know whither they lead; and in the innermost room, the holy of holies, the soul sits alone and waits for a footstep that never comes.”
What Remains Behind, oil on panel, 12” x 24” | monicakellyart.com
David Jacobson’s handblown and kiln-formed glass pieces feature contemporary designs based on the Venetian tradition. Jacobson makes brightly colored functional objects, such as bowls, glasses, vases, and platters, and also sculptural forms. “I employ contemporary colors with classical forms to create a unique expression in each piece,” he says. “Texture and vibrant color combinations are vital; my pieces are meant to be touched and explored as well as viewed. For me, making glass is an honor.” His work may be found in major collections, galleries, and shops around the country.
Calamari, blown glass, 10” x 6” x 4” Maine Art Hill | Kennebunk | maine-art.com
For 40 years, independent artist John Bryan has been creating original designs by hand with the use of ancient chisels. There aren’t a lot of full-time woodcarvers left in the world, as it’s incredibly demanding work; the medium regularly presents unique challenges and limitations. Bryan has carved a broad spectrum of work, ranging from mantelpieces to entryways, sculptures, and bas-relief hearth and wall panels. He has also published ten bronzes from some of his favorite carvings. In the absence of a painter’s color palette, strong form and good composition have been paramount to the success of his work. Cow is carved from a rare European linden tree that was planted on a Falmouth Foreside estate in 1880 by Frederick Law Olmsted; the tree fell in December 2017. The nonindigenous tree was the largest of its type in the United States. European linden is a superb carving wood that was commonly used throughout England and Europe during the carving renaissance in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. This Olmsted linden was a gnarly old goat, and had surrendered much of itself to bugs and rot over time. The figure in Cow is demonstrative of a very long life, well lived.
Cow, European linden, 18” x 6” x 5” | bryanart.com
Artist Jillian Herrigel’s work reflects her intuitive reaction to a scene or idea. Her reaction involves combining color, shape, and line through a process that she considers to be somewhat inexplicable. Inspiration for her paintings can be anything from the mundane to the beautiful, with results that allow the viewer to form his or her own interpretation of or reaction to—not every creation connects to its original idea, and different concepts and representations often emerge. If Herrigel had to describe her work in two words, she says, she would call it “imaginative realism.”
Gathering of Dinghys, watercolor and collage, 18” x 25” Centre Street Arts Gallery | Bath | centrestartsgalleryllc.com
Harold Barnard’s work stretches across contemporary artistic styles: abstracts brim with color, surreal skies envelop cities, hidden faces peer out unexpectedly from kaleidoscopic dreamscapes. Woven into larger works, often as a painting within a painting, are colorful representations of the natural world—breaking ocean waves, birds in flight, migrating fish—pulled from the roots of the artist’s experience exploring, hunting, and fishing in the woods and waters of downeast Maine. “As a boy, I loved being in and around water. Whether ice fishing at 20 below, dragging streamers across Grand Lake, or thrashing through heavy woods to that hidden beaver dam, my adventures were varied and still fill my heart much in the same, warm way painting does,” says Barnard. “I like the feelings, the freedom, and places my creative pull takes me.”
Last Legs, oil on canvas, 48” x 36” One See Studio | Eliot | oneseestudio.com
While Tim Sappington lives in the White Mountains of northern New Hampshire, he has painted along the seacoast of Maine since 1963 when his family took a trip to Monhegan Island. He was 14 years old when he made one of his first oil paintings, which depicted a mass of lobster buoys hanging beside a shed. He has since returned several times with his wife, Martha, to paint dozens of oils and watercolors of virtually every nook and cranny of the island. Most of his current work has been centered on the coast of Cape Elizabeth at Fort Williams, Two Lights State Park, and Kettle Cove. Sappington has executed two major pieces depicting the rock mass adjacent to Portland Head Light: the first, a tranquil but misty version, and a second, more dramatic one in stormy weather. His work attempts to convey the power, mystery, and beauty of the ever-changing Maine seascape.
Stormy Sea at Portland Head Light, oil on canvas, 36” x 48” Portland Art Gallery | Portland | portlandartgallery.com timsappington.com
Janis Sanders attempts to put his love of the outdoors into a tangible, visceral form through oil paint. He adores the buttery feel and spreading quality of oil paint—particularly on wood panel. The smoothness of paint application on wood allows him to express and to translate, as spontaneously and directly as possible, the essence of a place. Whether a painting is done en plein air and reaches for the overall mood and setting of a location or is a larger, studied studio work that strives to convey an interpretation of a specific moment in an everchanging atmosphere, Sanders’s objective is to portray a timely yet timeless quality of such places. In the twenty-first century, with his relatively small personal history of beliefs and experiences, he says, he attempts, for a brief moment in time to connect to the vast play of light and shadow that flows across the enormous expanse of our universe, and is humbled at the vast spirituality of Nature, of a place. Sanders paints expressively and passionately, vigorously and muscularly—applying paint in large gestures with a palette knife, blending only minimally to keep the freshness of the impression and expression from that one moment. For Sanders, there is tremendous, deep joy in the entire process.
Island Shoreline, oil on panel, 24” x 24” Maine Art Hill | Kennebunk | maine-art.com Camden Falls Gallery | Camden | camdenfallsgallery.com
Rhonda Pearle loves to be painting on a giant canvas with big, fat, smudgy oil sticks. Her paintings are textural, moody, fluid, and bright. She wants to turn the world of the canvas into a world of swimming color. She has been painting for many years now, and after trying to capture reality on the canvas, she realized that she wants to make the canvas her own reality, the way she wants the world to be. Although sometimes it’s nice to use the canvas to express darker feelings, she says, she tends to escape through her canvases to a happier place. Having used the computer as a tool for years as a graphic designer, she now escapes to a painting studio, where she uses hands-on painting tools and has the smell of paint surrounding her. She has realized that this is where she wants to be.
Proclamation, oil and acrylic on canvas, 48” x 35” Bridge Gallery | Portland | bridgegallerymaine.com
Almost 20 years of living on a small island has focused David Sears’s art on what is close and observable: the fragility of island life and the beauty of a unique bio-community. “If you commit to a specific locale, watch it closely and learn the questions to ask, there is much such a place can teach,” says Sears ,a self-taught artist whose work has evolved over years of observation, experimentation, and hard work. He currently uses wood, metal, acrylic paint, and watercolor in several styles, techniques, and media to record life on the outer edge of Penobscot Bay and mainland riparian communities. His current series of work involves birds and fish carved from cedar and painted with metal and acrylic paint. They reflect the various styles employed by Western/European and Native American/Aboriginal artists and cultures to depict their native animals.
Condon Cove, acrylic on paperboard, 18” x 28” Artemis Gallery | Northeast Harbor |
Rick Hamilton’s main motivation behind his work is making connections with people. He loves to talk about his work and hear how it may affect someone. He is a self-taught artist who uses wooden panels that he puts together himself. Hamilton applies multiple layers of paint and uses sanders, scrapers, and heat to create textures. He doesn’t paint from photographs or models—all of the images are from his head. He may be having a conversation with someone and hear a saying or sentence that inspires a painting, he says, or he hears a line in a song that puts an idea in his head.
Just the Two of Us, acrylic on panel, 48” x 24” Maine Art Hill | Kennebunk | maine-art.com
Traditional scientific illustration is a disappearing art, but it has a relevance and an aesthetic that are as important as any. Close observation and careful documentation of natural-history subjects bring us closer to a world that is often eclipsed by the surface of water or a canopy of trees—too often obfuscated by the pavement beneath our feet or the screen before our eyes. While artist Karen Talbot knows how to paint a background and place subjects in a scene, more often than not she chooses to hold herself to a centuries-old standard: to accurately render specimens in a manner whereby the proper number of scales along the lateral line is more important than the aesthetic of the finished piece. When Talbot gets it right, the beauty and artistry she doggedly chases in her use of various media reflects the beauty of the natural world from which she draws her inspiration. By appreciating such beauty in art, she hopes the viewer of her works might be challenged to look more closely at the natural world—to ask questions, to wonder, and ultimately to conserve that which they have seen through a new lens.
Gulf of Maine Bluefin Tuna, acrylic on panel, 24” x 48” | karentalbotart.com
Susan Mathias works in many different styles and media—oils, acrylics, watercolors, pen and ink, and mixed media. She is inspired by animals, the great outdoors, and the human face. She earned a BFA from the University of Dayton in 1987 and worked as a graphic designer for over 20 years before making painting and illustrating her primary focus. Her paintings have been exhibited in Maine and Ohio galleries. Mathias has lived in many regions of Maine but now enjoys living in Millinocket, in the shadow of Mount Katahdin and on the edge of Maine’s vast northern forest. She is currently drawing inspiration from Katahdin and the mighty pine tree that is such an integral part of the history of this former mill town.
Mighty Pine, oil on board, 12” x 8” | susanmathias.com
Exploring simple form, color, and texture, Mary Bourke seeks to find a balance between the figure and the landscape. Each painting is an attempt to express her connection to the piece of earth she inhabits. “With each finished painting simultaneously comes a sense of hope and longing for this place,” says Bourke. “Time seems suspended, and I am young, I am old, and I am home in Maine.”
Fishing, acrylic on birch panel, 48” x 36” Greenhut Galleries | Portland | greenhutgalleries.com
David Morgan’s creative journey has had many curious transmutations. It began with photography, back when it was still done with silver and light (but in the dark). It’s gone on to include sifting through earth and time as an archaeologist, many years of working with wood—from house framing to hand-carved furniture, and then working with living trees and ecosystems as a practitioner of ecological restoration. Now it’s circled back to visual art, but still with a connection to wood and trees. “I love the alchemy of printmaking,” says Morgan. “It transmutes a visual idea through the crucibles of drawing, carving, inking, and printing into a finished image that holds some surprises for its maker, and hopefully some delight for its viewer.” The first prints Morgan made grew out of his work as an archaeologist in England and his fascination with medieval art. He became entranced in a whole new way once it got more personal, and he realized he was almost trying to bring to life people he had met in his imagination somewhere in the dusty past. However, since becoming a full-time printmaker a few years ago, Morgan says, he also spends more time in the here and now.
Into the Wind, woodcut print, 18” x 71⁄2” Green Lion Gallery | Bath | greenlionart.com | merrymeetingpress.com
Sandy Conlogue is inspired by the spirit of place. Her passion is to explore and share her experiences of places that are very special to her. It could be as near as her garden or a local beach or as far as Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, New York City, the Southwest, France, or Italy. Conlogue’s medium is acrylic paint, with which she depicts landscapes, seascapes, streetscapes, interiors, and still lifes. She loves bold colors and deep texture. She likes to begin with a strong red underpainting that will partly show through in the finished painting. She sketches her composition directly onto this unique underpainting with a burnt sienna paint and then adds her vivid reds, oranges, greens, yellows, and blues.
Lily Pads, acrylics on canvas, 30” x 30” | sandyconlogue.com
William Crosby’s paintings are a confluence of the real and the abstract. Accomplished in the studio after firsthand experiences in the natural environment, they are expressionistic impressions of the landscapes of coastal Maine, Katahdin, Cape Cod, the Low Country of South Carolina, the Adirondacks, and Alaska. Open to interpretation, bold brushstrokes of energetic and spontaneous compositions play against open and understated areas. Working in various sizes, including triptych, several canvases are painted at one time, providing a fresh and varied approach to a composition. Crosby is a retired professor of art and an active painter and photographer.
Morning Moods, acrylic on canvas, 48” x 36” Portland Art Gallery | Portland | portlandartgallery.com Harbor Square Gallery | Rockland | harborsquaregallery.com wmc-art.com
Tina Ingraham has been painting for more than 40 years. Her series include Women in Places (1986–2010), The Transformative Object (1997–2004), and Dune Evolution (2010–2017). She has had solo shows in Germany, Italy, and New York City as well as
in Portland. Ingraham received a BS in design from University of Cincinnati and an MFA in painting from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, where she received the Charles Shaw Memorial Award for Scholarship and Art. She has taught at Bowdoin College, Maine College of Art, International School of Art in Italy, Brooklyn College of CUNY, and Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. She has received grants and fellowships from the Maine Arts Commission and the Guggenheim, Pollock-Krasner, and Sally and Milton Avery Arts foundations. Now working from her studio in Bath, Ingraham paints from life, focusing on figures and still lifes and the working waterfronts, beaches, and wooded landscapes in the midcoast. She often revisits sites to paint them at different tides, times of day, and seasons. Using a warm tonal palette, she translates each motif—whether a bowl of Rainier cherries or a rooftop view of Munjoy Hill—building a tactile surface on the painting.
BETHANY HARPER WILLIAMS
It’s been over 30 years since Bethany Harper Williams first started spending her summers in Maine, and she continues to be awestruck by the beauty around her. She is especially inspired by the beach—both the calm and energy of the water and the playground it provides to create lasting memories. These memories are unique to each of us but also common to so many. Williams’s work explores this connectivity to collective emotion, questioning what we see, what we remember, and the emotions these evoke. By taking the landscape and simplifying it, her aim is to capture a memory without the details of representation. The expanse of nature, be it the sky, beach, or water, provides an opportunity to abstract the elements through expressive brushstrokes, subtle textures, and simple forms. Layers of unexpected shapes, patterns, and colors create a visual composite of energy and calm, taking the viewer away from the reality of the image and triggering a personal memory, a moment in time. A low horizon line or the playful placement of simple figures brings context to the expressive composition of color and texture. The result is often playful, sometimes whimsical, and always memorable.
Barefoot and Free, oil on canvas, 25” x 25” Maine Art Hill | Kennebunk | maine-art.com
Maine artist Liz Hoag paints forests, paths, and open water. However, according to Hoag, she primarily paints “balance” and “calm.” We’ve all taken a photograph of a sunset over a lake and realized later, when we looked at the photo, that there had been branches in our view. We unwittingly erased them when we looked through the lens. But they’re there: part of the landscape that gives depth and frames the beauty. They could be considered an integral part of the beauty. When we walk in the woods, we think, “this is so peaceful,” and look around at the “quiet.” The light sifting through the trees, the colors of early morning or late afternoon, the cool blues and browns of the path all come together to give us that peace. At any time of day, even at midday with the bright light washing away some of the color, the natural balance of the trees and branches still creates calm. Paths, trees, branches, color, light, air, water— whether it’s looking up at trees in our suburban neighborhoods, driving down country highways, or walking trails to the lakes and sea, we have visual peace and quiet within reach. Hoag finds that calm and beauty and translates it into art.
Walk with Justine, acrylic on canvas, 40” x 30” Maine Art Hill | Kennebunk | maine-art.com
Susan deGrandpre discovers with every cut. She’s a direct carver. She shapes toward a sculpture that is not so clear at the beginning. She loves the feeling of freely moving and pounding toward an emerging figure. Her works are about what’s going on for her at the time. Gouges, mallets, stones, and strops—hand-carving tools are satisfying to her. Each of piece is alive, although no longer in tree form. Each piece of wood has its own requirements, and deGrandpre explores slowly. There is a turning point when her hands know what to do without thinking. She shapes by feeling. Her sculptures are meant to be big, soothing stones. People pick them up and caress them. People don’t need vision to see her work.
Rebecca Kinkead’s paintings are based on memories, both personal and borrowed. They are an attempt to explore a collective human experience. Details and features remain ambiguous, inviting the viewer to seek something of themselves in the work. The figure (human and animal) has provided a generous vehicle for color, form, and surface to evolve. Paint and wax are layered, dripped, and scraped to create a sense that the subject is still emerging, still becoming.
Swim Team (White Caps), oil and wax on linen, 54” x 68” Maine Art Hill | Kennebunk | maine-art.com
Artist Jessica Beer is inspired by the water, drawing her influences from the crashing ocean waves and the cold mountain streams that wind narrowly through steep and rocky terrains. The Kennebec River begins its journey in western Maine, quickly coiling through the rough and rugged mountains, meandering through abundant farmlands, and eventually making its way to the coast, where it exits the mainland from Merrymeeting Bay and joins the Atlantic Ocean. River Right is the first in a series of three paintings that tells the story of the Kennebec River as it makes its 170-mile journey through Maine.
River Right, mixed media on canvas, 30” x 30” cargocollective.com/jessicabeer
In January of 2014, a late delivery of fuel shut down the furnace at Elmwood Farm, Amy Lowry’s 200-year-old farmhouse in Camden. The pipes froze, then burst with a fury, soaking the contents and devastating the structure. Her home was soon stripped to its core, leaving little more than a shell of raw studs, windows, and earth. Lowry salvaged what boards she could. Her house had been built using premium wood milled from the King Pine trees that circled the property. Their patina and history fascinated her. She hung them in her studio while she worked on other projects. “There was an ‘aha’ moment later that summer when I began to see images submerged in the chips and scars of the drowned wood: horizons emerged that referenced water,” Lowry says. She highlighted the boards with chalk paint and soon discovered stories within their layers. The resulting series became Red Right Returning, which is a nautical term that signals a safe course into harbor, marked by red buoys. These are narrative landscapes in which the focal point constantly shifts as the protagonist attempts to find refuge from the turmoil that is her life. She battles riptides, fights currents, and even drowns more than once in her quest for safety. Windows offer views but are locked tight; chairs sit vacant on a strange beach, awaiting occupation. “I too was in rough seas, searching for safe harbor,” she says. “I made a decision to live in Maine year- round. I paint full-time and am grateful to be part of Maine’s stellar creative community.”
Anne Heywood is an American realist known for modern and traditional landscapes and still lifes. Her work is appreciated for its subtle yet expressive moods, reflecting Heywood’s New England roots as well as the 12 years she lived in Naples, Italy. Heywood’s subjects ultimately become symbols, while compositions may be rendered “as found,” completely imagined, or a combination of both. “I strive to entice the viewer to go beyond what is seen, to what is felt,” says Heywood. Ultimately, her work is thought provoking and contains more than what a casual glance may first suggest.
The open road reveals images for artist Jean Jack. She sets out with her camera, and an adventurous frame of mind and crisscrosses the country. Often, it is on the fast-moving interstate where she discovers, quite by accident, the perfect simplicity of a farmhouse or a barn. Jack is not interested in the details as much as the abstractions—the way the afternoon sun falls off a slanting roof or how tall, forsaken grass cradles an old structure
or a set of stairs that once led to a seaside path now leads nowhere at all. The challenge is to catch the image with her camera from an inconvenient, backstage angle. America’s heartland influences the bulk of her work; she finds that utilitarian structures that have a weathered history are a more hauntingly lonely expression than the congestion of suburban or city life. Shapes occurring by circumstance intrigue her far more than deliberate artifice.
James Taylor’s prints are dreamlike, mysterious, and open to interpretation—like cloud watching. Each print tells a story. His inspiration comes from travel experiences, literature, nature, and people. For Taylor, making a monoprint is a joyful process. Layers of images, chine-collé with handmade papers, and ink or paint create a final image that is rich in textures and tones. These monoprints offer an opportunity to view the ordinary or familiar with a change in perception.
Jamie Boy, monoprint, 22” x 15” jamesbtaylor.com
Shelley Breton is a self-taught artist who has been painting in and studying oils for over nine years. She has taken advantage of professional workshops and classes to supplement her independent study. She is especially drawn to the effects of early and late-day light on the pristine beauty of Maine as well as figurative work in the landscape. Breton is
a member of Oil Painters of America and has won several local and national awards for her work.
Maelstrom, oil on panel, 12” x 16” shelleybreton.com
For more than 65 years C.R. (Bob) Bryant has followed a lifelong journey to perfect his ability as a portrait painter and maritime artist. Born in the eye of a hurricane in central Florida, he created his first painting at age five. Working primarily with traditional oils on linen, using techniques of the old masters learned over many years of study, he has become a master of realism. He has also perfected the rare and unusual technique of painting on copper, revered by early Dutch and Flemish painters as the perfect ground for oils. Known for his ability to paint water, Bryant also has a working knowledge of sailing ships, and today he is recognized as a leading international marine artist. Relocating to New England in 2018, he will continue to focus on preserving marine history, but classic sailing yachts remain his passion. A key aspect of his work involves the human figure and portraits, which are seldom included in maritime paintings but frequently the subject of his work. His paintings of classic sailing yachts include small yet recognizable portraits of the crew and owners. His is a core artist at the Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport and a cofounder and senior fellow at the Pacific Rim Institute of Marine Artists.
Anyone who has a favorite place or favorite view knows that it can look or “feel” different from day to day—even from hour to hour. Countless factors, from changing weather to our own changing moods, can influence
our perception. As a plein air painter, Matthew Russ
is interested in this elusive quality of the landscape. Although it is common to hear of an artist “capturing” a scene, Russ never presumes to do so. He is content with the chase. Russ always works on-site, welcoming changes as they come and completing each painting in a single session. He then returns multiple times to the same location, developing a series of paintings for each. The different versions in a series underscore the transience of the landscape, which to his mind reveals its true beauty.
As a metal artist and painter, Tom Ferrero centers his practice on sculptural jewelry objects built from silver, gold, copper, and precious gemstones as well as figurative and landscape paintings that have a strong connection to Maine. Metalworking blends his obsession for detail with a versatile material and fascinating technical process. It supports his love of two-dimensional design while providing a vehicle to bring those ideas into a three-dimensional realm. The separate components of a work should capture one’s attention yet not detract from the overall form. Ferrero hopes to create objects that transcend him to become a physical symbol for the creative spirit and a stimulus for imagination. His paintings feature subjects that bridge a division, that are in a state of flux or have unclear boundaries—subjects on the precipice of change or caught in a moment of action. Mystery, drama, and contrast are motivators for this work. He tries to create a push-pull effect, establish a sense of curiosity, and solicit a feeling of wonder. Ferrero’s work has a clear link to Maine, depicting local landscapes and interior spaces populated by friends and colleagues and typically punctuated with bold areas of light and dark values.
Collar of the Chancellor, silver and steel, 17” diameter tomferrerostudio.com
Diane Leonard is a contemporary impressionistic painter whose work has been shown all over the world. Born in Boston, she has been painting for over 40 years. “Late afternoon is my favorite time to paint,” she says. “Whether I am on the beach or painting in my garden, capturing that beautiful, golden light with colors that are enhanced by the warm sun is truly enticing.” Leonard dances when she paints, letting the music guide her heart to create the magic that she feels in her soul. Her impressionistic style has evolved over the years, and she uses a variety of brushes, utensils, and even her fingers to get the paint on the canvas. Her passion to create paintings that make people feel joy and happiness keeps her growing as a painter. Presently, she is working on a video series that teaches people innovative ways of creating art and discovering their creative genius. Her new series, Coming Home, is an endeavor to produce paintings and giclees to honor the military personnel who have served our country. Proceeds from the sales of this series will benefit Disabled American Veterans.
Liz Armstrong’s work falls into a space between realism and graphic interpretation. Her forms are recognizable but have been put through her particular artistic filter. Armstrong’s filter is informed by her early drawing training as well as an extensive background in graphic design. Armstrong is intrigued by color interaction, the use of layered complementary colors to create vibrancy, light study, and how edges of natural elements relate to each other. Emotionally, Armstrong offers the viewer a moment of serenity in a specific place and time of day.
Crow Island, oil on canvas, 16” x 20” lizarmstrongpainting.com
Amelia Qualters is an artist, explorer, and visual storyteller. She has created a series
of self-portraits, photographing herself in worlds that walk the line between reality
and imagination. These images explore her deepest thoughts and feelings from childhood to the present day. Qualters’s artwork comes from a place of personal exploration to find her place in life. Her images expose her deepest thoughts of struggle and happiness
in a fairytale-like setting. She hopes to show others that there is beauty in imagination and encourage them to be confident in themselves.
Down the Rabbit Hole,photography, 13” x 19” ameliaqualters.com
IRENE HARDWICKE OLIVIERI
Irene Hardwicke Olivieri paints about love and relationships and obsessions—parts of life that are often subterranean. Her work explores transformations, where an undeniable need for change is both exciting and enlightening. An ongoing theme in her work is rewilding the heart to inspire deeper connections to wild animals and wild lands. She lives in the Marshall Point Lighthouse lighthouse- keeper’s cottage in Port Clyde and is deeply inspired by living on the edge of the sea, which is full of metaphor and wild beauty.
Unexpected Odyssey, oil on panel, 46” x 60” irenehardwickeolivieri.com
Elizabeth Palmer is a self-taught watercolor artist who occasionally uses acrylics. She paints landscapes and still lifes predominantly, but she will paint anything that catches her fancy, especially if it involves reflections or dramatic lighting. She uses vivid color and intricate design to capture a likeness or evoke a strong emotion. She seeks to elevate even a most ordinary object to the level of the extraordinary through an interplay of colors, or shadow and light. “I want the viewer to see, as I do, that beauty surrounds us at all times,” says Palmer. Her paintings are in private collections throughout the United States, and a giclee print of Kayaks hangs in Children’s Hospital of Boston. She is also a member of the Saltwater Artists Gallery in New Harbor and exhibits at River Arts in Damariscotta and the Boothbay Region Art Foundation.
Living near New England’s wonderfully diverse coast, Whitney Heavey strives to create paintings that reflect those stunning colors that pop up quickly as well as the emotions
that they inspire. As a child, her grandmother, also an artist, took Heavey for beach walks where she taught her to experience and notice nature. In her studio, Heavey is able to paint large and expressive oil paintings while experimenting with the emotional impact of light, color, and application of paint. In addition to photos, sketches, and writings, she also
uses videos in order to return to the moment in time that initially inspired her. She strives to paint the landscape as it made her feel, not necessarily how it looked. Heavey’s focus is primarily on her muse: the ocean and its coast. She wants to bring the viewer to a place in their own memory when they felt strength, relief, calm, joy, introspection, or peace.
SUSAN PARISH ADAM
Susan Parish Adam sees the world around her in two dimensions made of shapes and colors. Living on the neck at the end of a large peninsula, she has painted the same scenes countless times, never tiring of them. Her inspiration comes from her daily walks and classic summer activities. She enjoys painting, from photographs, very specific people
and places in a nonspecific way. Adam’s style and attention to detail changes much like the color and light of the various seasons. From portraiture to minimalism, her work is a journey, and she’s grateful to be along for the ride. Having spent her first 30 years as a summer resident of Castine, Adam has always felt pulled to the area. For the past 20 years, she and her husband, also a painter, have lived there full-time and run a seasonal gallery. Having traveled and painted extensively, they prefer the peaceful daily routine of life on the quiet peninsula.
Yacht Club Dinner, oil on canvas, 30” x 40”Adam Gallery | Castine | adamgalleryonline.com
Craig Mooney makes paintings of dramatic moments and heightened emotionality that are known for being expansive and expressive. Although he is a representational painter, Mooney incorporates myriad of abstract qualities throughout his paintings. In his figurative work, Mooney romanticizes his subjects and presents them in an atmospheric lens that is best described as dreamlike. His paintings appear to be capturing a moment suspended in time. While his work feels familiar, it is not specific. All paintings are the product of his imagination. Born and raised in the heart of midtown Manhattan, Mooney traces his roots in art back to his youth. His father, a physician and amateur artist, taught him how to create oil paintings from discarded art supplies found on the city streets. To Mooney, the city was an endless source of inspiration at an early age. Although he would later study art in school, he regards this early exposure as the truest form of training he ever received. From attending sleep away camp in the ’70s to exploring the state as an artist, Mooney has always found Maine to be a source of inspiration. Today, Mooney devotes himself full-time to his art and is represented in galleries throughout the United States and the United Kingdom.
Island Sky, oil on canvas, 40” x 60” Maine Art Hill | Kennebunk | maine-art.com
Andre Benoit’s intent as a abstract assemblist sculptor is to represent the human form
and iconic motifs with repurposed wooden remnants. The components of his constructs are from myriad sources and environments in which the workmanship of hand or machine and exposure to the outdoors or ocean has created contours and patina respectively. These features catch the eye and entertain and maintain the interest of the viewer, as often do the stories of the artist’s acquisition of the requisite wooden material. Benoit’s use of pigment is sparing to prevent it from dominating the overall impression and so as not to obscure the beauty of the surface of the wood. He embraces the concept of wabi- sabi with his intentional use of asymmetry and a somewhat unfinished appearance to capture the spontaneity and enhance the overall impression of his work.
Resting on Oars, wooden assemblage, 42” x 17” x 4” Hopkins Wharf Gallery |
North Haven | 207.867.4444 Tidemark Gallery | Waldoboro | 207.832.5109 andrebenoit-art.com
Robin Swennes is an artist who enjoys pushing color boundaries and expanding her work to include more than one style of painting and many different collections. Her paintings ride the fence between realistic and impressionistic. Her goal is not to recreate an exact, tight, photographic scene, because she believes that paintings should be more relaxing to the eye. Her mood and what she sees around her serves as inspiration for upcoming pieces. She continually applies her creative energies toward other design avenues; she recently designed a house and some furniture for it. Swennes believes that true artists are born with some innate ability that can be expanded and put to use in a broad range of scenarios, whatever the chosen media. She recommends that, when you see a piece you like, you should buy it.
Willa Vennema has been painting the Maine landscape both on-site and from memory for over 30 years. Her muse is the waters, trees, islands, rocks, boats, and shoreline of Swans Island, where she has summered all her life. For most of her painting life, she has used wax-based media, most recently the newly revitalized encaustic medium, which is a mix
of beeswax, damar crystals, and pigment. To create her semi-abstract works, Vennema
uses a variety of materials such as bait bags, lace doilies, and twine to imprint pattens in
the encaustic paint. When these materials are removed, mysterious multilayered backgrounds are revealed. She paints in series format and may explore a theme for many years, as with the Boat series, which features the iconic wooden dories still seen along the Maine coast, and the Island and Ocean series, which has been ongoing for over 20 years. During the summer months, Vennema soaks up the stunning beauty of coastal Maine along the waterways of Merchant Row, Jericho Bay, and Blue Hill Bay. Back in
her Portland studio when the weather cools, she pays homage to Maine’s natural beauty.
Sarah Knock’s interpretations of water reflections are based on a strong interest in patterns, color relationships, and gesture. Her inspiration comes from excursions in her sea kayak along the Maine coast and from seeing reflections while traveling to other parts of the world. Being close to the water’s surface facilitates a unique perspective. She paints indirectly, building up many thin areas of paint and incorporating the process of drawing and redrawing on the canvas, leaving some of these vestiges in the final stage. Knock’s paintings generally take several months to complete. The idea and reality of the inevitability of passing time is omnipresent in her process.
Approaching Goose Island Dock, oil on canvas, 12” x 22” Greenhut Galleries | Portland | greenhutgalleries.com
Ann Sklar takes photographs of landscapes with both distant and nearby perspectives and refers to them often for ideas and inspiration. “Paying close attention to the details and nuances of the landscape is possibly the most important thing I have learned as an artist,” she says. “It has given me an increased appreciation for our ever-changing world.” Sklar has been thinking about the universal qualities of landscapes, those common characteristics that make one feel like they “know” the place and that it speaks to them of something deep and complex, something familiar and yet mysterious. She is interested in the lines, the shapes, and the color variations that repeat in nature and cause an intense personal response, sometimes conscious, sometimes not, but that when painted evoke a strong emotional connection with the viewer.
Doug Caves attended the fine arts program at Mount Wachusett Community College (MWCC), studying art history, painting, drawing, and sculpture and received the school’s Annual Purchase Award for his bronze sculpture Head of Joy in his last year of attendance. He has studied painting and drawing at the Worcester Art Museum and creative writing at Clark University. These days he paints frequently along the southern Maine coast and in the rural hills of central Massachusetts, finishing his larger works in his studio. He currently offers classes and workhops in landscape and still life painting through various educational venues. “I want to make paintings that explore the rich play of light and texture across the New England landscape,” says Caves, “building my canvases in layers of colors that allow for a variety of subtle shifts in mood depending on the light, evoking an essential emotion that draws you in, and offers you a reason to pause.”
Helen Lewis works predominantly with encaustic and cold wax with oil. “Weathered aging brick, peeling paint, and lichen on rocks are intriguing to me,” she says. “I am fascinated with texture, patina, old script, and ephemera that speak of the passage of time.” These elements frequently inspire the layers and marks within her paintings. “My creative process is an extension of my contemplative nature,” Lewis says. “When I paint, there is a stillness and focus that comes. It is out of that place that I create.” Typically, she has an initial plan when starting a painting, but then works to “follow the intuitive nudges within my spirit as patterns form in the wax and pigments react to the blowtorch. I particularly love the luminous qualities and depth that emerge. In essence, I am invited deeper, and I seek to reflect that invitation through the layers of my art.” Ultimately, a quality of peace and serenity are what she most wants to convey in her work. Although a resident of Ohio, Lewis has been coming to coastal Maine on a regular basis for over 35 years. “I feel Maine
pull at my heart all the time,” says Lewis. “It’s such a special place.”
With the eyes of an artist, the words of a poet, and the mind of a scientist, Eric Hopkins has engaged numerous people through his art and with his thoughts about life on this “big blue planet.” He captures the dynamic forces and rhythms of nature in watercolors, oils, blown glass, mixed media, and photography. His vision focuses on the big picture of the natural world, geological and geographical forms, and the exchange of energy between earth, water, and sky. From this intimate study of nature, he has developed a keen awareness of light, form, color, and pattern, which is reflected in all of his work.
Magenta Islands and Water, ink and watercolor on paper, 31” x 39” Portland Art Gallery | Portland | portlandartgallery.com
Yegor Malinovskii was born in Ukraine and raised there until age 19. After living in Texas and Colorado, he made Maine his home in 2008. His fine art photography primarily features Maine landscapes, but he also travels the globe whenever possible, seeking that perfect light and the most unique views. He seeks out compositions that are emotional, dramatic, and yet very personal. When not shooting, Malinovskii spends his days working in the car business, contributing to the local community, and raising three children with his wife, Krystal. “I live my life full of passion and appreciation for my amazing family, adventure, and photography,” he says. Photography allows him to visit some of the most beautiful places in the world and connect with nature in its purest form.
Truly Madly Deeply, photography, available in various sizes yegormalinovskii.com
Artist Kristine Biegel finds inspiration in the natural beauty, the landscapes, and
the people of New England. Her work, self- described as “Whimsical Maine Art,” offers imagery that includes a wide variety of rich colors, layered textures, and playful compositions. Unbound by realism, Biegel creates landscapes that evoke feelings of quiet contentment—she likes to say that viewers must be able to breathe through her artwork.
With a background in printmaking, Biegel has developed a unique method of preparing her canvases allows her to create strong outlines and graphic qualities that she builds upon, layer by layer, often playing with what is realistic and joyful in her colors and textures. Biegel’s works are meant to honor and celebrate the amazing state we all share.
One Love—Blue Door, acrylic on canvas, 16” x 20” kristinebiegelart.com
Andrea Timm believes we are all creative beings no matter what the process, materials, or avenue we have chosen. One of her outlets just happens to be painting. She is drawn to light, luminosity, and the contrast brought on by the light source. In just a matter of seconds, light can transform a figure or a landscape from ordinary to magical. Watercolor
and encaustic painting are both complex, challenging, and unpredictable mediums. To her, they’re also surprising, captivating, and rewarding styles of painting. The layering
of both watercolor and encaustic is what she loves most, figuring out the next step to achieve depth and contrast. She is especially drawn to water—the movement, the stillness, the calming effect, and the “wow factor” it demonstrates in all its different forms. With watercolor she leaves the white of the paper and builds contrast with translucent layers.
Encaustic not only allows Timm to build many layers and create texture but also to embed unique and unexpected objects into the painting for all to explore. Timm’s intention with painting is to capture, remind us of, and bring more beauty into our lives, our homes, our work spaces, and our surroundings.
Before Us, encaustic on birch panel, 8” x 8” andreatimm.com
Neiley Harris is a wife, a mother, an animal lover, and an admirer of nature. As an artist for more than 20 years, she strives to convey her passion and personality through her work. Harris loves to explore Maine in order to find inspiration—her focus is to create art that showcases the beauty surrounding her, as well as unique things that she finds fascinating. Although she is quite serious about her art, she is also aware of the need for humor in everything. Whether through color, subject, or title, she would like to the reach the child in all of us. Every time Harris stands at the easel, she paints with
a hope of making someone smile.
Golden Years, oil on canvas, 36” x 60” neileyharris.com
Thomas Adkins’s paintings spring from a lifelong fascination with the outdoors. This fascination, present even in his earliest memories, has greatly influenced his personal, academic, and professional pursuits and, most significant, his artwork. The moods, mystery, and atmosphere along with the inherent design of nature intrigue Adkins,
and he seeks to unveil and express those qualities in his paintings, trying to document
a specific place and time. What he is looking for is very elusive: that play of light, form, and luminosity, the essence of a particular location. His paintings are characterized by the process of composition using natural and manmade elements to evoke a true sense of place. They are subtle in color and strong in mood. Adkins’s list of awards and honors include first place in Lyme Art Association’s 2016 New England Landscape Invitational, the People’s Choice Award in the association’s New England Landscape 2017 exhibition, and the 2015 People’s Choice Award from the prestigious New Britain Museum of American Art, where he has a painting in the permanent collection.
Things come into being and pass away, leaving only memories behind, and Mariel Duym’s work as an artist is the work of distilling the essence of this ephemeral process into images, which evoke such becoming-and-departing. The making of these pieces is a resolution to her own internal tensions, she says; her mind is often drawn toward the here-and-now of places and people she knows, but on the heels of this pull, just a shadow’s width behind, always follows a mute chorus of the past, its silent voice crying out for inclusion. To appease both urges—to represent the past and the present together—she creates mixed-media landscapes that, in combining the abstract with the naturalistic, look to evoke temporal and spatial depth from the flat surface of a canvas. Duym uses solvents to distort magazines and adds subsequent layers of glazed acrylics to achieve the final composition.
Awakening, collage and acrylic on canvas, 24” x 12” marielduym.com
Several years ago, Jean Kigel developed a style of painting that she likes to call geometric-realism. In this style, somewhat reminiscent of color-field paintings, Kigel first transforms landscapes, seascapes, and villages into shapes, then adds recognizable details. Multiple muses, including Maine’s barrens, pines, coves, and cliffs, impassion her. Each painting becomes a testament to the emotional power that the muse holds for Kigel as an artist.
How we see and remember places we have visited has been Susan Barnes’s focus over the years. By combining photographic elements with oil painting, she seems to give a closer representation of the process of looking. The camera, the segmented snapshot, is often a part of how we remember. Memories of other places we have seen in the past influence what we see in the present. In this way, her paintings are about many places, many times.
The threads that keep us connected to varied layers in life link Jacques Vesery to his work. “Born under the sign of Aquarius, I am always a part of water, sea, and ocean,” he says.
“I have lived above and below the waves that couple me to the spirit in what I create, and there is a vertical line binding sea and sky to my subconscious.” The subconscious is where he stores things that are second nature—color, balance, proportion, attention to detail, and numbers, which are the glue holding all this together. He sees threads everywhere with magnified detail. As Deborah Weisgall wrote in Maine magazine in September
2010: “Jacques Vesery’s objects exist somewhere between utility and fantasy, between the real world and a place where wonder is the purpose of all things. Turner and carver. Sculptor and painter. Craftsman and artist. What Vesery is fits no definition. What he does is this: he fashions wood into tangible marvels, luminous containers for his spirit.”
Nightshades on the Farm (from the Saltwater Farm series), turned/carved/ textured maple, oak, acrylics, oxidized silver leaf, iron, 16” x 10” x 8”
Artist Jeff Bye’s current body of work focuses on capturing the gritty history of the past. His attention gravitates toward older buildings and businesses that have history in their communities and a unique sense of character special to their area. These are often places that Bye has lived in or visited for long periods of time. Sometimes the buildings have been abandoned for decades. Exploring and capturing these spaces has always been exciting and interesting for Bye, and it translates into his work. He is particularly interested in how surfaces patina and change, radiating beautiful rays of color and texture. Spaces that have been abandoned reveal a mood—sometimes it’s a silence and still presence, other times it’s mysterious and ominous—usually, this depends on how natural light filters through these spaces, often creating a new dynamic at different times of day. Bye’s eye is not limited to older factory buildings, theaters, and hotels; he extends this same vision to small- scale mom-and-pop businesses too. Bye’s greatest challenge is to witness and capture these places before they disappear.
Alison Goodwin’s iridescent, bold, and vibrant paintings have delivered a playful exuberance and deep reverence to the Maine art world for 30 years. Having grown up on
the southern Maine coast and now living in Portland and Rockland, Goodwin is influenced by Hundertwasser, Klimt, Matisse, and Calder. Consistently, her work is characterized by saturated, turbulent color and skewed perspectives in compositions of unruly landscapes, expressive interiors, and kinetic villages. Goodwin has also explored several iterations of fishermen-saints. Living among fishermen most of her life, she watches them work from her front porch or kayak. Her portraits canonize them as icons of Maine’s ragged bounty. Goodwin’s paintings show gratitude for the harvesters of the sea and their role in developing our relationship with the natural world. Each of her paintings is built on layers of patterns and geometric designs, which build to create larger constructive elements. Goodwin often explores these elements in graphic charcoal drawings and abstract paintings that amplify these characteristics. Her abstract work thus builds new forms that transfer to successive cycles of paintings.
Ragged Bounty, acrylic paint, oil bar, and oil pastel on wood panel, 24” x 24”
Greenhut Galleries | Portland | greenhutgalleries.me
Kathleen Galligan has been painting representational landscapes for over 30 years, but lately she has been distancing herself from directly connecting to the subject. When the subject is a landscape grounded in realism, Galligan prefers to work from memory, creating imagined spaces, with a few exceptions. By doing so, she is simultaneously freeing herself to explore abstraction and to create new challenges to confront, all while remaining tethered to her informed sense of the natural world.
As a contemporary landscape painter working with oils and encaustics, Julie Houck aspires to convey not only the scene but also the moment and mood—the moment is fleeting, but the painting allows us to live there a bit longer, to linger, to reflect, to contemplate, to enjoy. Houck is inspired by the interplay of light and landscape, which is elusive and ever changing. Painting allows Houck the opportunity to recreate a particularly special moment when land, light, and atmosphere seamlessly fuse.
Reflecting a serendipitous moment in time can be, however, a deceivingly slow and deliberate process. The media she prefers, oils and encaustic, involve applying layers upon layers of paint. Every layer spontaneously changes the piece, evolving over time with a life of its own. This is the element of work that she finds most intriguing. Simultaneously, Houck’s work in oil is influenced by her early classical training, particularly the study of light on form. Each landscape is painted in transparent layers, sometimes up to 40 of them, in order to recreate the subtle play of light on landscape, as well as to control incremental changes in tonality.
NANCY MORGAN BARNES
Painting directly from a source that is continuously in flux is one of Nancy Morgan Barnes’s favorite challenges. This particular painting was started at the Blue Hill Fair during the day, but changed as the pace and energy shifted from day to evening. Plein
air painting places Barnes in the position of both participant and observer as she records the event. At a certain point, a painting takes on its own existence, becoming
the subject matter that guides her.
Marta Spendowska’s Wetland series comes directly from her heart. Her paintings are an extension cord to her yearly travels to Poland. The Baltic Sea is a place of transcending the past. It’s where Spendowska hangs out with her old self, revisiting topics of belonging and lost or gained time; the topics also touch on the parent–daughter relationship. There, Spendowska becomes a child again, visiting the sea that cured her oversensitive body and spirit when she needed it most. Spendowska now lives on the coast of New England, which has become her most cherished medicine. She says the wind, the sand, the water, the ocean—no matter how cold—are like a godmother: nourishing. Touches of gold on Spendowska’s paintings serve as an offering to the godmother, becoming a shimmer of eternal hope.
Peter Walls’s work is the manifestation of the beauty and mystery he finds in his interactions with the natural world in midcoast Maine. Through the process of experimentation with pigments, found materials, color, and texture, his images are built to reveal a narrative of fish, birds, and other living organisms. These ethereal images are creations and composites of his many years of being involved with the decorative arts and his printmaking training. This series is a true marriage of his love of nature, sense of place, and his artistic background.
Ranging from scenes that reference the coast of Maine to the interiors of her childhood house, the subject matter of Rebecca Hayes’s work always seems to come back to her home in the Portland area. While she strives to create images with an authentically local perspective on this vacation destination, she doesn’t consider the actual scene depicted to be paramount when explaining the purpose of her work. Each subject she paints serves as a visual medium to explore various aspects of her personal painting style, which combines techniques from traditional realism with expressive, painterly sensibilities. This mixture of styles has been triggered by an overarching fascination with abstract nature of light and the way it inhabits a space. Through the use of photography as a reference, which she originally utilized to give herself the time to meticulously render detail, she has become intrigued by the patterns that emerge from light when it is forced to sit still, like in shadows and reflections. The environment of Hayes’s life in Maine, both outside and in, provides countless scenes for her to examine the way light influences pattern and color while she maintains a dedication to representational art.
Otty Merrill’s artwork reflects her journey—physically, spiritually, and psychologically. Four decades of art making has given her the enjoyment and foundation that comes from exploring various media, but encaustic painting is her primary love. Her themes express
her experiences, from childhood memories and relationships, to impressions from travel abroad, such as this painting inspired by a Tuscan breastplate. Otty uses photos and sentiment, color and texture, bold strokes and strong color, to create art that tells a story. Although she is surrounded by the magnificent landscape and light of the midcoast, her work is internal in nature, physically and visually. Working in encaustic wax necessitates this, as wax needs to be heated and worked with certain tools and equipment, like a hot griddle. Otty is inside her studio and inside her head during her art-making process. What she has discovered and finds most satisfying is that art is successful when it is genuinely personal. Whether drawn from within or without, it needs to be firsthand and honest. And the viewer gets it, almost every time. Otty has been living and making art in the Tenants Harbor and Portland area for many years.
Tuscan Pride, encaustic monoprint on paper, 14” x 14” ottymerrillart.com
Randy Eckard’s approach to watercolor painting is nontraditional, in that he tries to avoid
the limitations and trappings of traditional watercolor techniques. Although traditional washes are an integral part of the painting process, he relies more on the layering of color with glazing and drybrush (color applied with a brush squeezed almost dry of moisture). Moving between wet and dry on the paper achieves a variety of complementary thick and thin surfaces, which allows for the luminous quality of watercolor with added depth of color and texture. Light plays an essential role in his subjects. It is as if the subtle or dramatic interplay of light and shadow become the subject more than the objects themselves. Light reveals the character, color, and texture of objects, whether manmade or natural. The alternation of lighted and shadowed planes produces powerful repeated patterns and can be an important element of design. The subjects or objects he chooses to paint have always been of paramount importance, especially with their tendency to come unexpectedly. Quiet, patient observation usually reveals the life of a subject, although frequently the focus of Eckard’s initial inspiration will change throughout the course of the painting. Painting titles often offer clues to the experience behind an inspiration.
Artist Marcia Crumley’s paintings honor nature’s “sacred spaces,” celebrating the beauty we all stand to lose. She paints places unspoiled by human presence. Her paintings are inspired by real places, but she transforms them into something more universal through her use of expressive colors and simplified, rearranged shapes. By leaving flashes of the contrasting underpainting visible around the edges of trees and horizons, and throughout the sea and sky, Crumley draws the viewer’s eye into, and around,the landscape. Maine’s beauty has always transfixed her, and her recent move to Cape Elizabeth has led to a new focus on the shifting light, clouds, and weather of coastal Maine.
Beach Diagonals, acrylic on canvas, 16” x 16” marciacrumleyart.com
Artist Kathi Smith’s paintings reflect those places in which she finds herself lost in the act of observation. Smith’s current interest is in the role of the landscape and its development in the sense of one’s self and, when conjured through sensations, how powerful the visual memory of a place can be. She looks for narratives within the landscape and finds them in backyards, abandoned places, and in those in-between spaces that are often overlooked by most of us. Recently, Smith has been painting landscapes relevant to her own personal history, such as her family’s homestead in Nova Scotia, her hometown in western Maine, and Maine’s Great Cranberry Island. Smith finds familiarities in these places, where a particular light or color in the landscape will evoke a memory, which then becomes her subject. Many of Smith’s paintings are started from direct observation and are then brought to the studio, where she continues to work on them. Through this process, her art becomes a blend of both real and remembered worlds. She carries vivid childhood memories of a maritime world, some of which can be found in the underlying narratives of her paintings.
As an artist living on the Maine coast, John Whalley draws and paints still lifes and landscapes that tell his story from a less-visited viewpoint of life. Whalley’s artworks frequently have what he calls “orphaned items” as their subjects—these items fill the shelves of his studio and, he says, have come to reflect an aspect of what “Maine” means to him. A common theme in Whalley’s work is redemption: he saves items from trash bins, flea market tables, the ocean shore, and antique shops and gives new light to man-made objects bearing patinas and the marks of decades of use and abuse. Whalley sees the paradox of beauty found in the humble and broken. He believes in a truth behind the saying, “The best art is made from un-artful things.” To be able to take things regarded as refuse and to reveal their beauty, allowing them to tell their own stories and histories, is very meaningful for the artist. To take the thing that might be regarded as “unlovely” and show its own beauty and dignity is a higher good.
When out on location, Marguerite Lawler likes to observe, to gather information, to organize, and to develop the foundations of her paintings through small studies in oil and gouache. Her subjects are the wooded and watery environments of Maine; her focus is the effect of light on the landscape.What most interests Lawler as a painter is studying the high contrast of shadows and the forms they create. She is not looking to paint the panoramic or infuse romantic sensibilities; rather, she looks to capture the austerity of a moment. In the studio, Lawler’s studies are translated into large oil paintings on panel. She relies on these studies, her visual memory, and her intuition to create representational pieces. Lawler’s visual experiences become the springboard for exploration and discovery, which evolves over time.
SUSAN BARTLETT RICE
Susan Bartlett Rice is most inspired by the simplicity of her everyday life and the space it gives her to create. She’s drawn to the color and compositions she sees in the natural and man-made world and the change of seasons. In New England, if you don’t paint a summer, it’s gone until the next year. The weather, light, and palette constantly change, which keeps Rice on her toes. Waking up to a fresh snow and blue sky motivates her to paint as much as, if not more than, a summer day out on the water. Since change is inevitable, she also likes to capture places before they are gone or made different. She paints from the life she is leading here, seldom venturing far from home and never running out of inspiration.
Rice’s Walpole studio has been open to the public since 2005, and in the past few years
she has shifted from gallery representation to primarily selling her own work. She loves where she lives, and by painting life around her, she has made Maine intrinsic in all her work. Her hope is that her work captures her love for this Maine way of life that is fading but not yet forgotten.
Stacking Traps, oil on canvas, 24” x 24” susanbartlettrice.com
ANN TRAINOR DOMINGUE
Ann Trainor Domingue’s background in graphic design provides an important foundation for her work. Designing strong compositions via on-site sketches and original photos provides the base information for her boldly designed acrylic paintings. These are further developed in sketchbooks with preliminary drawings, playful thumbnail sketches of possible designs, and loosely drawn ideas of how best to rearrange reality into more engaging compositions. Coastal imagery holds the strongest attraction and offers textures, colors, forms, and shapes to consider as input for her landscape structures and nature-inspired art pieces. Small shacks, unending patterns of weather, water and its effects on the landscape, and the hardworking lifestyle and relationships of the people living in fishing communities have each enriched her artistic reflections for many years. Weatherworn, strong, stalwart figures and structures are juxtaposed to reflect a sense of strength and optimism. Final artworks are imbued with a sense of joy—rich in familiar imagery, energetic color combinations, and surface textures that reinforce the complexity of nature and life, all interwoven with a hopeful optimistic, thoughtful spirit. Domingue is a Copley Artist at the Copley Society of Boston.
All in a Day’s Work, acrylic on canvas, 36” x 36” Portland Art Gallery | Portland | portlandartgallery.com Camden Falls Gallery | Camden | camdenfallsgallery.com George Marshall Store Gallery | York | georgemarshallstoregallery.com, anntrainordomingue.com
Jane Dahmen’s recent paintings are inspired by her wanderings around the midcoast area of Maine. She feels deeply connected to this part of the world. “Walking in the woods, on the conservation lands near my home, and along the Damariscotta River, I see paintings everywhere,” Dahmen says. “The large-scale size of the paintings helps to create an environment for the viewer to enter.” Her ideas begin in the natural world, but once
a work is underway, the paint itself on the flat surface takes on a life of its own, and the color, line, and surface texture evolve as she works.
From the Point, acrylic on panel, 53” x 32” Portland Art Gallery | Portland | portlandartgallery.com
Artist Joshua Adam was born and raised in Northern California. After college he spent time working in California as an artist, primarily–plein air. In 1999 Adam moved
to Maine. Through his work, Adam tries to influence the observer into seeing the natural world in a different way—one that encourages someone to spend more time in reflection about our beautiful planet and our relation to it.
State of Maine, Castine, oil on canvas, 24” x 36” Adam Gallery | Castine | adamgalleryonline.com
Kevin Mizner is a self-taught artist who has been painting Maine and its people for
over 40 years. For the past 10 years Mizner has been painting full-time at his home in Pittston. Everything he paints is from his own experiences, observations, and emotions. Mizner feels that authenticity and emotion in a painting cannot be conjured—they must be real. As a result of this belief, Mizner worked on a lobster boat in order to better experience and portray the sea. Mizner has hiked countless miles through the Maine woods, and along the shores, observing nature’s colors. He frequents old barns and walks through open fields to gain a better sense of Maine’s vast history. Seemingly, he can’t just paint a landscape or a seascape. To Mizner, they are portraits of old friends that he has come to know, understand, and love.
Alison Rector, who is best known for her luminous paintings of interiors, has been inspired by Maine’s public libraries, in particular the Carnegie libraries. By the early twentieth century, a Carnegie library was often the most imposing structure in hundreds of small American communities. In this painting of the Patten Free Library in Bath, Rector’s adept use of light accentuates a lofty vaulted dome, lustrous oak panels, and a trio of windows overlooking the river. She invites the viewer to experience the space with reverence—the beauty of the stacks, the striking architectural features, and the simple joy of a quiet place to read.