Ones to Watch November 2017

JACK MONTGOMERY Lauren, Sunday Best, 2017, digital photograph, 11” x 17”
MARNIE SINCLAIR Fanning, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 20” x 24”
DAN DALY Fresh Snow, 2015, oil on linen, 40” x 30”
JESSICA LEE IVES Embody, 2017, oil on panel, 18” x 18”
ABBY CARTER Guest, 2015, gouache on board, 10” x 10”


“I love painting. Realists like Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Andrew Wyeth, and Vilhelm Hammershøi, and artists from the Ashcan School have always moved me. For years, I photographed in black-and-white film. Then, as now, I loved the medium. Throughout that period of my art, I envied painters and their ability to embrace a palette, to create fictional spaces and characters, to rely upon surfaces and textures, and to create lighting to capture a mood or emotion. Over the past few years, as I transitioned from traditional film photography to digital cameras and printers, I began to explore the ever-softening boundary between photography and painting. For me, the ability to make a digital image with the qualities of a painting has offered new perspectives. I don’t want to create a photograph that looks like a painting. Rather, through photography I construct an image that comes closer to the visions I carry in my head that move me. Melding the elements of both photography and painting intrigues me. I aim for a dialogue between the two media.”


“Barnett Newman said, ‘Aesthetics is to artists what ornithology is to birds.’ At this stage of my life, I just paint and draw what interests me. I use oils, watercolors, or ink, and I focus on people, places, or studies of objects that excite me. I fill up sketchbooks and draw constantly. A concern for light and strong color choices are common threads in my work, along with a desire to make an arresting image that reflects my life in Maine and New England throughout the seasons.”


“The painting you see here is an extension of the work I’ve been doing on climate change, environmental degradation, and finding perfect balance in nature. I have always been inspired by how inventive and magical nature can be in assuring the survival of each species. We all fit together with precision and balance. Fanning represents the aquatic habitat of fascinating sea creatures that have adapted to survive in the depths of the ocean. In it, seaweed sways and shadows hover. This painting is fanciful, yet it represents the rhythm of creatures who live and dance out of our sight, as they adapt, grow, and survive.”


“I paint out of love—love for the world and for the human capacity to know the world through movement, recreation, and adventure. Kinesthetic intelligence and imagination are very important to me, as is the sensation of wonder. That a small movement of paint can capture a large movement of a body through water, and that we can know the world’s beauty through both these actions, is astounding. Today’s humans move their bodies less than any other animal in any other age. I, however, choose to move and be moved, my art following my life. If I paint water well, it’s not because I’ve spent time looking and figuring it out; it’s because I’ve spent so much time immersed in it, moving my body through it and being moved by it. I never want to mistake thinking for seeing, nor seeing for knowing. Instead, I want to be moved closer to what Joseph Campbell says we all yearn for, which is not meaning in life, but ‘the experience of being alive.’ Can we expand the vision we have for ourselves and our world beyond the limits of our sedentary brains and eyes? Can we allow our vision to flow into whole-body sensing, fully feeling the world around us and inside us? We are, after all, mostly water—fluid and dynamic. I hope in some small way my art can help us learn to swim again.”


“Painting portraits is the current focus of my work. With a large format and different media, I can push the portrait in different directions, moving toward abstraction or staying true to the likeness of the subject. In 2012 I walked into the soup kitchen at Saint Vincent de Paul in Middletown, Connecticut, to be a volunteer drawing teacher. I showed up every Tuesday and spread my art supplies out across the dining room tables. Few people showed interest until the assistant director for community services asked if I’d like to do portraits of the guests. Now, after four years, the walls of the soup kitchen are lined with portraits of over 230 guests. In this age of celebrity, many people are left unseen and underappreciated. I hope these portraits help others see the varied and interesting faces I saw every Tuesday. This project began because I felt the need to give back, and it has turned into a part of my life that I never want to lose. The people of this community have given me their warmth and spirit and a sense that I belong. Isn’t that how we all want to feel? I recently moved to Portland, and I hope to pursue projects like this here, too.”