Ones to Watch

MARY ARMSTRONG Lift Off, 2015, oil and wax on wood panel, 36” x 42”
PETER T. BENNETT Better Red, 2016, acrylic enamel on aluminum, 14”x 12” x 1¾”
DANIEL COREY By January, 2016, oil on canvas, 32” x 42”
ERIN MCGEE FERRELL Press Hotel II, 2016, oil on canvas, 36” x 48”
ANNE HEYWOOD Symphony before Twilight, 2016, pastel on sanded paper, 21” x 27”

Five standout artists to keep your eye on

Mary Armstrong

“Art gives sensations material weight. I spend half the year on the coast of Maine near Bath, where every day I observe the changing light and perceive the connections between earth and sky, noticing how each shapes the other. I hope that my paintings express the beauty of this dynamic atmosphere and earth. Through my paintings I want to create the illusion of a vast and endless space that is full of incident and light. In my daily practice in the studio, I am striving to continually improvise from my perceptions, which makes the process very active, as I combine many layers of oil paint and wax on wood panel. Alone in the studio, solitary but not isolated, I am very interested in what is happening outside the walls of that space, exploring, in a painted space, the essential and awesome dynamic that forms the biosphere, in which all life flourishes and is sustained.”

Anne Heywood

“Whenever I sense a particular mood or feeling in nature, that becomes my inspiration. Such a feeling inspired ‘Symphony before Twilight.’ It’s a scene that brings to mind warm summer evenings, with chairs and wine glasses at the ready, listening to nature’s background music and observing the afterglow of sunset in the sky. Since painting is a personal endeavor for me, the piece inevitably reflects my mood at the given moment. As I applied layers and layers of pastel slowly to a textured surface over many hours, my mind was peaceful and unaware of time. I made choices during the painting process that can be attributed to this personal connection, from the subject, which is Maine, to the colors I selected for the sky, as all those warm, emotional colors reference the many years I lived in Italy. I included the stark yet strong foreground trees in honor of my New England roots. I believe that, since my work connects with me, it will also connect with others, albeit for different reasons, on different levels, and with different interpretations. For me, that is the most satisfying part of being an artist.”

Peter T. Bennett

“At the dawn of the twentieth century, modernists believed that new designs, new building methods, and new materials were the appropriate expressions of society’s movement toward the future, and that modernism was the most potent symbol of our cultural optimism. Aluminum became an active protagonist in the modernist dialogue. The material became a vehicle for sensory communication and possessed properties that seemed limitless and almost magical. Much of my work in aluminum revolves around the exploration of paradoxes, such as intellect and emotion, simple and complex, material and content, and art and technology. The history of aluminum suggests that materials can also be emotive, and in my work I understand this paradox as an opportunity. When I push through failure and embrace risk, I take part in the substance of real art, which is creation and beauty.”

Erin McGee Ferrell

“I love painting on a huge canvas outside in urban environments. It is fun to interact with the public when I create art. Often my paintings reflect threads of conversations that happen on the streets next to my easel. While I was painting Press Hotel II, I was interviewed for a nationally aired piece on NPR. Life is always an adventure when you put yourself out there. More generally, I am inspired by architecture that merges with landscapes. In my work I tend to explore mixed media, and my subjects focus on universal themes.”

Daniel Corey

“I am a traditional painter rooted in the aesthetic values of the Ashcan school and the French impressionists. I also draw inspiration from the creativity of the abstract expressionists and other contemporary painters who push the boundaries of traditional color and composition. I achieve this fresh perspective in my paintings through experimentation with brushstroke as well as through color harmony and composition. I enjoy color, and I love to explore how different shades can contribute to the harmony of the whole piece, as chords do in music. I am happiest, and most inspired, when I find an interesting color grouping that I have never used before. Composition is also an endless project. I am always searching for new ways to look at objects and new perspectives that I can use to direct the eye through a painting. In terms of subject matter, my paintings always evolve out of direct observation and memory. I appreciate the challenge of painting nontraditional views and subjects as well as the landscapes that make Maine unique.”

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