Ones to Watch
Five standout artists to keep your eye on.
“Living close to New England’s diverse coast, I have always appreciated the colors that nature provides. When I was a child, my grandmother, who was also an artist, took me for many beach walks and taught me the value of truly seeing the incredible beauty around us. In my work, I strive to reflect those stunning colors of New England and the range of emotions that the coast inspires. One of my goals is to attract viewers from afar and keep them interested up close with texture and color relationships, just as nature does. As a painter, I love the act of painting on large canvases and the feel of oil paint. In my studio, I try to experiment with the emotional impact of light, color, and the application of paint. In addition to photos, sketches, and writings, I’ve been using videos lately to emotionally return to the place and time that I am trying to capture. It is always my goal to paint the landscape as it made me feel in a given moment, not necessarily how it looked. My focus is primarily on my muse: the ocean. I want to bring viewers to a place in their own memory when they felt strength, relief, calm, joy, introspection, or peace.”
“My work is quite diverse. I make figurative, geometric, and abstract pieces that often relate to my life experiences. For example, the ocean has been a large part of my life. Working on ships has provided much of my inspiration, and together with my art history studies these experiences have resulted in an array of sculptures. I work mainly in wood, which provides inspiration of its own, both as a material and in its lines and curves. My inspiration comes from line and form first, leaving color and natural characteristics as a secondary feature. Painting or bleaching can be used to reduce these characteristics when desired. My decision- making process in art is mainly intuitive, relying on personal experience, historical references, principles of design, and other artists’ work. I use a mode of thought like that of the Surrealists, letting my subconscious guide me. I’m currently making large geometric rounds sliced out of trees. The transformation of organic, natural material into a seemingly machined surface is a long-running theme in my work.”
“From February to May of this year, I rented a room overlooking Longfellow Square in Portland. The view provided a bonanza of action and visual intrigue different from my home studio on the Blue Hill peninsula. The winter brought constant snowstorms and plows, obliterating and then revealing streets and sidewalks. Green lights and violet spheres twinkled on the trees. All this sensory information enthralled me and provided me with a never-ending urge to paint. For each canvas, I established a basic layout, proportions, and color premise, and then proceeded with multiple changes—editing, adding, and subtracting. I wanted to convey gesture and light condition; I love a combination of geometry and atmosphere riddled with people, and how light fractures and unites. I thought about Edward Hopper, John French Sloan, Wayne Thiebaud, Joan Mitchell, and early Italian Renaissance Annunciation paintings. With Bicycling in Longfellow Square, I changed the relative greens and oranges multiple times for unity and flow. As I struggled to paint, leaves and then blossoms opened, replacing the previous polka-dot lights like a visual pun.”
Beth Anne Gordley
“My camera enables me to capture a minuscule, passing moment and transform it into a still image to be experienced and projected. I’m inspired by light and its transience, along with color and composition. I aim to envelope light in my still life and scenic photography, allowing it to be the essence of every image. Light creates tone and atmosphere, and it plays with the scene’s elements. It mottles colors, softens lines, reveals details, flickers across the frame’s edges, and forges shadows. If there is a unique object or scene, but the light is not dynamic or soft, the image will not be interesting. Light is always what catches my eye and makes me pause. My photograph Misty Maine Morning evokes tranquility. I was on my daily walk across the Belfast footbridge when the fog enveloped me with its monochromatic simplicity and quietude. I hit the shutter as the seagulls gently entered the frame and the smell of ocean air and sounds of crunching ice created an impression. There is satisfaction in knowing I create images that have never existed within the bounds of a frame. I hope my photography evokes an emotion, dream, or memory that touches people.“
“Through the use of mixed media, my work stands as a visual history of the journey from childhood to adulthood. It shows the scars, joys, and struggles of growing up in the 1950s with a certain set of rules and then experiencing the 1980s when those rules changed. Life became very different from the world in which I was raised. The textures, cavities, clashing colors, scratches, and text suggest my struggle. As I age, my figures seem to disappear, becoming less and less human, and I am reminded that I, too, am becoming invisible. My work suggests the vulnerability of being shaped by the collective consciousness surrounding us.”