Ones to Watch
Five standout artists to keep your eye on
Life is emotion. We manifest that emotion through our creation of physical tangible things, monolithic and small, animate and not. Everything we do is based on a love of something. My pleasure is oil paint, expressing light on surfaces. My passion for exploring daylight on an old structure is a lifelong adventure. In upstate New York, upon graduating from college, I would roam the farmlands and cornfields, vast spaces, photographing textures: light shining through a raindrop on grass; intertwined natural abstractions in a field; old gray weathered barns that have served us well, illuminated in late-day warm glowing sun; glancing rays of light; angles, lines, and shapes, manmade and not. Today that immersion is seen in my application of paint, both thick and thin, to describe my experience of the fleeting moments of daylight, of our lives at the oceanside, beachfront, and field: a spiritual ride. There is always a fascination with the buildings themselves: the inhabitants, the activities, the lives, the pragmatic as well as the visceral. And of course the play of light across the surfaces, like a spotlight on a grand stage. This particular painting is a scene in one of my favorite places, Bailey Island.
My work is identified by its unusual compositions, bold strokes, and strong color juxtapositions. I love that through color, texture, and line I am able to translate life’s often overlooked regular moments into a visual experience. I am interested in documenting the small, transient moments and sensations that strike deep within our core for just a moment and then are gone. I find that color, in particular, is the vehicle by which I can relay the essence and energy of these “regular” moments onto the blank canvas. By quickly journaling shapes, compositions, and color juxtapositions that capture how a moment feels, sounds, and sometimes tastes, I can later refer to these visual notes to translate the energy of that moment onto the canvas. Often, I rely on memory or nostalgia to enhance my visual notes, which then adds a playful rhythm to my compositions. This painting is an abstracted imaginary landscape compiled from memories. It is Maine, as seen by me as a child looking through the car window in the 1970s and early 1980s, when I would travel with my father, who was an antiques dealer, or “picker.” I spent many summer days working with my dad, visiting all parts of the state— including its ocean, mountains, and towns.
David Graeme Baker
In constructing paintings I want to evoke archetypes within the context of coming of age (child/adult), insider versus outsider, and motherhood (mother/ protector/lover), then I can overlay enigmatic narratives that explore these tensions. My imagery is rooted in literature, music, folk tales, and historical painting, as well as popular culture. Draftsmanship and the craft of indirect painting are central to my approach; I have also sought to look inward in order to more profoundly explore my own motivations for painting. In my newest body of work, I return to family, friends, and neighbors as models to examine themes of solitude and coming of age in downeast Maine. Several of my recent paintings are set in the historic one-room schoolhouse owned by my neighbor in Hancock, Patience Moll.
Jeffery C. Becton
Since 1990 I have worked in a medium that I call digital montage—a seamless union of diverse visual elements in a composition that originates with a digital file. Combining elements of photography as well as painting, drawing, and scanned materials, the techniques I use foster and give form to visual ambiguities, reexamining the boundaries of mixed media and creating altered realities that merge into images rich in symbolism both personal and archetypal.
Elizabeth B. Hoy
Calling attention to variations in perception, I create works through an intersection of painting and installation. My method is like playing a visual game of telephone with myself, where the viewer is the last ear. Whether I am working in my studio in Brooklyn or en plein air in Maine or France, I quickly paint the landscape around me. Drawing and painting are the first step in a means of exploration of and engagement with a place. By returning to the same locations, I try to capture subtle shifts in the environment. Employing formal decisions and shifts in scale, I address the ways that human experience is inscribed upon a landscape and how, outside of this specific process in my studio, we gain and lose information using any form of communication.