David Witbeck’s work has a classic charm and character. He captures coastal life like no other New England artist. This year, however, he decided to use the Choice Art Show to play with another idea.
Witbeck says, “I’ve been painting my signature fishermen for eleven years. They’ve become my identity as an artist, but it’s not all I am.” David goes on to explain, “A couple years ago, I did a series of nudes that were great fun to do and a lot of people seemed to enjoy them. Yet, it takes a brave person to buy one and hang it in the family home,” he pauses, “though there were a couple.”
Time passed, and Witbeck’s pile of figure drawings continued to grow. Recently, he revisited the idea with the addition of bathing suits. This time painting his ‘girls’ in a more stylized manner.
“Before fishermen or BF as I like to say, I’d often create very minimalist paintings. The composition is much more important than the nominal subject matter. Think Milton Avery and Diebenkorn,” Witbeck refers to two influential painters. “My new ‘beach babes’ incorporate the nudes of a couple years ago and early minimal paintings of ten-plus years ago. Conceptually they are not that far removed from the rest of my oeuvre.”
The underlying concern in all Witbeck’s work is composition, shape, and, to a lesser extent, color. It’s more obvious in the Beach Babes.
“I struggled hard not to model the shapes to give the illusion of a third dimension. They’re deliberately flat. Although, I couldn’t stop myself from penciling in the suggestion of facial features,” says Witbeck. “Then I decided to name them with common names, just as I do with the fishermen and lobstermen.”
David did comment that the names may or may not reference real women, in case anyone is wondering. Here at Maine Art, we love celebrating the women of summer in all shapes in sizes.
If you are interested in getting to know all the Beach Babes, visit Maine Art Shows from June 10th to June 29th to see the 6th Annual Choice Art Show in person. We are located at 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk. The gallery is open every day from 11AM – 5PM. FMI, please call at 207-967-0049 or email at [email protected].
Click the logo to see the complete show online.
To view our complete collection of Witbeck’s Work – David Witbeck – Artist Page
To read more about David Witbeck, his process, and his work – David Witbeck – Artist Insights
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