Charles Bluett – Artist Inspiration

02/15/2018 0 Comments
 

Drifting to Shore by Charles Bluett

For Charles Bluett, inspiration has come from his surroundings, the art which surrounds him, the people who surround him and lastly and most importantly, the place and the beauty which surround him.

“Specific artists who I love are wide and varied,” claims Charles Bluett. “Turner’s magnificent energy filled landscapes and skies and Joan Miros’s blocks of confined color fascinate me. Then there is Andy Goldsworthy’s sublime use of natural elements and objects to create pieces that simply astound in their imagination and final effect, as they blend into the natural outdoor environments he creates them. Every day I see artists, both well known and unheard of as yet, whose art triggers all kinds of passions and thoughts for me. I take them into my own sub-conscious and influence my works going forward.”

The Breakers by Charles Bluett Gathering Sea Clouds by Charles Bluett The Connection Between Land Sea and Sky by Charles Bluett

Bluett has been lucky enough to travel to over forty countries in his life. Even the names of his children, Ty and India, came about from his love of travel and the experience of different cultures and continents.

“India, my daughter’s name, comes from my traveling throughout India at eighteen years of age on an old motorcycle for nearly a year,” shares Bluett.  “It was here, probably above all places other than the US, that I first really saw the colors and ethereal beauty of the great outdoors on a grand scale. No one more so than the creator of great outdoors itself keeps me in check every day with my own self.”

England, where Bluett was raised, is, after all, a small island. As a result, for him, the skies never achieve the monumental scale they do in the United States or places like India.

 Distant Breakers Under a Talking Sky

“Natural wonders fascinate me and influence my work daily. Something as simple as a flowing pebble-filled brook or an early morning walk as the low clouds lift over the tree-lined hills,” says Bluett. “Maine is so blessed to have in it such diversity. The wet, winter, windblown, desolate coastline, a field in late summer filled with fireflies, or the warm, dust-filled air as it blows across the landscape turning the light into soft hues, this state has it all.”

The tones and colors of Maine are what pull at Bluett. For him, there is so much to see with every step he takes. He always makes sure to see as much as he can with every footfall.

 

There is an important influence for Bluett when trying to convey in his own work that sense of awe and peace the natural world has to offer. “There is an ethereal sense of being one with the environment. The ability to lose myself in a thought that does not involve thought, just seeing and sensing and being in balance with the natural outdoors is a blessing. Every day there are a thousand things to see and behold when I take the time to stop and look,” Bluett shares.  “I call it peace.”

Bluett has recently been by the gallery and dropped off several new pieces of work that capture this feeling in its purest form.  We welcome you to stop in and see them in person. In February we are open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. As always, his work is available for view by clicking here for his Artist Page. You can also read more about Bluett and his work by going to our blog, Charles Bluett – Artist Stories and Insights.

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First Lives – Margaret Gerding

02/08/2018 0 Comments
 
 

“I always knew I was an artist. I also knew I was blessed to have a large family who supported my path, which makes the struggles and challenges a little easier.”

View From Pier Road I View From Pier Road II

At nine years old Margaret Gerding’s father cleaned out a portion of their family garage in order to create a little studio space for her. However, even with unconditional support an artist often has to find other avenues first. Gerding has held many other jobs in her life which have allowed her to be where she is today.

“Starting right out of art college I worked in banking. I even started my MBA at Northeastern,” shares Gerding. “Next I moved to a position as art director for an advertising firm. Finally, I opened my own communications company.”

Parsons Beach Road View From Granite Point Yellow of the Goldenrod

The journey for Gerding was definitely linear in growth, but the line started in a very different place than where it ended.  The ten years Margaret spent in the corporate world gave her great insight as to who she is, and who she is not.

“Most days I woke up around four in the morning just to run directly to my studio in order to get a few hours in,” explains Gerding. “I had to go into the office and put in a ten or twelve hour day, so it was the best way for me to guarantee studio time.  The next day I woke up and did it over again.”

Gerding realizes this doesn’t make her special. “Many people put in long days, I know that. What it did show me was how much I wanted it. How much I wanted my art,” she says.  “I was good in my other world. I handled the high demand deadlines and working with clients to achieve goals, but I got nothing from it. I needed to paint every day. It was the priority for me.”

Measured Moments VI Measured Moments IV

When Gerding finally left the corporate world at age thirty-three, she had to find a new balance, the balance of being a single mother and artist. “It was actually much easier. Having my daughter nurtured my creative juices. I believe being around children reminded me what art is all about—the simple joy of expression,” shares Gerding.

Margaret was also a nanny, which she claims is a very convenient job for a single mother. It may have been convenient, but many of us know raising children, especially someone else’s, is not easy. Throughout the years she has also used her skills and talents as an artist to teach, which she still does today.

“I remember my daughter coming home from a playdate. She was so sad. She looked up at me and asked, ‘How come my friends’ homes don’t have studios?’ This simple statement was confirmation that I was doing it right.

To read more about Margaret Gerding, her work, and her stories, click this link. Margaret Gerding – Insights and Stories

To view our complete collection of her work click here: Margaret Gerding – Artist Page

As always, we welcome you to visit the gallery to see work in person.  Our hours for February are 10 am to 5 pm, Thursday – Monday. Come and see us!

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Janis Sanders – New Work, Same Voice

02/01/2018 0 Comments
 

Summer Sail I by Janis Sanders Summer Sail II by Janis Sanders

“Man’s integration with and interdependence with nature was clear to me at an early age with the immersion in the agricultural environment a stone’s throw from home. This gave me an early foundation and appreciation for the bounties that surround us in the natural environment.”

Janis Sanders has always found his inspiration from the outside world and how it interacts with man and the objects we build. His stunning use of sky and light combined with structures and vessels has become his signature.

He explains it best when he said, “My self-assigned task for each work, is to convey the ethereal ‘thing’ of light in the paint, as the sun casts its breath on the world, a definite sky and subsequent horizon line define space. Each painting for me begins with the sky, it is like a curtain that is the backdrop for a vast stage.”

Side Street by Janis Sanders

For Sanders, each series of paintings develop a personality of their own, which really cannot be directed, he sees it happen in front of his eyes as he paints through the body of work. “There are a path and direction that develop—it can be a new gesture or color or both, in combination or separately, or a new way of describing familiar territory.”

With this said, Sanders’ new body of work represents what we know and love about his style as we know it, while taking it in a different, unexpectedly delightful direction.

“When I was at Mass College of Art, I was already developing my own voice. I definitely wanted to and put a conscious emphasis on developing my own way of expression,” says Sanders. “ I never want to re-iterate a style that someone else had developed and expressed exquisitely.”

Light From a Cottage by Janis Sanders

Sanders has kept this voice but has added to it, still keeping it very much his own. “One of the Impressionists is said to have said that in order to become a good painter, paint miles and miles of canvas,” shares Sanders. “I believe every painter and artist of any nature ultimately is self-taught. The best educations give the artist the tools, the fundamentals, and vocabulary to best express their intention. But the path, the personal volitional development, and evolution of their own voice comes from within, all driven by the mystery of an invisible force far beyond.”

Winter River by Janis Sanders

We welcome you to stop by and visit Janis Sanders’s entire collection. Our February hours are Thursday – Monday 10 am to 5 pm. As always you can see his works by clicking here, Janis Sanders – Artist Page or read more from Janis himself by clicking here Janis Sanders – Artists Insights and Stories.

Adventurer Bethany Harper Williams – The Other Life of an Artist

01/25/2018 0 Comments
 

Upon getting to know our artists, we are so often intrigued and amazed by what they do when they aren’t painting. Like all of us, there has to be more than work in their world. For Bethany Harper Williams, not only is her other life amazing, its extreme. Here is a little peek at the “Other Life” of Bethany Harper Williams.

“I love the outdoors, the mountains and the water, and with that a need to be active. Adventure Holidays are one way we, as a family, meet this need,” says Williams. “We have three boys we had to keep active, and we have instilled the same love of adventure in them.”

Whistler – top of Spanky’s Ladder – Williams family – Dec. 2009

Some of the favorite family holidays are ski holidays. Traveling to places like Whistler, Colorado, and Utah, they spend their days being outside together and their evenings just relaxing and enjoying family time. “For my 40th birthday, my twin sister and I, with our husbands, went heli-skiing,” she shares. Again, not just amazing, but extreme.

Heli-Skiing in British Columbia with my twin sister – 2003

Climbing was yet another adventure sport the Williams family turned into an Adventure Holiday.

“In December 2013 we climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro with two other families. This was the first climb our family had ever done together. We were six adults and seven kids, ages ranging from 14 to 72,” Bethany shares as she sets the stage. “We followed the Limosho route which over the course of eight days took us through five climate zones.”

 Kilimanjaro Summit – The Williams Family  (Ryan, Dave, Bethany, Jay, Andrew) – Dec. 2013

Three days into the hike they celebrated her son’s 20th birthday and had one of the most memorable Christmases at 13,800 ft. “We each brought a light gift for a gift exchange and spent the late afternoon playing games and passing a football over and around the tents,” remembers Williams.

They reached the summit, 19,341 ft, with blue skies, in the early afternoon of Dec. 27. Then turned around to hike down to crater camp where they spent not the most comfortable night at 18,865ft.

“We culminated our trip with a safari in Tanzania. We were treated with many sightings of exotic animals. but spent a great deal of our time reliving and retelling stories from our incredible mountain experience,” she says. “However, the real highlight, looking back, was the camaraderie and discussions and the strong bond created by our adventure together. It’s a shared memory that won’t be forgotten.”

Now that Bethany and her husband Dave are empty nesters or what they call ‘Freebirds’, this past September they embarked on another challenging adventure…the Laugavegur Trail in Iceland. This is an 80-kilometer trail that starts in the interior and makes its way over volcanic rock, steaming fissures, gigantic canyons, expansive glaciers, and majestic waterfalls, ending at the ocean.

Iceland – Laugavegur Trail – Bethany & Dave – Sept. 2017

“It was a fundraising trip for Outward Bound Canada to help fund less fortunate people in distress to experience the therapeutic benefits of outdoor adventure,” says Williams. “As we carried our packs each day, we had time for personal reflection, as well as time to communicate with our fellow travelers. In the evenings we asked ourselves tough questions and had many thoughtful discussions amongst our new friends.”

As with climbing Kilimanjaro, trekking Iceland was more than just about the climb and the accomplishment.  With both trips, there was a thoughtfulness and a self-awareness that during the hectic nature of day-to-day living we don’t allow ourselves the time for. “I came away from this trip refreshed and re-energized and thankful for all that I have,” she says. “It was actually when I came back to civilization in Reykjavik that I received my first email from Maine Art. The positive vibes were all around me!”

This Icelandic adventure confirmed her love and need for the challenge of adventure and the outdoors.

“I need the mountains and the ocean just like I need to paint,” she claims. “It is this power and energy in nature that draws me to continually paint it. I go into my zone when I am painting. The hours pass by, and I am totally absorbed. It is the same connection as when I am surrounded by mountains or looking out to the water. I am at peace.”

Bethany Harper Williams joined Maine Art this past fall and is looking forward to her first full summer season with us.  Not only can you view her work every day at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture on 14 Western Ave in Kennebunk. She will also be a part the 7th Annual Choice Art Show and a Three Artist Show beginning Labor Day Weekend. As always you can read more about Bethany by clicking Bethany Harper Williams – Stories and Insights and see her entire collection online by clicking Artist Page – Bethany Harper Williams – Artist Page.

 

In January we are open Thursday – Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm. Then starting February first we will be open Thursday – Monday at the same hours.

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New Manager at Maine Art Prints and Framing – Opening This Spring!

01/18/2018 0 Comments
 
New Manager at Maine Art Prints and Framing – Opening This Spring!

Over the last few weeks, we have shared much about all the changes and additions that are going on here at Maine Art.  With Paintings and Sculptures, Shows and The Hill all experiencing some sort of growth and change, new staff has become a must.

When Natalie, our former Gallery Manager now Gallery Director, took on her new role, one of the duties she had to give up was framing.  Even though she loves it, is tremendously good at it, and will miss it, it was time to hire someone to make both prints and framing their primary job. Of course, if you are going to hire a person, you might as well give them a brand new store to work in! Last week we told you all about the new shop at Maine Art Hill, Maine Art Prints and Framing. (Click here to read more.)

Those of you that know and love Natalie understand how particular and professional she is. For her to give this role over to someone else, they had to be good! So who is going to be the face of this new venture? None other than one of Natalie’s former co-workers, Louann McDonald.
“Louann was an experienced designer/framer and established manager of Deck the Walls for many years at the Maine Mall in Portland when I came to work for her around ’96. We became good friends there,” shares Natalie. “Since we worked so well together, she later came to work for me at another frame shop when she had her family.”
Louann was the first person Natalie thought to manage the Custom Framing and Print Gallery due to her experience as a manager and frame designer. “The way in which she assists customers is such second nature that people are put at ease immediately,” explains Natalie.  “I am really looking forward to Louann joining our team at Maine Art!”

Louann was born and raised in South Portland and is a local girl at heart. She came from a large family, six brothers and one sister. “My sister was a godsend. With six brothers we needed each other often,” says McDonald. “However, my husband Chris and I have only son, who is in high school. We do have many nieces and nephews, though.” Louann loves the area and even after the wandering of her youth, she came back to southern Maine and decidedly calls it home.

Her college years were spent at St. Michaels College in Vermont where she not only earned her BA in Art but played basketball for this small Division II school. With her background in art, she was still drawn to the retail setting and immediately was tagged “management material”. From apparel to art she has had experience with running a small business. So when Natalie called, she was intrigued. She was a bit sad that this time we don’t have any hoops schedule to be installed at the gallery, but we convinced her Maine Art was a place she could easily snuggle in and find a place for herself.

In Louann’s free time the kitchen has long been a place to create, both cooking and baking. Anyone worth their salt in the food industry knows what an art working with food can be.  “I’m not ready for Masterchef or Chopped if you watch these shows,  but I find the confines of my kitchen therapeutic,” laughs McDonald.  Louann also enjoys the art of writing, mostly calligraphy. The peaceful feeling found while working in this medium brings joy and calm to what can often be a crazy world. “Throw in a great glass of wine, my dog, and the perfect non-fiction book, and I am a happy girl,” says McDonald.

The only thing that would make it better, travel. “The very top of my bucket list is Ireland.  I love the history and the music of the area and would love to put my feet on their soil,” shares McDonald.

Louann begins her work here at Maine Art the first of February.  We are excited to introduce her to the staff, and our artists and clients.

Remember February brings our 25% off Custom Framing Sale, which will be held at the 14 Western Ave location. We are welcoming her in, but putting her right to work! Please stop in and say hello. Check out our website for February hours by clicking here.

Hope to see you soon.

Big News in Prints and Framing at Maine Art Gallery in Kennebunk

01/11/2018 1 Comment
 

Every February, we thank our customers by celebrating the custom framing aspect of our gallery with the 25% off Custom Framing Sale. This year will be no different. However, this will be the last year we celebrate it at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture at 14 Western Ave. As many of you know, things are changing here at Maine Art, and prints and framing will undergo some of the biggest changes.

Twenty-six years ago, John Spain purchased Kennedy Studios. It was a small print and framing shop across the street from where Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture is now, in what the locals lovingly call the Mole Hole Building. Prints and custom picture framing was what we did. I took years to slowly grow the original works side of our business, but grow it did. Soon we needed a bigger space.

When Spain moved the business to the present location across the street at 14 Western Ave, the frame shop went with him. We kept select prints from artists for whom we also carry their original works, but our business turned mainly to paintings. Presently, the frame shop is behind the scenes, but still a service we happily provide for not only our clients but many of our artists. Most of the original works hanging in the gallery are not framed. By having the frame shop at hand, we are able to assist our clients to find framing that not only enhances the piece but fits their personal style and the style of the room it will soon call home.

As the years passed and we continued to grow, Spain was happy to pass the “framing” torch on to our then gallery manager, Natalie Lane. For the last eleven years, she has been in charge of our framing department. We have continued to expand that part of the business, however, both in staff and supplies. We have a growing selection of frames, in addition to all the tools needed to create quality work. A year ago one of our staff, Patrick Harrison, was trained and soon became Natalie’s extra set of hands. But still, there are times when framing felt like a full-time job. Then this past fall, Natalie became our gallery director and she too has expanded her workload. We needed to make some changes. What is a growing gallery to do when they just keep growing!

With quite a bit of deliberation and the addition of new gallery spaces for the Maine Art family, we have decided to open a gallery space that will solely be the home for all of our framing and prints. Maine Art Prints and Framing. Phew! Now what?

This new space will be the cornerstone of the Maine Art Hill galleries. The small original house which occupied the property since the mid-70s is being moved to the back of the lot and redesigned to meet our growing print and framing needs. (Unit 6, the tan one, second from the right.) We have hired a brand new full-time frame shop manager, Louann McDonald, who will not only design and frame, but discover, order, and stock our new and expanded print selection. We will continue to carry your favorite prints from artists like Hoyt and Witbeck. Yet, we are looking forward to expanding the selection of their prints, as well as prints from new and present artists. Like all the galleries at Maine Art Hill, we are hoping to open by the first of May.

“We are excited that we will be able to offer not only a wider variety of custom frames but also an extensive new selection of high-quality prints,” said owner John Spain. “Prints and framing are where this business began. I can’t imagine a better way to honor those beginnings than to go back to them, and make them better than ever.”

Our January hours are Thursday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm. February will bring our Annual 25% off Custom Framing Sale, and we will be open more hours to serve you better. Louann begins work February first, just in time for our annual February framing sale. Please check the website for current hours and stop in to introduce yourself and say hello.

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The Art of Giving Old Things New Life

01/04/2018 0 Comments
 
Patrick Ploude has been a part of the Maine Art family for almost ten years. His sculpture has captured the hearts of many of our collectors, and we are always excited when new works come in.  Therefore, you can understand the enthusiasm he left in the wake of his latest visit. The twelve new pieces presently snuggled into the displays at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture on 14 Western Ave in Kennebunk make January a “must-visit” month.  These pieces are simple, “discarded then discovered” objects that take the ordinary to extraordinary.

Rearing Horse by Patrick Plourde

Patrick Plourde shares how he works from the thousands of elements strewn about his studio floor and tables. “I have to separate the pieces and parts into small piles,” he laughs. “Okay, these are horse parts, these are turkey parts, these are flower parts.  I know what I want them to become. Sorting them is a necessary part of my process.”

Floral Spigots by Patrick Plourde Floral Spigots by Patrick Plourde Floral Spigots by Patrick Plourde

As much as the staff loves to see Floral Spigots come through the door with Patrick, it was very difficult not to fall in love with the new Diving Ducks. The colorful croquet balls that center each of his birds add a sense of whimsy that is hard to deny. These birds were created this fall for the holiday season.

Diving Duck with Red Belly by Patrick Plourde Diving Duck with Yellow Belly

“For the last four years, I’ve participated in the Bradbury Mountain Arts holiday show. It happens the weekend before Thanksgiving and really gives me a great jump start for the new year,” says Plourde. “I try to make the work fun and affordable. I want people to own it. That is what it is all about, right?” A graduate of Washington University MFA program, with a BFA from Portland School of Art, now the Maine College of Art, MECA, in Portland, Plourde calls Maine home. With a studio space in New Glouster, Maine he is inspired by his surroundings and a love of giving old things new life. Artist Patrick Plourde We welcome you to stop in and see these new pieces. Our winter hours are Thursday through Sunday from 10 am – 5 pm. As always you can also find these pieces online by clicking Plourde’s Artist Page.

Maine Art Pop-Up – A New and Unique Gallery for Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk

12/26/2017 0 Comments
 
Maine Art Pop-Up – A New and Unique Gallery for Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk

Maine Art Paintings & Sculpture introduced our newest gallery space in the Maine Art family, Maine Art Hill. This collection of seven micro-galleries will be home to high-quality artists and artisans and add to our lovely coastal community which is quickly becoming known as Maine’s premier art destination.

Four of the seven spaces are already spoken for and under contract. The amount of interest in the remaining three is overwhelming, and we expect to have them filled before January comes to a close. The enthusiasm is a wonderful surprise, and we are looking forward to announcing the occupants soon.

With all that said, it is our newest and most unique gallery space, MAINE ART POP-UP, that has us so excited to meet fabulous creatives from all over.

For collectors and visitors in the area, this will be a wonderful place to find new and interesting artists and artisans. Each week a new pop-up will take over and share their work. It will be an opportunity to see some of the finest art from throughout New England and beyond. However, for the artists and artisans, it will be a very different opportunity.

This gallery/retail space is available for weekly rentals by guest artists and artisans. The high vaulted ceiling and beautiful north facing windows fill the space with that magical light all artists love. We have equipped the space with hanging systems and quality art lighting. This brand new build out also includes all utilities, Wi-Fi, water, and heat/air conditioning.

One of the other perks of Maine Pop-Up, or at least we think it is, is our marketing and social media presence. When booking a week with us, we will not only include business names, hashtags, and web links on our year-round calendar, but they will be on our social media and marketing blitzes for that week. We have a fabulous new marketing director, and she is loving the idea of partnering with the pop-ups and creating interesting and fun content.

Last but not least, location, location, location. An entire week right in the heart of the Kennebunk and Kennebunkport shopping area. Our walking traffic is crazy as soon as spring hits and doesn’t slow down until the famous Kennebunkport Christmas Prelude festivities come to a close.

It is our hope that by offering this space we can help create a vibrant, ever-changing atmosphere and encourage long-lasting connections between artists, artisans, and clients.

Weekly rates range from $700-$1150 depending on the time of year. FMI contact Trisha Winslow at 207-951-0984 or trisha@maine-art.com.

*If interested in a year-round rental contact John Spain at john@maine-art.com or call the gallery at 207-967-2803.

 

Breaking News Breaking Ground

12/14/2017 0 Comments
 
 

MAINE ART HILL

If you have stopped into Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture on Western Ave in Kennebunk or even wandered through Lower Village in the last few days, you may have noticed a bit of a ruckus going on at 5 Chase Hill Rd. It may be difficult to tell exactly what is going on, but with a little vision, you will be amazed.

When Helen Dorr’s property went on the market this summer, many of us on Chase Hill sat in wonder and a bit of worry about what exactly would happen to the sweet little house that has lived at 5 Chase Hill for so many years. Not only do we have business on the hill, we live here. This prime piece of real estate was not going to be on the market long, and we wanted to have some say as to what and who became our new neighbors, so we bought it!

It was a busy fall, but our plans are finally in place.  We are moving forward and we wanted to share an overview of the newest project for Lower Village. First and foremost, for those of you who live here, we want you to know that we contacted all of the surrounding neighbors prior to purchasing and have their blessing for our vision. Obviously, we needed permissions from the town and code officials, but to us, the permission from our neighbors was far more important.

VIEW FACING WESTERN AVE

Second, we are keeping Helen’s house. We recently heard the story of how it was built for WWII housing in Portland and was moved here when Helen and her husband first arrived in Kennebunk. We love this history. If anyone knows more of this we would love to have you share details.  We are presently moving the home to the back of the property, and with a bit of paint and TLC, it will be the cornerstone of what is soon to be Maine Art Hill.

 VIEW FACING CHASE HILL ROAD

Maine Art Hill will be a collection of seven small micro-galleries. Each will have coastal cottage charm and feel that will become a home to area artists and skilled artisans, while keeping the house for ourselves, as the new home for Maine Art Custom Framing and Prints. There will be a small sculpture garden with benches and walkways throughout the property making this little space a lovely place to visit and shop.

We apologize in advance for any construction noise and mayhem that will take place over the next few months. It is our sincere hope to be finished and open for business by the first of May. With the move of our framing and prints, we will also be looking at a wee bit of construction at our 14 Western Ave location, as well. We will do our best to keep all of you posted as things progress via the blog, emails, and Facebook. In the meantime, if you have questions or need anything, please call or come by. We will be open all winter, but be sure to check the website for hours.

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A Day in the Landscape of Charles Bluett

12/07/2017 0 Comments
 

Gathering Skies

“I work from my studio, tucked away in the secluded, usually leafy part of my garden in Vermont,” says Charles Bluett, one of Maine Art Painting and Sculpture’s artists. “I watch the seasons as they come and go outside my windows—from deep, rich spring and summer greens to the majestic colors of autumn to the blankets of pure snow and ice.”

Bluett typically works from early afternoon deep into the late evening. He paints nearly every day and believes this to be important for any artist. It has allowed his work to consistently evolve and mature. However, sometimes a break is necessary.

“For me, everything is created in fits and starts with blocks of time where life gets in the way and prevents my brushes from doing as I always wish them to do. At these times, I will simply head for a few days or hours to the outdoors. Maine is one such place for me,” Bluett shares. “There I can unblock my thought process and allow a freedom or abstraction to take over, influenced by what I see and sense.”

It is on occasions such as these, he finds his work swinging in unexpected and untried directions. This is when, for example, his work can move from soft ethereal landscapes to a far bolder use of primary colors. Bold abstract color works are where he started as an artist and still feature heavily in his output, but they contain a softness and flow of his representational landscapes.

“I also work on numerous pieces at any one time. As I mix my paints and mediums, I find new colors that inspire me. I have multiple canvases on the go to accommodate this,” says Bluett. “Experimentation, as I see in the outdoors, with color and the blends of combining color, fascinate me.”

The Bluff Beyond the Dune Grass Low Tide at Early Morning

Charles did not start out as a landscape painter but became one as people asked him to take his use of color from my pure abstract work to create scenes that were clearly marked by this color use, but that had a representational aspect also.

“Initially I struggled with the concept,” Bluett admits, “but I have discovered I have an enormous affinity with landscape painting. I can now achieve it in a way whereby my love of the abstract and blending of color and tone is not affected by the need to create an actual scape within the work, yet does so at the same time.”

The Breakers

Bluett works with acrylics mainly. As a self-taught artist, he was never exposed to using oils. As a medium, acrylic gives him the versatility he desires. “Although some people may consider acrylic to be the ‘poor cousin’ to oil, I find I am able to create work that contains exactly the same depth and effects I feel oil would afford me,”  states Bluett. “And so, I am in no rush to make a change for the foreseeable future.”

Working with brushes, sponges, pallet knives and his fingers themselves, he achieves the effects he desires. “I have been known to literally sand down works which contain multiple layers of paint, to achieve underlying layers of color applied beforehand and allow them to subtly come forward into the work and layers of paint above them,” Bluett says. “At the end, I typically varnish my work but normally only with a matte finish. This allows the natural colors to do as they must.”

Summer Moon

Bluett feels blessed to find himself in an environment of passion, color, and peace, regardless of the ups and downs of the process and the final results he creates. He puts everything he has into a days work of painting.

“There, in a second, is something in front of you, over which you have no control, that is so splendid that you can’t help chuckle to yourself at how effortless and beautiful what you see has in-turn taken to create compared with that day’s huge efforts with one’s own painting. This is how I gauge success with my work in a real sense and excites me hugely upon my return to the next canvas I work upon.”

Charles Bluett

Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture is thrilled to have a variety of works from Charles Bluett. We welcome you to stop by to view each in person during this holiday season. They may be a bit large to stuff in a stocking, but we would be more than happy to help you wrap one up for someone special. Check our website for holiday hours or call with any questions.

To read more about Charles Bluett – Charles Bluett – Stories and Insights

To see our entire collection of Bluett’s work – Charles Bluett – Artist Page