Rebecca Kinkead’s Spring Show

05/18/2017 2 Comments
 

Barn Owl (Blue Yonder) - Rebecca Kinkead

When an artist loves and is inspired by her subjects, the joy and passion is evident in the work. It emanates from the canvas and the room is filled. Beginning Memorial Day weekend, the entire first floor of Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture will be filled with the joy and passion of artist, Rebecca Kinkead.

John Spain, owner of Maine Art says, “This is Rebecca’s second show with Maine Art. We were incredibly happy with the success of her first show with us last summer. The gallery was visited by collectors from across New England. Kinkead’s work is like no other artist we represent. There is an energy and life she creates with her medium. It simply must be seen to be appreciated.”

Kinkead’s process is a bit different from classic oil painting. With the addition of chalk powder and linseed oil, she creates a concoction she can seriously get her hands into. For her, it is more than just a physical process, it is a feeling.

Kinkead explains, “Paint and wax are layered, dripped and scraped to create a sense that the subject is still emerging…still ‘becoming’. When I begin a painting, I often start with my fingers in the wax/paint mixture. I feel the form with my fingers. The more familiar the form, like my dogs, the easier it flows. Working with my hands allows me to find the form faster, easier, and more naturally.”

Fetch (Sunrise) - Rebecca Kinkead

Her dogs, all three of them, are featured in one of her many series, aptly named, Fetch. This year’s show will also contain works from her Traveler and Cannonball collections, which feature children. The inspiration for these pieces is a personal one, as well.

“A few years back I received a Christmas card from a friend. Her daughter was on top of a mountain leaning into the wind. I remember that feeling, that freedom. It reminded me of trust – trusting one’s self and trusting one’s environment,” says Kinkead. “I think some of my best paintings have come from trusting my gut, letting go, and not thinking too much, the same way children often do.”

Meadow Bloom - Rebecca Kinkead

Kinkead’s first degree was from the University of Vermont. Yet it was while she was working on her Master’s Degree in Experiential Learning at Minnesota State University, Mankato, that she found her love of ceramics. Soon after that graduation, however, when in a tiny studio apartment in Boston with room for an easel only, she tucked away her clay and picked up her paintbrush.

“I have painted professionally since 1999. In 2009, I made the move to my present studio in Vermont,” says Kinkead. “I had worked in acrylics for seven years. In the past, I didn’t have the open space or ventilation for oil. Once I moved to Vermont, this was no longer a problem. It took me almost six years to get to know this new medium, but I will never go back. Oil is just delicious to work with.”

Rebecca Kinkead

Rebecca Kinkead’s one-woman show opens Saturday, May 27, with a an artist’s reception that same evening from 5-7 pm. The show runs through Thursday, June 17. Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, at 14 Western Avenue in Kennebunk, is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm. FMI call 207-967-2803. Kinkead’s show can be viewed online beginning Thursday, May 25, at www.maine-art.com/shows.

To see all of our collection of Kinkead’s work click here. Rebecca Kinkead – Artist Page

To read more about Rebecca, her process, and her craft click here.  Rebecca Kinkead – Artist Insights

Attention Fathers and Children – It’s Mother’s Day

05/11/2017 0 Comments
 

Summer Chairs - Abbie Williams

This weekend is all about the mothers.

They have earned a weekend of pampering and love. They have earned a bit of rest from the crazy. They have earned anything they darn well please. If you are at a loss as to how to make this happen for the mommas in your world, look no further than a visit to the Kennebunks.

Rumor is the sun may just peek out over the course of the weekend, but even if it is raining, there is still much to do. The majority of the restaurants, hotels and resorts are open for the summer season and are offering interesting and intriguing specials for this holiday weekend. If you are looking to celebrate, a place is easy to find. Our specialty shops are all spiffed up and waiting for visitors, as well. We are proud of the variety of stores that line Rt 35, Western Ave, Dock Square and Ocean Ave. If you are looking for a little peace and quiet, however, there is nothing better than a blanket on the beach, a picnic and a good book. Parking passes for the Kennebunk Beaches aren’t necessary until June 15th.

Beach Day - Craig Mooney

No matter if you are coming for the entire weekend or just driving in for a day trip, there is something for everyone. Spas and shopping or hikes and bikes, it is easy to make a woman happy here on the coast of Maine. Of course, we always recommend a visit to Maine Art, but we promise to make it fun.

Firefly - Rebecca Kinkead Gulls (Fries) Jump (Blue Sky)

A wander through our gallery is always a treat. We have a great deal of new work from our artists. They were incredibly busy over the winter.  We also have a new artist, Charles Bluett, whose work is fabulous. If you are looking for art or perhaps a Wind Sculpture guaranteed to make any mother smile, we are happy to help you find just the right piece.

You can find us at 14 Western Ave in Kennebunk. We will be open all weekend from 10-5. Many of our staff live locally and are happy to help with recommendations for things to do. Since Sunday is Mother’s Day, we have given many of our mommas the day off, however, we happily put owner, John Spain, to work for the weekend. He has been in town for over twenty-five years, so you will be well taken care of.

A few other websites you may find helpful:

https://www.facebook.com/kennebunkport/

http://kennebunkportmainelodging.com – operated by locals who know it all! The Chamber of Commerce Please click the icons below to share this on your own social media.

Meet the Staff – Natalie Lane, Gallery Manager

05/04/2017 0 Comments
 

Natalie Lane, Gallery Manager

Natalie Lane is our Gallery Manager and the brains and talent behind our framing counter.  With over twenty-four years framing experience, we are incredibly lucky to have her.  For the last ten years, she has shared her amazing eye for design, her color sense and skills in the Maine Art frame shop and on the sales floor. She is an accomplished framer and manages to keep us all on task and organized, and helps keep the gallery running.

Everyone knows Natalie. If you have been into the gallery, her smiling face is one of the first you see.  Our long-time clients ask for her by name, and value the fact that she remembers their taste and style. But, believe it or not, she has a life outside of Maine Art!

Natalie was born at Portsmouth Naval Air Hospital in Kittery, Maine. Her father was stationed at Pease Air Force Base in Portsmouth. Being a military child, her travels started at a young age. One of her earliest memories is of Madrid, Spain, while her father was stationed at Torrejon Air Base.

“I think this is where my interest in art may have begun. There was a man in Spain, Suarez Gomez, who became a friend of my father’s.  He was an artist that used various mediums such as oil, pastel and charcoal. Several paintings and portraits of his hung in our home for many years, even after we returned stateside,” says Lane. “Some of them hang in my home now.”

Homestead by Suarez Gomez

Natalie’s family returned to the U.S in 1969. Throughout her life, she has called many places in New Hampshire and southern Maine home. She is truly a New Englander at heart. She has a love for hiking, fishing, and gardening. Living in rural Maine with her wonderful husband, Jeff, certainly helps foster these activities.

“I have a lot of artwork in my home centered around trees, birds and botanicals, so I guess you could say I’m a nature lover,” says Natalie.  “Thanks to my 4-H leader, Mrs. Saltmarsh, I have also been sewing and designing with fabric since I was nine years-old. Project Runway is my guilty pleasure. On my days off, I like to poke around flea markets and browse through old photos. Yet most of all, I love spending time with family and friends. My husband, daughter, son-in-law and two grandsons are by far my favorites.”

The Grandbabies The Happy Couple Mother and Daughter

Natalie participated in various clubs and sports in school, but her favorite was Drama Club. She is always writing or composing something in her head, but it was the camaraderie and creativeness it required that drew her in. This explains why she is so at home at Maine Art.

“When I came to Maine Art, I was prompted to take on the challenge of original art sales along with running the custom framing aspect of the business. I enjoy welcoming new customers to the gallery, engaging in conversation, and introducing them to the works of all our artists,” says Lane. “I feel lucky to have a career in a creative field, and I am  privileged to work with such quality people.”

Art has always been a love of Natalie’s, even though she doesn’t draw or paint. Apparently this talent was doled out to other members of her family, but skipped her. Taking lessons is on her list of future plans, but so are a few other things.

“In the future I want to travel. Honestly, anywhere. I want to see more of America, especially the Southwest and the Pacific Northwest. As far as what I want to be when I grow up,” Lane pauses and smiles, “I plan on becoming our beloved Miss Patty.”

Natalie and Miss Patty Taylor

Miss Patty Taylor is one of our former employees, who still visits often, and whom we all love dearly.  If anyone can fill Miss Patty’s shoes it will certainly be Natalie. This is proven in her final words of her interview when asked what is most important to know about her;

“I believe in the Golden Rule, Karma, and if I can help, I will.”

Natalie Lane, Gallery Manager

To read about other members of our staff click here.

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Choice Art Show, 2017 – Let the Voting Begin

04/27/2017 0 Comments
 
 

CHOICE ART SHOW

6th Annual Choice Show Artists 6th Annual Choice Show Artists

For the last five years Maine Art Painting and Sculpture has opened their summer season with the Choice Art Show.  This year is no different. The opening reception for the 6th Annual Choice Art Show will be on Saturday, June 10th at Maine Art Shows, and will help to culminate the Kennebunkport Festival week.  However, we all know the Choice Art Show really begins May 1st.

For those of you new to Choice, and a recap for the veterans, we begin with seventy-two original works from twelve artists; six pieces each.  It is then narrowed down to three pieces from each artist. These three are carefully “chosen” to be in the show. This is where it gets fun.  One piece, the artist chooses. One, Rebecca Falzano, Editor-In-Chief at Maine Magazine and Maine Home+Design, chooses. And then there are the third and final piece for each artist. This choice is all up to you. By casting your vote for your favorite piece by each artist, you decide the last 12 paintings that will be featured.  Each and every artist represented in the show is one of the very best in the area. You can trust that no matter which piece you choose, many others will be in complete agreement.  All you need to do is click the link and let us know which one you like best BEGINNING MAY 1ST.

Upon clicking, you will be directed to the 6th Annual Choice Art Show page. Here you begin voting.  Each screen shows the six paintings each artist has submitted.  All you have to do is tell us which one you love most by clicking it and then clicking, “Vote.” Once you decide, the site will show you what other voters liked and then move you forward to the next artist. You have until Sunday, June 4th to vote.

Watch for our Facebook, website and email updates on Monday, June 5th for the announcement of the “People’s Choice” winners.

On Saturday, June 10th, the 6th Annual Choice Art Show opens at Maine Art Shows at 10 Chase Hill in Kennebunk.  As of this moment, no one knows exactly what the show will look like. Will your favorite make it to the walls of the gallery?  Come in and find out. The show is open until June 29th.  Remember – if you can’t find the piece you fell in love with, visit the Artist’s Page on our website or the main gallery at 14 Western Ave. All the works are far too beautiful not to showcase somewhere at Maine Art, so they will be on display at one of our two locations once the show opens.

IMG_3307

The opening reception on June 10th is a Kennebunkport Festival event and is a ticketed reception.  Tickets can be purchased by clicking here. We welcome you to join us from 5-7 p.m. for music and food and the opportunity to meet the artists who created the work you voted on.

We look forward to seeing you soon and happy voting!

**If you cannot make it to Kennebunk to see the show in person, the full catalog will be available for online viewing. Join our mailing list to receive an email on the day it goes live.

The Artists: Jennifer Clement, Jeffrey T. Fitzgerald, Margaret Gerding, Ellen Welch Granter, Liz Hoag, William B. Hoyt, Holly Ready, Janis H. Sanders, Jill Valliere, Susan Wahlrab, Abbie Williams, and David Witbeck.

To read more about each artist, click their name above. To see other art work from each artist, click here.

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Lyman Whitaker and Whitaker Studio – 10 Years with Maine Art

04/20/2017 0 Comments
 

Double Helix Horizontal Merinda III Desert Flame

It has been ten years since John Spain, owner of Maine Art, first saw Lyman Whitaker’s copper Wind Sculptures. It has been ten years since conversation about representing them started with Stacy Christensen, Whitaker’s wife and business partner. It has been ten years since the amazing kinetic sculpture garden began greeting all who visit the Kennebunks. It has been ten years, and it is time to celebrate!

Off and on, over the last few months, Maine Art has been lucky enough to spend some time with the masterminds behind Whitaker Studio. Between dinners with Lyman and Stacy, off-roading and tenting with John Whitaker and his lovely wife, Janet, and even some crazy slot canyon scrambling with the fabulous Jen Shepherd, the General Manger of the studio, plans started to form. It was inevitable that some crazy scheming and concocting would happen during this time spent together. The results were better than we ever expected!

John, Trisha, Janet and John Lyman and Stacy Jen Sheperd with John Spain in the water behind her

As you know, on July 22nd, Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture will begin twenty days of celebrating twenty years – with our 20th Anniversary Show. The three-week span will be full of amazing art, gallery events and artist visits. Thanks to some fantastic fancy talk from one John Spain, one of those artists will be Lyman Whitaker. We are lucky to have him visiting for a few days and plan to schedule a variety of ways for you to interact and meet with this talented man. To culminate his visit, Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, at 14 Western Ave, will host a Whitaker 10th Anniversary Party in and around the sculptures which have made him famous. Be sure to stay in touch for all the details.

Lotus with Double Helix Vertical behind Double Spinner

Lyman’s visit is just one of many exciting and fun events we have planned for the 20th Anniversary Show. The best way to stay abreast of our summer events is to add your email to our mailing list, if you haven’t already.  Our website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will also have continuously updated information.

As for now, and throughout the spring season, the gallery will be open from 10am – 5pm every day. Please stop by and visit. If we can help in any way, never hesitate to call 207-967-2803 or email at info@maine-art.com.

Lyman at work

Follow this link to see all of Lyman Whitaker’s Wind Sculptures –  kennebunkportwindsculptures.com

Follow this link to read more about Whitaker Studio – Whitaker Studio Insights and Stories

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Meet the Staff – John Spain, Owner of Maine Art

04/13/2017 3 Comments
 

Apparently, Things Do Change

Then......and Now

It may have started with musicals like Jesus Christ Super Star, summers spent at Choral Camp at the University of Maine in Orono, or that favorite teacher who guided his interests around the art department. However, it ended as the lead singer in a rock band and finally, the owner of a successful gallery. That’s right, being the front man is nothing new for John Spain. Even though it is now more common to find the owner of Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture in jeans and a dress shirt, not black leather pants and a tank top, his love of music and the arts has never wavered.

“Bands like Kings X, Yes and Pink Floyd influenced me musically,” says Spain. “However, my vocal inspirations came from singers like Chris Cornell and Geoff Tate. I also love the jazz greats of the 50’s and 60’s: Oscar Peterson, Dave Brubeck and Miles Davis. It’s usually a surprise when I put my iTunes on shuffle. I never know who will come up – Yo Yo Ma, Ella Fitzgerald or Sound Garden.”

By the time high school was over, John did find another calling. Sales. Car sales in particular. His love of everything with four wheels quickly led him to discover his knack for marketing and sales. He was good. Of course, having a nice, steady paycheck in his pocket was pretty good, too. However, he couldn’t give up the pursuit of his musical dreams.

His Personal Ford Truck Ad

“When the opportunity to move to New York to pursue a rock and roll career arose, I couldn’t turn it down. Things didn’t work out, but I wasn’t ready to go back to New Hampshire. I loved the city. Instead, I hit the street for a job. I still had to pay rent,” says Spain.  “It wasn’t long before I found a small gallery on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.  I started on the floor, but soon moved into management.”

It was a conscious decision to hang up his microphone and leather and begin his career in the gallery business. He spent three years in New York, and has fond memories of the city and his time there. Yet, after a short trip to the Maine coast in 1991, it was time for a change. Click here to read the story about how Maine Art began. As busy as he was starting up a new business, there was still a part of him that missed the adrenaline that performing gave him. What is an ex-rocker turned gallery owner to do? Not willing to slip back into the leather pants, John chose a different suit; a fire retardant one.

Always #47 Meeting of the Minds

“I have been racing sports cars for almost twenty years, now. I compete all over the U.S. and Canada. I also have the privilege of teaching other drivers how to race.  It’s rewarding and makes me a better racer. Overall, I win some. I lose some. And yes, I even crash some. It’s all part of the experience,” says Spain. “I love driving a new racetrack. In fact, you could say I collect them. The only thing I love more than the tracks are the drivers I compete against. We are a tight-knit group. Actually, one of my Bucket List items is to perfect my skills and speed to the point where I can regularly beat the drivers I most respect and admire,” he pauses and laughs. “They know who they are.”

When John is not driving around the track, he is driving around the country. His love of the outdoors, coupled with his wandering soul, makes cross-country RVing a perfect scenario. Thanks to his amazing year-round managers, Amy and Natalie, he is able to work remotely during the off season and cruise the United States in search of adventures. (Considering this interview was done from the passenger seat of the 40 ft diesel pusher coach, I’m not complaining.) It may have started with mountain biking and hiking, but more recently he has added canyoneering, kayaking and backpacking, sometimes all in one day.

Off to the Goblin's Lair Slot Canyon Smile Living Large

“National Parks might be the only thing I have collected more of than racetracks.  I have visited 48 of the fifty states, leaving North Dakota and Alaska for that ever growing Bucket List,” says Spain. “I love Maine and am lucky to have all my family living in New England, but this country is just too beautiful not to experience first-hand.”

White Sands National Park and Happy Wet Canyon Hiking - Wetsuits and all

Though Spain himself has brought many changes to his world over the course of his life, regrets are few and rewards, many. He has a woman who loves him and puts up with his crazy, a wonderful supportive and encouraging family, and an incredible group of friends he would do anything for. On top of it all, he owns a charming home and a thriving business in the beautiful town of Kennebunk, Maine.

Doing what he does best

“I have no future dream job. I love my life. Maybe in my next life I’ll manage a professional racing team,” Spain says thoughtfully,  “or maybe a National Park Ranger, or I could drive a tourist town trolley for tips. Now that would be fun. Seriously though, I am lucky. I am happy. And if today is my last day on Earth, I leave with a smile on my face.”

* Interested in seeing this ex-rockstar, race car driving, gallery owner perform live? Watch around town for Lisa Mills and her amazing musical partners. She occasionally shares her mic with John.

To read about each of Maine Art’s staff click here

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Blossoming at Maine Art

04/06/2017 0 Comments
 

The Language of Flowers - Barbara Peabody

After last week’s winter storm, we have our fingers crossed that spring is truly on her way.  Soon the grass will be green, and the branches on the trees will succumb to that lovely glow of new growth. Once spring has started, she usually rolls right along, which means the flowers are sure to follow. These are our favorite signs of the season here at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, and the favorite of many of our artists, as well.

If you, like us, are a bit impatient and want to fill your home with the brilliant flowers of Maine’s warmer seasons, come and visit. Our flowers are always blooming. Whether it be the poppies and delphiniums of Sandra L. Dunn, in Royal Purple Delphinium and Profusion of Poppies, or the simple strokes of Philip Frey’s Blooms, these up-close, still lifes bring color and light to any room.

Royal Purple Delphinium Sandra Dunn Blooms - Philip Frey Profusion of Poppies - Sandra Dunn

If you prefer the beauty the blooms bring to the exterior of your home and the way your yard comes alive, works like No Thyme Farm from Karen McManus and End of May from Abbie Williams will help remind you that springtime is upon us.

No Thyme Farm - Karen McManus End of May - Abbie Williams

Even Lyman Whitaker is in on the fun with his very popular, Tulip. There are few buds that can stand winds up to ninety miles per hour and look glorious covered in snow. This is a flower for all seasons; always in bloom and no watering necessary.

Prendergast, Christine copy

Of course, with the flowers come the birds and the bees. Spring would not be the same without them. Both Trip Park and Ellen Granter celebrate these little creatures. Lilac Lover is a fun and colorful portrayal of one of our favorite pollen spreaders, and Bonita and Soon Soon are beautiful reminders of the wonders Mother Nature is about to unfurl on us.

Soon Soon - Ellen GranterLilac Lover - Trip Park Bonita - Ellen Granter

So — if you need a little pick-me-up, and flowers make you happy, find your way to 14 Western Ave. in Kennebunk. You can always find a hint of spring in the air. Until then, we can settle for Lobsters and Champagne and its little pot of blooms, much like William B Hoyt, as he too waits for spring to blossom.

Lobsters and Champange - William B Hoyt

Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture is now open seven days a week. Click here for hours.

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Meet the Staff – Donna Speirs

03/30/2017 8 Comments
 

Donna Speirs

This coming summer brings the fourth season at Maine Art for Donna Speirs. She may have begun her employment three years ago, but the interesting introduction to the gallery happened years before that.

“The day I closed on my house in Hampstead, NH, I went to Foxwoods Casino. Isn’t that on the way to Kennebunk? Anyway, I sat next to a wonderful woman for over three hours. She was from Kennebunk, and one of the owners of Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture. It only took me five years before I made it into the gallery to see Francesca again,” says Speirs, “and I’m still here.”

Donna was born north of Boston, and if you listen carefully you can still hear it in her voice. Of course, with the twang comes the love of the Patriots and the Red Sox, two of her favorite pastimes.

“Having an older brother, who was a tremendous athlete, I was dragged to every football, basketball, and baseball game for years! I so resented it then, but now I recognize it as a learning experience,” says Speirs. “Summers were spent following the Red Sox. I was at the opening game at Schaefer Stadium when the Patriots played the Giants. I saw Larry Bird play dozens of times, and then there is Bobby Orr. I’ve been to five World Series games and a Super Bowl. I was even able to to sit in the Red Sox dugout for seven innings in Oakland, CA. I met the entire team, a spectacular 1978 team at that, and got all their autographs. Sports have been a large part of my family, and I love how it brings people together and it’s a celebration.”

Oakland, CA 1978

Donna’s skills cover fields too broad to comprehend, never mind mention. However, it is her diverse background that makes her so good at what she does for us here at Maine Art. Her degree in Liberal Arts at Bradford Junior College in Massachusetts to the University of New Hampshire, Durham and her BS in Art Education are just the beginning. She has also studied at Massachusetts College of Art, deCordova School, Otis Parsons School of Design in Los Angeles, Culinary Institute of the Arts in Napa, California, and LiYuen’s Chinese Culinary School in North Hampton, New Hampshire. So what does a girl do with all this expertise?

“I was an art teacher at a middle school in Billerica, Massachusetts for ten years. Then I needed a change,” says Speirs. “I have been a real estate broker for thirty years. I am licensed in New Hampshire and Maine, and was part of the top ten in sales at a company of 300 agents for six consecutive years.” But that is not all. “For two years, I painted for artist, Katherine Houston. It was a wonderful experience sponsored by Karma. It was the best job I’ve ever had. I’m still very good friends with artists who worked there with me.

Stonewall Cooking School

To top it off, Donna taught cooking classes at Stonewall Kitchen Cooking School. She was the international chef, recruited new chefs, and assisted the chefs with their classes. She also had to write the menus and recipes for the classes. It was a true culinary education. Her love of food is clear, right down to her license plate on her car.

Cooking and Eating the Maine Way

“I love GREAT food, and I totally enjoy cooking for family and friends. When I travel – twenty-one different countries so far – learning about different cultures and cuisines is a focus. My real passion for food goes back to my California days of following Alice Waters and the ‘farm to table’ movement that began there in the ’80’s,” says Speirs. “I have won numerous recipe/cooking contests. The biggest was a Hood Milk contest for all of New England. Six states, over 4,000 contestants, and I won top prize.”

The Winning Recipe Publication

Food, travel and sports keep Donna busy, but family is first. With two beautiful, independent and successful daughters – one lives in Korea and one in Las Vegas – she loves being a mom. She also has an identical twin sister who lives in Boston, and a brother who lives in Florida.

“Growing up with an Italian family was always about our gatherings of family and, of course, really great Italian food. My passions and celebrations are the byproducts of growing up Italian,” says Speirs.

So what is next for Donna, besides spending summers with us at Maine Art, of course?

“Italy, for certain,” say Speirs. “I need to complete my Italian citizenship paperwork. Then maybe a part time move to Italy. I totally love all things Italian. The culture, people, food (duh), countryside, diversity of all the areas, and the magnificent scenery. It’s like a magnet to me. It’s in my soul.”

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Abbie Williams – A Studio Visit

03/23/2017 0 Comments
 

John and Abbie making a few "Choice" decisions.

At Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, all of our artists have strong connections to Maine and New England. With artist, Abbie Williams, Maine has come in and out of her life for as long as she can remember. However, recently her curiosity as both a woman and an artist has brought her back to the southwestern part of the United States and a place she has called home before; Taos, New Mexico.

Often, we are able to visit artists in their studios and see where their magic happens. It is not often that studio is in New Mexico. However, all the stars aligned in February, and we found ourselves in Taos and able to spend a wonderful day with Abbie and her husband, Bob.

Backyard Warm and Cozy

Over sixteen years ago, Abbie and Bob built their dream home at the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Made in the traditional southwestern adobe style, Abbie was the architect, and Bob was the Builder. With help from wonderful local contractors and the blessing of an exceptional sense of imagination and adventure, their perfect home and studio was created. Two years later life changed again and Maine called them home. They spent twelve years from Nobleboro to Monheagan Island as Abbie captured the beauty of this state. Maine has her heart, and for many years, her paint brush. Yet, things were about to change again.

“During my time in Maine, I visited the Taos area while house sitting for a friend,” says Abbie. “There is something about this area that has always called to me. Two years ago, when the opportunity to come back presented itself, I had to take it. There is a saying in Taos. ‘The mountain either accepts you or spits your out.’ I felt strongly that the mountain was calling me back.”

Since Abbie has returned to Taos, she has not only found the land she missed while back in Maine, she also found the house she missed. As fate would have it, the home and studio they designed and built was for sale.

Studio

“Years ago, we made a wonderful light space for my studio. It was a place that called me. It was still there, almost just as I left it. Here I can let down and relax. It’s more than just a place to paint. I meditate. I write. It’s a place for me to go and just be,” she says. “I am a believer in positive energy, and I need that to be part of my studio space. It’s just a peaceful spot.”

From her studio, Abbie looks out onto flower gardens, she planted years ago, not knowing if she would ever see them full grown. Gardening has always been one of her passions. She left parts natural and wild, but also added meditation paths to wander through. There is even a bench that began as a practice piece of Bob’s for their kitchen counter.

“Everything is the way we planned it. The bench was still here, waiting for me. Everything was still here,” she says. “I stand at the window in my studio, and say, ‘I did this.’ I planted everything around me. I created my little Garden of Eden here, and now I am able to come back and see it all grown up.”

Since her move back, she is stepping out and trying new things, especially where her work is concerned. Abbie has always been a very serious artist. She has used her talents to support herself. The importance of producing work was engrained in her. It was what she did for a living. It was her job. This is changing, too.

“I needed to get back in touch with my imagination. I lost that for a while and very realistic work was the result. I’m not sure what it’s going to look like this time,” says Abbie. “I fight with my internal New Englander as I begin to push the edges a little bit. I am still a Maine painter, but I want to bring a little more abstraction into my work, make it more contemporary.  I have very strong drawing skills, and I want to start using them more.”

For Abbie, there are choices to be made all the time. In the past, if she was using a photograph, she followed the picture. As she began pushing her limits, she began following the picture but took charge of her own color choices. Next, she began to move a subject or make it bigger or smaller.

A Sneak Peek

“At this point, I am finally free enough to start adding and subtracting. I can do whatever I feel like doing. I am no longer beholden to the image. If I want to copy it exactly I can, but I no longer have to, and I don’t feel bad about it,” she laughs. “I am starting to let go. I still feel a little guilty if I don’t go into the studio every day… but I don’t. Now the main point of it all for me… it has to be fun.”

Abbie Williams

Of course, the change in Abbie’s scenery has had an impact on her work. We will still see the classic Maine that we love, but there are changes, good changes, that are happening. Be the first to see some of her new work during the 2017 Choice Art Show. She has six amazing new pieces that will be up for your vote in May.  Be sure to watch for future posts about the Choice Art Show and, as always, you can see her work on her Artist Page.

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Meet the Staff – Amy Lewia, Gallery Director

03/16/2017 0 Comments
 

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Amy Lewia is the Gallery Director at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture. She has been with the gallery for twelve years and is the “Go to Girl” for just about everything. However, if you had asked her right out of college if being in the art business was her dream, she probably would have laughed out loud.

“For 15 years I was a dancer; ballet (including pointe), tap, jazz, lyrical and hip hop. I competed in hip hop for many years. I was going to be a dancer,” says Lewia.  “It took me to some fun places, including competitions and conventions in Boston, New York City and Walt Disney World. I marched and performed in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and was on an episode of Extreme Home Makeover.”

Her college years took her to the University of New Hampshire to study archeology for a year, then to the University of New England to study psychobiology with a focus in animal behavior. Hmmmm – so where does art come in? Amy moved to Maine at the age of nine and graduated from Kennebunk High School in 2002. She considers the Kennebunks her home. When she transferred to UNH, a part time job at Maine Art sounded like fun.

“I was trying to pay my way through school. At the time I was hired, I was also working two other jobs; Assistant Manager and Head Barista at KBC Coffee and Dry Goods and slinging pizzas at Atlantic Pizza,” says Lewia. “I heard through a customer that Maine Art was hiring, so on a whim I decided to apply for the custom framing job. I felt I had a great eye for color and design – and here we are!”

Watching Amy work, seeing her interact with customers and staff, she is a natural. However, she is the first to attest this hasn’t always been easy. She laughs when sharing a few things only those close to her know and are rarely seen in the gallery.

“I’m actually extremely shy, though this job has helped me tremendously to overcome a fear of speaking. John, the owner of the gallery, can surely attest to this. I also have a dry and dark sense of humor. On top of that, I am terrible at keeping in touch with people.” The irony, and humor, is not lost on Lewia. “My customers rarely see this side of me, but those closest to me endure each frequently, like it or not.”

If you are a regular customer at Maine Art, it may seem as if Amy is always there. Probably her husband Nick and young son, Brandon, feel the same way, especially during the summer months. However, her time is important, and she tries to keep a good balance between work, family and self. She has always been an active person, but the activities have changed.

“I love spending time with my family, traveling, animals/wildlife, food and being with friends. When I have the time, I love to read and to get outside in nature. Working full time and raising a toddler leaves very little free time these days.”

Amy and Nick will be celebrating ten years together and six years married in May. Bran will be three in April, which is hard to believe.  Both sets of their parents live within forty-five minute’s drive, as well as all of their siblings. Lewia loves Maine and is happy that her son will grow up here, yet a desire for him to see more of the world is present.

“I want to start traveling more. I need to travel through Europe. I would absolutely love to travel cross-country with the family,” she pauses. “For me, my bucket list is long. I would enjoy attending a yoga/meditation/wellness retreat. I’d love to return to Costa Rica, where we were married, and see a bit more of the country. Maybe even overcome my fear of water and SCUBA dive around a coral reef, then an African safari and a tour of New Zealand.”

Not all of Amy’s future plans are for travel. She still has a tremendous longing to work with animals, specifically studying wild animals in their natural habitat. The desire to help rehabilitate injured/orphaned wildlife and return them to their home hasn’t ever gone away.  For now her a ten-year-old fur baby, Marley Moab, keeps her connected with her love of all the creatures. Well, most. Spiders are a whole different story.

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Amy is the perfect example of how diverse and interesting our staff here at Maine Art is.  One assumes art is, and has always been, her world. The hard work and effort she puts into her job is indescribable, but in actuality she is so much more. We are very lucky to have her at the helm.

Amy is in the gallery all year-round. She and Patrick and Natalie are keeping things moving and getting ready for the busy summer season. Please come by, take a minute to chat, and see all the changes that have been going on throughout the winter.

Check out our website for current hours. www.maine-art.com.

See you soon.