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.

One Way or Another – The Mathew J. Lanigan Bridge

03/09/2017 0 Comments
 

bridge1 bridge bridge3

It has been in the planning for a while now, but the actual construction – and destruction, began right after Christmas. Many businesses in the port, who remain open throughout the winter, were worried about access. However, the town has made sure that customers can get to where they need to be, one way or another.

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The weather in February put a damper on progress, but by Tuesday, February 21, the pedestrian walkway between Kennebunk and Kennebunkport opened. So for now, you have two choices for visiting. You can reach us by coming into town on Log Cabin Road, parking behind Alisson’s Restaurant in the public lot and enjoying the new walkway. You can also come in Route 9 from Wells or Route 35 from Kennebunk and park right at the gallery.

We have four spots in front of Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture on Western Ave, as well as a few behind the building.  If by any chance these are full, we have three additional spots at the top of Chase Hill at Maine Art Shows.

“Walking the footbridge” has become a bit of a right of passage for winter residents and visitors.  It is fun, novel and allows an up-close and personal look at the progress of the bridge. It is a nice way to wander between the shops and restaurants of Lower Village and Kennebunkport. You can’t use the Mathew J. Lanigan Bridge as a throughway by car, at least not for a couple months. However, we wanted to remind you that we are all still very much up and running down here by the river if you don’t mind the walk.

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We hope you take a day, enjoy this spring sunshine we have been blessed with, and come #bravethebridge.

Lanigan Bridge News, on Facebook is a fabulous place to stay updated on the progress of the construction. Even if you are not a Facebook user, you can see the development as it moves forward. Right now, this is what the schedule looks like: March 11-13: The in-water pier demolition takes place with the tides, which will include nighttime work. April 20 (tentative): Bridge reopens to traffic (one-way). May 25 (tentative): Project complete. The Chamber of Commerce is also putting together Demolition Survival Kits for local residents – more details soon!

Watch the bridge repair live with the new LIVE BRIDGE CAM

We hope to see you soon. Take lots of pictures and remember to tag us at #maineartgallery and the bridge at #bravethebridge. Check out our website for our winter hours and visit soon.

   

Meet the Staff – Patrick Harrison

03/02/2017 1 Comment
 

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Patrick Harrison was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey in October of 1989. He moved to Lyman, Maine with his parents and younger sister when he was seven and has lived in Maine, for the most part, ever since. It is at this same home in Lyman that Patrick and his new husband, Charley, are working to create a sustainable living retreat.
Harrison says, “I consider myself a ‘Mainer,’ even though some might disagree depending on the definition. Regardless, I have a serious love for the state that ‘raised me,’ and a passion and dedication to all things Maine.”
In 2012, Patrick graduated from New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester, NH earning his BFA in Illustration.  With a successful senior show, he attempted to make it in “The Big City.” However, he quickly grew homesick for the beautiful landscapes and slower lifestyle of his home state.
“I am an artist. I consider myself a jack-of-all-trades, dipping my fingers in many artistic pies. From jewelry to traditionally hand-bound books to folding origami. Creating is where I am happiest,” says Harrison. “I have dabbled with oils, acrylic, assemblage and a myriad of other mediums, in addition to my wheelhouses of watercolor and digital.”
While the bulk of his work could be considered illustration, he also has plenty of other artistic expressions. As a creator, he understands the value in exploring outside of his comfort zone.
“Because I’ve experienced many of the techniques and themes found here at Maine Art in my own journey as an artist, I am able to better help someone understand a painting or sculpture. This process is circular, working in the gallery also enhances my own artistic abilities.”
In addition to his love of art in all its forms, he is a hiker and an avid gardener, including the Japanese art of shaping miniature trees, commonly known as bonsai. He is a die-hard bibliophile with a library that exceeds the hundreds and is constantly growing. He is a lover of all things fantasy and happily considers himself a “nerd.”  He loves art books, spicy foods, a rainy day spent reading and learning new meditation techniques.
Patrick is also an aspiring fantasy and science-fiction novelist focusing on creating a broader spectrum of protagonists in the genre. Particularly in concern to LGBT representation. His self-published debut novel “Quiet Courage” has travelled to six other countries and is sold in bookstores throughout the state.
With the anticipation of his third show season with Maine Art, Patrick says,  “The biggest draws for me in coming here were the exceptional variety and talent of the artists Maine Art represents, and the incredible work environment. One of my favorite things about working here is how we all really feel like a work family. Everyone wants to know what the other is doing outside of work, and genuinely cares about the wellbeing of their coworkers. It’s that kind of camaraderie and environment that always stands out to me as a really good place to work.”
He considers himself lucky to have worked in a few places with this kind of mentality, but has found Maine Art to be the best union of this with his education and passion for all things art.
Patrick Harrison
You can find Patrick at the main gallery “down the hill” most days. He is either working hard behind the framing counter, a new skill for him, or showcasing artwork out on the floor. Please check the website for current hours when planning a visit to the Kennebunkport area.
***You can learn more about “Quiet Courage” and it’s upcoming sequel “Quiet Grace” by visiting his website: www.sundast.org And some of the artwork from his novel will be on display during the Portland Art Walk on March 3, 2017. Details here.

Winter Work – Trip Park

02/23/2017 0 Comments
 

Nomad

Much of the work that our artists accomplish for a summer season is actually created during the winter months. For many, the snow in New England brings quality and uninterrupted studio time. Summer is for celebration and winter is for work. With that said, we do continually receive new works from our artists from October to May. We keep our website up-to-date as they come in, and we post these new works on our social media sites. This February, in particular, found one of our artists very productive. And lucky for us, he agreed to send a few of his newest pieces to Kennebunk.

Trip Park tries to paint seven days a week.  If he is lucky, he can finish one new piece a day. It doesn’t always happen, but having the goal is important to Park.

“I’m going to quote Ralph Steadman again,” says Park. Steadman is a British artist Park enjoys. “He said, ‘Simply start a drawing and it will come out (on) the other end somehow. I won’t know how it is going to come out, and that’s the fascination – that makes it a worthwhile pursuit. If I knew what was going to happen before I started what would be the point of doing it?’ How cool is that? It’s a great way of disarming your psyche. I try to remember this throughout every painting. Blank canvases are like bullies, and I hate bullies! Every day is like a tiny ass-kicking on the playground for me.”

With that attitude, it is easy to see why the creative juices have been flowing in Park’s studio this winter. He is a perfect example of the celebration of summer coming out in the work of winter.

“When I was visiting Maine, I noticed little pops of color out of the corners of my eyes. It turned out that within all of these massive crates of wire and steel mesh of all these lobster traps, there were these brightly painted lobster buoys all over the docks,” says Park. “I thought to myself, there’s no way people would find a painting of those interesting, but I had to try it. I think I’ve done over fifty variations of them, now.”

Baby Buoys

Like Park’s ‘Buoy’ series, the colors and characters of Maine continue to appear in his work. He claims that it’s hard not to love a variety of color all at once. This is obvious in these new works, Storm Rider and Nomad. He is always consciously aware of what he sees and observes, keeping a running tally of ideas and concepts that are “on deck” and the next things up after his current pieces in progress.

“I love finding that combination of things I’ve done and new things I have not tried. However, I don’t attempt any painting I don’t want to create. I have to love each one, even just the thought of it, going in,” says Park. “I try to change things up with every painting, you could call it free-flowing. Paintings I do that make me happy are the ones that jump out and feel different than what I’ve done before.”

Chesapeake Charms Lilac LoverStorm Rider

Chesapeake Charms and Lilac Lover are wonderful examples of trying something new. If you know Trip Park’s work, these pieces are obviously his. Style and design are familiar, but there is new content and a fun energy in them that makes them unique. Of course as a gallery, we are always wondering what is coming next.

“My life is going to go where that creative inspiration takes me,” says Park in response to this. “I have no control over it, it’s just the nature of creating something out of nothing. As long as I work to my fullest potential every day… I’m happy.”

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And so are we.

We invite you to wander down to Kennebunk during the next few weeks.  The sun even comes out sometimes! We are open year-round, but check the website for specific times. As always, you can view our entire collection of work from Trip Park on our website. www.maine-art.com.

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Meet the Staff – Trisha Winslow

02/16/2017 0 Comments
 

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Trisha Winslow came to Maine Art quite by accident.  She didn’t apply or submit a resume or even inquire about an open position. She just wandered down the stairs from the second floor and found a quiet niche that suited her. That was three years ago. Now, she is the voice behind our blog and the face behind the desk at Maine Art Shows.

“I never thought my love for the owner of the gallery would transcend into a love for the gallery itself,” says Trisha, who is also John Spain’s significant other. “However, just being around the staff and the artists and the customers, it was easy to get sucked in.”

Born and raised in Waterboro, Maine, a little town just inland from Kennebunk, Trisha is very much a Maine girl. Graduating from Massabesic High School, she moved on to the University of Maine at Orono to obtain her degree in Elementary Education. Family and career took her from Boothbay to Houlton and then back to the southern Maine coast.

“This state is an incredible place to grow up. I was a ‘free-range kid,’ and only came home at night when the fire whistle blew,” says Winslow. “In turn, I loved raising my own daughter, Amanda, in the same atmosphere. She is now a very well-adjusted, happy adult, who has also found her own home in Maine. There is just something innately good about being from here.”

Trisha is the first to tell you she has no art background. A fourteen year veteran language arts teacher, she took a jump with a serious career change when she joined Maine Art. Writing was always a passion, although never for a public audience. Yet, her interview skills and love of words helped to give the artists and gallery something we didn’t have, a voice. Although truth be told, she claims it wasn’t the job she gave up teaching for, it was the boss.

“Five years ago, if someone would have asked me where I would be today, this never would have been my answer. It’s a bit crazy and surreal,” says Winslow. “John and I travel all over the country seven or eight months out of the year – in an RV! I keep the blog up and help with social media. For him, I’m a sounding board and often devil’s advocate. I stuff envelopes or edit copy, whatever needs doing.”

Of course in their down time, they are hiking, climbing, and wandering all over this beautiful country. With almost thirty National Parks and over thirty states covered in the last few years, these two don’t sit still very long in the winter.

“I had never hiked before a few years ago. I’m now on my third pair of boots. I have slept on a rock under the hoodoos in Canyonlands National Park in Utah, dangled off a rope in a waterfall in Maui, and shared a trail with a gigantic elk in Colorado,” says Trisha. “ This country is so beautiful and wild. I am truly blessed to be able to travel and see such wonders.”

As much as she loves the adventure, Trisha is always happy to trade in those hiking boots for sandals once summer comes around. Kennebunk and Kennebunkport have certainly become her home. During the day, she can normally be found up on the hill at Maine Art Shows. Not only is she an expert on the resident show artists and their work, she is a wealth of local knowledge about where to eat and what to do while staying in the area.

Please stop in at Maine Art Shows this summer and say hello. The gallery at 10 Chase Hill Road opens in June 2017 with our first of four summer shows. Click here to find show dates and details.

As always you can visit on-line at www.maine-art.com.

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