Connections – Insights from Rebecca Kinkead

“These paintings are moments of stillness and movement… all inspired by patterns and events over time,” Rebecca Kinkead, artist.

Swim Team (White Caps)

Rebecca Kinkead’s work is known throughout the United States. Her children and animals are celebrated for the wonder and life she captures in a medium of wax, chalk powder and pigment she creates herself.

“It’s taken me twenty years to develop the technique and skills to have something I’m thinking and feeling inside, come out on a canvas,” shares Kinkead. “They finally look a way that feels and communicates what I want.”

Her ambiguous children spark memories of our own childhood, and often those of our own children and grandchildren. With minimal background to tell of time or place, her subjects are caught in a moment of joy and play.

Rope Swing (Blue and Orange) Jump (Blue Sky)

“I want my work to feel more like an experience,” says Kinkead. “I try to abstract things to a certain level that allows a viewer to enter the place, but leave room for their own story.”

Her painting of animals, especially wild animals, allows for very different experience for both artist and viewer. “There is something about painting wild animals that makes me a better painter,” explains Kinkead. “I want to paint them in a way that’s respectful of them and with a certain proficiency.”

Barred Owl (Winter Woods) Grey Wolf ( Watching)

With this, a connection from the subject to the viewer is made. It is as if eye contact has been established from canvas and color directly to the audience. It is a sharing of a particular time and place, a private moment delivered from what is wild, but also with the artist herself.

The connection to her collectors is a benifit to Kinkead. “Getting to talk with people who are getting something from my work is the most gratifying experience,” she shares. “It’s exciting to connect with someone who is understanding my language, and it’s impacting them in a way they are appreciative of what I do.”

Kinkead is in the process of building a new home and studio in Vermont where she will be situated come this fall. While her new place was being built, she attended two residencies. The first at Jentel Art Foundation in Banner, WY where she produced the wolf and eagle pieces we presently have here at Maine Art Hill. The second of the two was at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT.

Maine Art Hill carries Rebecca Kinkead paintings year round. There is always a display of her work as well as new work continually coming in. Visit our website regularly and sign up for our email list to be contacted when her new pieces arrive.

To learn more about Kinkead and her process click here. STORIES AND INSIGHTS – REBECCA KINKEAD

To see our present collection click here. ARTIST PAGE – REBECCA KINKEAD

Donna D’Aquino – Meet the Artist

Donna D’Aquino is a new artist here on The Hill. She and her beautiful jewelry and sculpture joined this crazy art family this spring helping to round out The Works at Studios on Maine Art Hill, a gallery containing three-dimensional works. 

D’Aquino was trained as a designer and has roots in graphic design. Her original plan was to be an illustrator, but over the course of time, she traveled down a very different road.

“When I share my early plan to be an illustrator, many people express sadness over a dream unfulfilled,” shares D’Aquino. “This statement still surprises me. It’s just simply not the case.”

Even though this was the origin of her path, the transformation from drawing to jewelry to sculpture was an organic and interesting one.

“Having a desire to work with line transformed my drawing. My work is still made of up line,” says D’Aquino. “They are just three-dimensional lines made of metal.”

Even from her earliest memories all D’Aquino ever wanted to be an artist. She received her BS in Design from The State University College of New York at Buffalo in 1989; and her MFA in Jewelry/Metalsmithing from Kent State University in 1999. After teaching for several years at the university level, D’Aquino decided to focus on her studio practice. She continues to teach and use her skills and talents to help grow new artists.

“There suddenly was a time where making art became more important than making money, and I took that scary step from safety,” says D’Aquino about her decision to give up teaching. “I had found success with my jewelry, so it was time to go full time.”

 

For seventeen years D’Aquino traveled the “craft show” circuit, She displayed all over the United States, from Minnesota to Texas, California to Florida. But again, growth and change pushed her to take another step forward and try something new. She had run her own shop and worked at a local museum, but being away from her studio in Bethel was becoming too hard.

“Since leaving the travel and outside work behind and finding my place and studio, I began to miss the camaraderie and community of friends. I needed to be with like-minded creatives,” says D’Aquino.

Over time jewelry had become her work, where sculpture, bigger and bolder, was her passion. For the past five years, D’Aquino explored the idea of scale, and her work grew in sizes up to 7 feet. Coupled with the need to seek out more education, D’Aquino moved or more aptly grew, into a new form.

“It has always been important to grow and learn as a person and an artist. Jewelry was a short trip to sculpture,” laughs D’Aquino. “When I decided to attend Haystack, my first ever residency, I wanted to explore something I didn’t know. I had just begun taking a welding course, so I chose larger metal works as my focus. I was venturing into the ‘hot shop.’” 

Between the Fabrication Lab, meeting the CNC router, and a small bit of tig welding, D’Aquino fell in love with something she never thought she would do. She left Haystack with lots of “parts and pieces” and is looking forward to seeing what they become.

“I am always open to new things, but when you have been doing something for a long time and have found a level of success with it, it is hard to leap into the unknown again,” says D’Aquino. “I am trying to be a big girl and take that leap one more time.”

To see our collection of Donna D’Aquino’s work, both sculpture, and jewelry, visit The Works at Studios at 5 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk. All the galleries at Maine Art His are open daily at 10 am.

Jeffrey Fitzgerald – A Close Look at the Sea

Marginal Way Woodbury Lessons

For over five years now we here at Maine Art Hill have represented artist Jeffrey Fitzgerald.  A local boy who lives in York, his abstract pieces represent the life and time spent near the water’s edge. 

When the river meets the ocean, there is a tumultuous ebb and flow of life.  Fitzgerald celebrates that turmoil and turns it into a dance of paint and color. “My paintings are extensions of my passion, my true enthusiasm to investigate the world. I am drawn to the connections and spaces between,” shares Fitzgerald. “The tiny crevices and long deep horizons, the shots of green and expanses of grey come together and fuse canvas and brushstroke.”

Granite Conflate 1 Seaweed Heart Granite Conflate 2

There is so much unseen and implied when it comes to the sea and the land surrounding it. Each person, local and visitor alike, absorb its meaning and take away something different, something personal. “Paint and the layering of paint invigorates me.  From hues and shades to scratches and blobs, I am color it is zenith and zeal,” claims Fitzgerald. “The finish is truly the twain of subject and process. Paintings are needed.”

The energy that exudes from Fitzgerald upon meeting him helps to explain his work. The same energy is found there. “Since childhood, everyone has always offered for me to sit down and relax,” laughs Fitzgerald. “For years it sometimes bothered, but, it is what it is. I just luxuriate in being up and orchestrating my research on canvas and paper.”

Follow this link to read more Stories and Artist Insights from Jeffrey Fitzgerald.

Seaweeding

To see the newest collection of Jeffrey Fitzgerald’s work on Maine Art Hill, visit Shows at 10 Chase Hill Road or click here. The gallery is open every day from 10-5. We represent him year round, and his work can always be found at The Gallery at 14 Western Avenue in Kennebunk. 

His most recent work is shown with artists Susan Wahlrab and Rebecca Kinkead and can be seen until August 9 at Shows on Maine Art Hill. Please visit or see their collective work online by following the link below.  

THREE ARTISTS. THREE ROOMS. ONE SHOW.

Fitzgerald. Wahlrab. Kinkead.

Pop Up Artist Erika Manning

Featured Artist, Erika Manning is the guest artist for Pop Up beginning Tuesday, July 24 through Monday, July 30. Read on to learn more about her inspiration, her process, and her work.

“It’s good to have an end to journey toward, but it’s the journey that matters, in the end.” Ursula K. LeGuin

JULY 24 to JULY 30

The work of Erika Manning examines her deep connection to nature and to the Maine landscape. Her paintings although abstract, are directly inspired by Maine’s gorgeous clear light, the colors of pine trees, ocean, and lobster buoys, as well as the shapes of rock, islands, topographical maps, and boats.

Although she strives for a finished piece, the beauty for her is in the process of making art. Starting out with beginner mind, an initial gesture and relying heavily on the random acts of chance and the correct alignment of time and space: the image shifts as the rhythms and cycles of seasons, nature, earth. life and tides are evoked. The final image is a map of the passage of time, the paths taken, the colors chosen, the shapes drawn, of the emotional weather and the conversations with the piece itself.

Manning will be showing her work at Pop Up on Maine Art Hill at 5 Chase Hill Rd. in Kennebunk from July 24 to July 30. The gallery is open every day at 10 am. For more info about Manning and her work, follow this link to her website: erikamanningart.com

 

 

 

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Susan Wahlrab – Leaning into Flowers

“If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.” Buddha

Susan Wahlrab, a watercolorist from Vermont, has decided to stop, lean in and embrace what is around her. This past year has brought many changes and with it the new realization.

“The only thing in life we can truly count on is that this too shall pass,” says Wahlrab. “Many folks struggle against change, and although I certainly have my challenges, I embrace it.”

Change especially is seen in her work. From the beginning, she has experimented with the process of image creation in many mediums. “Drawing, printmaking, painting, sculpture, I played with all forms known,” shares Wahlrab. “Then I began inventing, collaborating and experimenting.”

And the fun began. Wahlrab’s technique of using watercolor on a clay surface and then varnishing comes from this vast repertoire. “There is a scientist buried in me,” she laughs. 

Everything Wahlrab does is to support an ever-deepening connection with the pulse of nature. This is seen as well as felt when spending time with her work. “I feel the landscape reveals all of life and since that includes us, is healing beyond understanding,” explains Wahlrab. 

In this last year, she evolved into focusing in on the flowers, even more so to the magic the flowers hold. “Who does not love flowers?” Wahlrab asks. “They make our hearts sing, and when our hearts sing, we are our very best selves.” 

Wahlrab has one of three rooms at Shows on Maine Art Hill, sharing the space with Jeffrey Fitzgerald and Rebecca Kinkead. This three-artist show will run until Thursday, August 9.

“I am excited to have a whole room to exhibit at Maine Art Hill,” says Wahlrab. “The paintings are their best selves when seen together this way. I hope you will come and spend some quiet time surrounded and then maybe do a little dance!”

Artist Susan Wahlrab

Shows on Maine Art Hill is open every day from 10 am to 5 pm at the top of the Chase Hill in Kennebunk. If you can not make it to Maine, check out the following links.

The Complete Fitzgerald, Kinkead, Wahlrab Show

Artist Insights from Susan Wahlrab

Our Complete Collection of Susan Wahlrab

Meet the Artist – David “Rocketman” Random

David Random is a new artist at The Works at Studios on Maine Art Hill.  Around here, we lovingly refer to him as “The Rocketman.” He is the dreamer, the designer, and the creator of the crazy, beautiful, fascinating rockets found here at Maine Art Hill.

Solar Spinner

ABOVE: Vintage 1959. Components: Vintage Thermos, chrome hair dryer, 1959 Cadillac tail light, matching vintage bullet flashlights affixed to hand pump liquor dispensers filled with candy cake decorations, a vintage cigarette dispenser, 1950s Lite-Brite peg, vintage beehive blender base.

David works from mostly repurposed artifacts. His studio is a highly organized collection of everything you and imagine.

“Created from reclaimed antique mechanical and architectural parts, my rocket ship creations evolved after years of collecting,” shares Random. “From heating grates and lawn sprinklers to kitchen utensils, I have collected them all.”

 David enjoys the detail designed into something so utilitarian. After appreciating the individual pieces, he realized many seemed to fit together almost as if they’d been made that way. 

“That’s when things took off. My “Antique Airships” and “Retro Rockets” have been an evolution of this process of fanciful combinations,” says Random. “Combining parts requires special attention to the details of conformity. If a rocket includes a lot of beautifully tarnished silverplate, you can’t just throw in a piece of brass, even if the shape is perfect.”

Super Nova

ABOVE: Vintage 1917. Components: Antique wooden newel post, antique wooden beehive bobbins, brass kerosene lamp components, vintage brass garden hose nozzle, antique brass clock gears, vintage bicycle reflectors, vintage wooden chess piece, vintage Lite-Brite pegs, decorative brass bracket, antique figural metal base.

That same sensibility does not permit a component from the 1950s, for example, to be used in combination with one from the 1890s. 

“The whole credibility of a piece would go out the window with that type of inconsistency,” he says. “These aren’t supposed to look like patchwork quilts. They must have integrity that allows one’s imagination to see them as something designed with a single aesthetic and purpose.”

When components need to be fastened utilizing screws or bolts, Random goes to his stash of salvaged fasteners. It would destroy the effect of a finished piece to use new hardware, no matter how inconspicuous.

Gold Rex

Vintage 1895. Components: Antique brass mechanical pump, Victorian brass swing-arm drapery brackets, vintage Rex bicycle emblem, antique light fixture bracket, vintage garden hose nozzle, kerosene lamp component, antique clock gears, vintage radio vacuum tube, vintage brass lamp stand.

“Then there is welding. I have just a few words about welding. I don’t do it! Welding forces together pieces which do not naturally join,” explains Random.  “I like to use components that fit together as if made for each other. That’s why my rocket ships take so long to create.”

In some cases, David may wait a year or more for just the right artifact to turn up at an antique shop or flea market before a specific rocket can be finished. 

David Random

David Random graduated in 1969 with a Fine Arts degree from Massachusetts College of Art. Subsequently, he worked in the Boston Advertising community for thirty-five years. He is currently retired from the Creative Director position at DiBona, Bornstein & Random, the agency he co-founded in 1989.

We welcome you to wander into The Works and check out these incredible creations of David Random.  The Works is open every day at 10 am. Please check the website for seasonal closing hours. 

Three Artists, Three Rooms, One Show – Fitzgerald, Kinkead and Wahlrab

There is something special when creative people get together. ~ Joy Mangano

This is especially true when talking about three talented and diverse artists. Maine Art Hill is hosting a three-artist show, featuring the works of painters, Jeffrey Fitzgerald, Rebecca Kinkead, and Susan Wahlrab. They will be on display for three weeks, beginning with an opening reception, Saturday, July 21. The artists will attend the event, which is 5 to 7 PM at Shows on Maine Art Hill at 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk.

John Spain, the owner of Maine Art Hill, says, “When planning our show schedule for the summer season, we are continually looking for dynamic pairings of artists who have varying styles and processes, but capture beauty and life in ways no other artists can replicate.”

There is no other way to describe the threesome who is about to take over our show gallery.

Jeffrey Fitzgerald is a Maine artist and calls the beautiful town of Ogunquit home. There, he is surrounded by these unique waters, known as brackish water where the river meets the ocean, the water blends, swirls and swells to create something genuinely engaging.

“I have a love affair with canvas, color, and brushstroke,” says Fitzgerald.  “Sand, branches, rocks and tiny colors of new spring life proposed by brushstroke activate and energize the canvas, but at the same time hold it together.”

Fitzgerald is not the only one who is finding Nature to be an inspiration. Susan Wahlrab, a watercolorist from Vermont, is celebrating the smaller creations.

“I feel the landscape reveals all of life and since that includes us, is healing beyond understanding,” says Wahlrab. “This year I am focusing in on the magic of flowers. They make our hearts sing, and when our hearts sing, we are our very best selves.”

Rebecca Kinkead is the final artist in this three-artist show. Another Vermonter, but with a very different medium. Her mixture of color in a soft wax paste, “impasto-like”, brings life to the part of nature we are most familiar with, ourselves, at least our younger selves. Known for her captured moments of youth and also for her larger than life animals, her work rounds out this fabulous show.

One statement, shared by Kinkead, perfectly conveys the thoughts of all three artists and the gallery as a collective group.

“The pieces in this show are moments of stillness and movement… all inspired by patterns and events over this past year.”

CLICK HERE TO SEE ENTIRE SHOW AND THE VIRTUAL TOUR  

( virtual tour available Friday evening)

Shows on Maine Art Hill welcomes the community to a free Artist Reception on Saturday, July 21 from 5 – 7 pm to kick off this three-week long show. Meet the artists and share in the beauty they have come together to create.

Read more about each artist by clicking their picture.

Rebecca Kinkead Jeffrey Fitzgerald Susan Wahlrab

Shows on Maine Art Hill is open every day from 10 am to 5 pm.

For the Love of Boats

There is no better way to celebrate summer than to be on or near the water. With that comes boat trips and harbor wandering.  Both David Witbeck and Bethany Harper Williams have captured the love of each but in very different ways.

With as many different harbors along the coast of Maine and New England, we have become an artist’s dream destination. Lobster boats, fishing boats, yachts, sailboats, dories and don’t forget the dingy all find their way into the works of the artists who love them.

Present company included.

Bethany Harper Williams has a new series of lobster boats that was inspired by a dinner at the Ramp back in early spring. “We were having dinner, and the light was just incredible. It set the lobster boats and traps aglow,” says Williams. “I’m excited to see the reaction to these.”

Considering many of these new lobster boat pieces have been sold, it is safe to say they were very well received. If you love William’s treatment of people in her beach scenes, you will be amazed at what she has done with the harbor.

“Like with my treatment of people, I’m trying to simplify the boats and capture them without too much detail. Simple shapes, textures, they are like my sunbathers, ‘blobs’ of color,” says Williams. “The water becomes my area to abstract with shapes and textures, energetic brush strokes.”

William’s work has been described as capturing the calm and movement or energy at the same time. “I think this reflects who I am, calm at my core but continually active.”

When looking at Witbeck’s work the same texture and shape of the water and vessels are found, but the abstraction is gone. The clear spatial arrangements Witbeck’s provides, give structure to his work. 

“All my work is essentially big shapes based ever so loosely on reality,” says David Witbeck “Even my seascape and harbor scenes are essentially a sky or water shape combined with a land shape.”

When looking at his boats, the shapes are certainly obvious and at the forefront. Clean and basic lines allow for the addition of brilliant color and a sense of whimsy the fisherman and seagulls bring when they arrive on the scene.  

When we decided to pair this duo together for a summer show, Bethany Harper Williams said, “Our individual versions of whimsy will work well together.” We agree wholeheartedly and hope you have time to come and wander through this week.

This amazing two-artist show closes on Thursday, July 19. Shows on Maine Art Hill on 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk, is open daily at 10 am. FMI 207-967-0049 or maine-art.com. 

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE SHOW IN ITS ENTIRETY

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT DAVID WITBECK

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT BETHANY HARPER WILIAMS

A Change for David Witbeck – Turbat’s Creek

Turbat’s Creek, a lovely 36 x48 painting from David Witbeck has something unique about it. Most Witbeck lovers immediately notice it and quickly fall in love.

Turbat's Creek

 “Turbat’s Creek, like all my work, is only very, very loosely based on the place that inspired it,” shares Witbeck.  All his work has a familiarity to it but is never a replica of a harbor or landscape found on the Maine coastline.

However, this is not what makes this painting special. 

“The color palette is unlike anything else I have ever done,” says Witbeck. “It started out with a bright blue sky with fluffy clouds, following my same traditional color scheme. Then something happened.”

The style of this piece is all Witbeck. However, the colors are all new.

“A friend texted me an image of a particular Fairfield Porter painting she was looking at at the Metropolitan Museum in New York,” Witbeck explains. “This is when the change started. Gradually my colors began to transform into the grays and pinks and browns from Porter’s painting.”

The muted shades are fabulous and let the viewer move into a time, either dawn or dusk, where the fog and humidity bring a haze over the word that is pure magic.   

“When I finished, it felt a little somber,” says Witbeck. “I added a couple of my favorite gulls to lighten the mood and was incredibly happy with the finished product.”

Artist David Witbcek

David Witbeck and his partnering artist, Bethany Harper Williams, are stunning in this two-artist show.  We are in the middle of the three-week-long show, and many pieces have sold. Interested? This show runs until July 19. 

WITBECK AND WILLIAMS VIRTUAL TOUR

The gallery is open every day from 10 am – 5 pm at 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk. FMI call 207-967-0049 or visit www.maine-art.com.

Click the links below for more…

READ MORE ABOUT WITBECK AND HIS WORK

SEE OUR COMPLETE COLLECTION OF WITBECK’S WORK

Finding the Fabulous in the Familiar – Insights from Bethany Harper Williams

“The Maine coast continues to inspire me,” says artist Bethany Harper Williams.

 

Williams is in the middle of a hugely successful show up here at Shows on Maine Art Hill. She has taken over half of this space until July 19th and has been exceptionally well received by locals and tourists alike.

“Our visitors have fallen in love with Bethany’s work,” says our owner John Spain. “Each painting holds a hint of a memory. It may be from their visit to Maine, or it may be from seaside spots closer to their own home. Either way, Bethany has a way of capturing that coastal light and magic each person wants to take home and hold on to.”

Williams spends most of her winter in Toronto. We lovingly call this her second home, because we think her first home is at her incredible spot in Biddeford Pool. Frequent trips back and forth fill her year. 

“Each time I return, I am amazed at how the views continue to captivate me. I find myself literally stopping and taking photos again and again, often of the same scenes,” she laughs. “The light is always different. The clouds. The water. I love seeing how the light and colors change through the year.”

 Dog Days of Summer

It is not uncommon to see Williams biking in the early evening, wandering in and around the shore. It is the perfect time for her to immerse herself in her surroundings.

“The light is so beautiful in the early evening. I can’t stop myself from stopping and taking even more photos of people on the beach, views across the pool, the clouds. All scenes I’ve seen and photographed for the last 30 years still inspire me,” Williams shares. “All these photos keep me going through the Toronto winters.”

Two Orange Boogie Boards Red Boat White Boat

And keep her coming back to spend her summers with us here in Maine. 

“I am thrilled to be a part of Maine Art Hill, especially at this time – new beginnings, great opportunities, and its blossoming art community.” She is sharing Shows on Maine Art Hill with David Witbeck until July 19.  We welcome you to stop in and see both artists’ work in person.  It is a real Maine summer treat. 

Visit virtually by following this link. 

Open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. Call for more info. 207-967-0048

Click here to read more about Bethany Harper William 

Click here to see her complete collection of work on Maine Art Hill