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

Marta Spendowska – A New Artist at The Works on Maine Art Hill

Marta Spendowska is a Polish-born, New Hampshire seacoast-based, American artist and illustrator. She currently works from her Artists of Salmon Falls studio in Rollingsford, NH and happily resides by the ocean, soaking up its every drop on summers and paints outdoors to breathe the New England landscape onto paper.  Her work currently hangs in The Works gallery which is part of Studios on Maine Art Hill in Kennebunk, Maine.

Currently, Marta works in two series, Gold Wetlands, abstract landscapes, which you will find at The Works gallery, and Bloomlands, abstract flora. She loves both with the same intensity.

“The Wetlands series come from my heart, directly,” says Marta. “The paintings are an extension cord to and of my yearly travels to Poland. The Bałtyk Sea is also, or mostly, a place of transcending the past. It’s where I hang out with my old self, revisit topics of belonging and lose – or sometimes gain – time.” For this artist, these works touch on the parents/daughter relationship, on becoming a child again and visiting the sea which cures her oversensitive body and spirit when she needs it.


This Land, The Anchor To My Heart The Mighty Heart of Loving Bits in Everything

“I work with water-based materials because they are immediately responsive. They remind me that life does not allow for ‘do-overs’,” she shares.  “The only certain thing is here, now.” The fluidity of her materials allows Marta to be spontaneous and curious which is essential to crafting a painting or series of paintings. “There is nothing better than a drop of water with paint merging into it,” shares Marta.

Living on the coast of New England now, this place has become her most cherished medicine. “The wind, the sand, the water, no matter how cold, the ocean, like a God Mother, nourishes,” explains Marta. “The touch of gold on my paintings serves as an offering to Her and becomes a shimmer of eternal hope.”

To see our complete collection of Marta Spendowska’s work follow this link.

Marta Spendowska – Artist Page

Richard Remsen on His Glass Work

Wait for just a second for the video to load. It is worth the wait….

Watch below as glass artist Richard Remsen shares his work, his purpose, and his insights into his art.

The Places They Live – David Witbeck and his Fishermen

“There are only so many ways to paint a guy holding a lobster,” says artist David Witbeck.

Lucky for us, he keeps painting them, anyway. Not only his lobstermen and fishermen but also the lovely harbors they call home. 

“This year I decided to focus a bit more on the environments my characters live in,” shares Witbeck. “It started with the skinny yellow horizontal painting. The buildings surround the water shape.” 

Friendship Sunrise

Friendship Sunrise, found at The Gallery, is that skinny little painting he is referring to.  With the reflection of the morning sun turning the surface of the water the brilliant yellow, it was the beginning of something more. 

Friendship Sunrise morphed into a few square paintings with the water shape defined by more or less silhouetted buildings,” explains Witbeck. “Although the color palette is similar, each has a different mood.”

Morning Commute Afternoon Commute

In Morning Commute, Afternoon Commute, and Sunrise Harbor this yellow hue is carried throughout. Whether the focus is on the commute to and from the fishing boat or the harbor in which these Mainers live, the glow is without a doubt the break of day when only the hardest of workers are up and at it.  Some Foggy also has these tones, but be sure the title of this piece is said with a thick Downeast accent or its just not the same. 

Some Foggy Sunrise Harbor

The last piece in this color series is Interloper.  Breandán, based on the small headshot, has made it out to the boat early in the day.  Most have assumed that the “interloper” referred to in the title is the squawking seagull at the bottom of this piece. By the shape of his beak, he is making sure everyone knows he is there.

Interloper Breandán 

Here are just a few of the cast who are starring in this year’s Witbeck show. Remember artist Bethany Harper Williams is partnering with Witbeck this year for two shows in one. Be sure to visit at Shows on Maine Art Hill at 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennbebunk. We are open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. Not in town? View the 360 virtual tour online by clicking here. VIRTUAL TOUR.  

Joseph Webster – Featured Artist at The Works

“Passion is everything. I make glass because I love the process and everything that surrounds it, ” Joseph Webster

 Local glass artist Joseph Webster joined Maine Art Hill in May of this year. A young emerging artist specializing in Venetian style glass techniques features a variety of his pieces at The Works at Studios on Maine Art Hill.  

Joseph is a Maine native, who first discovered glass at Haystack Mountain School of Craft while still in high school.  He graduated from Deering High School in Portland in 2010 and went on to receive his BFA with a concentration in Glass from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2015.

“In addition to my formal education, I studied under several renowned artists, including James Mongrain and Jeff Mack,” shares Webster.

His inspiration comes from traditional Venetian style techniques, as well as contemporary artists who specialize in these techniques.

“Over the years I have been making glass I have always strived to understand and refine the techniques behind the process. Through understanding the history of glassmaking I have gained a great understanding of how the material works,” explains Webster. “This understanding has allowed me to create the ideas that I envision into tangential works.”

His Ellipse Series is one form of his work you will find at The Works. Coming from a desire to loosen up and have some fun, Joseph’s Ellipse Series was born. 

“These are organic, fun forms with contrasting colors. They nest inside one another to create beautiful compositions,” he explains. “I start by blowing symmetrical, even forms, then I take a turn in the opposite direction and form them into organic ovoid shapes.”

The variety of shape, color, and composition are endless. These pieces are uniquely different from any other in his current body of work. 

“Glass is an amazing material that behaves like no other. It is an unforgiving and humbling medium to work with. But that is what makes it exciting to me,” says Webster. “It is something that in my eyes cannot be perfected. It is an endless journey of education, refinement, and practice to better myself as a craftsman that keeps my passion flowing. ”

Webster’s Float Series, a dynamic black, and brilliantly colored glass design was developed as an ode to the old fishing float designs that have been replicated repeatedly throughout history. 

“As an avid angler, I became fascinated by these small objects and saw much beauty and potential in them,” shares Webster. “This series brings the stunning forms, contrasting colors and childhood nostalgia I associate with these floats into this body of work.”

Another series you will find at The Works is his Doodle Series. This is a body of work where Joseph uses simple geometric forms as a canvas for filigree glass techniques. 

“After years of studying classic Italian glass techniques involving filigree patterns such as Zanfirico and Reticello, I began to stray away from the norm and developed the designs I call ‘doodles.’”

While being modern, fun and loose, Webster hopes with this series, to create his unique linework designs while still honoring tradition. 

Finally, we are thrilled to have Joseph’s stemware. These are regarded as some of the finest handmade objects on the market. 

“I dedicated much of my early career to the development of technique and refining my craft. I do my best to honor traditional Italian glassmaking techniques,” says Webster, “ but I create unique one-of-a-kind pieces. Made by hand, start to finish, one vessel at a time.” 

Click here to visit Joseph Webster’s Artist Page

We welcome you to come in and visit The Works at Studios on Maine Art Hill at 5 Chase Hill in Kennebunk. Studios have six different and unique gallery spaces and open every day at 10 am.  It is a must stop when in town and wandering through all the Maine Art Hill spaces.

Getting to Know Artist, Bethany Harper Williams

Repost: Bethany Harper Williams joined Maine Art Hill in the fall of 2017.  Because she hasn’t spent a summer show season with us as of yet, we wanted to take a minute to reintroduce her. She has found great success with us over the last few months, and we are excited to have her involved with David Witbeck in their dynamic duo of a show at Shows on Maine Art Hill at 5 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk from June 30 to July 19. Please read on to learn more about this amazing artist.

 

In the Sun and Salty Air

“Water, sky, and beach inspire me, I love the big expanses of landscape. Couple this with the changing ocean light, and it’s magic,” says Bethany Harper Williams.

Maine Art Hill is happy to feature Bethany Harper Williams at Shows on Maine Art Hill at 10 Chase Hill Road from June 30 to July 19.  There will be an Artist Reception from  5-7 pm on Saturday, June 30. 

“I don’t like to paint the obvious. I like the viewer to look and find new things like the shapes of colors, textures, playful shapes and scribbles. The vast areas of sky or beach or water give me the room to play,” says Williams. “When looked at up close, all these interesting and unexpected shapes and subtle textures and colors can be found. From a distance, it is clearly a sky or beach or water.”

Red Boat White Boat

Williams often has figures in her paintings. “I am trying to capture a moment in time. I’m not concerned with who the people are, but I’m trying to invoke a memory others can relate to,” shares Williams. “My people have become even more simplified, much less detailed.” In her latest series of Beach Days, the figures are simple strokes of color. But as simple as they are, she still captures the movement and interaction, the mood and activity.

Spring is in the Air

“I work mostly with palette knives, big and small, always using a palette knife for my figures. It helps me to stay away from focussing on details,” says Williams. “Recently I have started to bring brushes back into my work to add texture, but I like using big brushes, like a broom!”

Williams’s work is often described as having energy but also a calmness and playfulness. “It is reflective of who I am. I am a doer. I’m very active. I love sports, tennis, golf, biking, swimming, and skiing. However, I’m also a very relaxed, calm person. I love to travel, especially adventure traveling.”

Ocean Blue

One gallery owner says this about Williams and her work. “Her work represents the youthful energy of the present day yet has peaceful and calm roots planted in nostalgia. This paradox is expressed beautifully in her simple yet sophisticated style of painting.”

What does Bethany Harper Williams say about her work? “It makes me happy that I get to do what I love and other people enjoy it too.

 

To read more about Bethany click below

Artist Insights – Bethany Harper Williams

To see our complete collection of her work click below

Artist Page  – Bethany Harper Williams

Join Bethany and David Witbeck, co-artist for this dynamic duo of a show at Shows on Maine Art Hill, at 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk, is open daily at 10 am.  The Williams and Witbeck show will run from June 30 through July 19. FMI 207-967-0049 or maine-art.com.