Pop Up Artist Christopher O’Connor

Featured Artist, Christopher O’Connor is the guest artist for Pop Up beginning Tuesday, July 3  through Monday, July 9. Read on to learn more about his inspiration, his process, and his work.

July 3-July 9

Ever since I was a child I wanted to be an artist. There was always something magical, alchemical about the process of conjuring up an image with the simplest of means. I loved how colors could be mixed and in the process create new colors. How brushes and pens could be wielded to create whole new worlds. How when you didn’t have the words to express yourself you had color and shape and light and shade. Drawing and painting seemed like the most natural thing in the world to do.

Over the years I have found myself drawn to a diverse range of artists and styles. I have played and experimented with many and in the process I have come to understand that the artworks that I am most captivated by all have similar qualities – a strong compositional sense, layered coloring, a vibrant surface quality, restrained intensity – add to these the dogged determination to work on a piece until it is finished and you have works of art that are enduring and endlessly engaging. It is with these considerations that I approach my practice of making paintings.

With my current body of work, my intention is to create works that elicit a quiet sense of balance and calm in the viewer. Pictorial compositions that contain a solid architectonic syntax have always made an impact on me. Through the use of vibrant coloring and rigorously constructed compositions, I strive to compose paintings that conjure up an immediate visual impact, one that slowly gives way to engagement with the detail and structure implicit in each painting. It is through the surface quality of the paint and within the distilled composition of the painting that the intention of my work is revealed.

O’Connor will be showing his work at Pop Up on Maine Art Hill at 5 Chase Hill Rd. in Kennebunk from July 3 to July 9. The gallery is open every day at 10 am. For more info about Christopher O’Connor and his work, follow this link to his website. www.christopheroconnorpainting.com

Pop Up Artist Chris Ploof

Due to unforeseen circumstances Chris Ploof will not be joining us at Pop Up this summer.

We encourage you to read on to learn more about his inspiration, his process, and his work.

Hailing from a small town in Massachusetts, award-winning master jeweler Chris Ploof was once a skinny boy lurking around the local living history museum, watching awestruck as the craftspeople manipulated what had previously seemed unyielding: glass, tin, iron.

After traveling the world trying hands-on careers that spoke to his historical influences and technical skills, Chris found himself back on his boyhood path, attempting to make a forge improvised by a 55-gallon drum, some fire bricks, and a hairdryer. Eventually, his knowledge seeking lead him to jewelry making classes. At last, he was home.

Chris has studied with many well-known artists and apprenticed under a master goldsmith. He has an insatiable curiosity and drive that lead him down long roads even after the challenges at hand have been met.

The Santa Fe Symposium has chosen Chris twice to receive the Industry Leader Award, He has a series of instructional videos through Interweave, his work is on the cover of Showcase 500 Rings: New Directions in Art Jewelry (Lark, 2012) and in countless other publications, and he travels frequently as a consultant to the jewelry industry. His studio is located in Massachusetts, where he works with a carefully chosen, fun team of like-minded talent.

“I love exploring new techniques and materials, especially pushing the envelope of current and traditional techniques. Challenges always seem to lead down long roads even after they have been resolved and spawn future ideas and designs. ‘Impossible’ is only a temporary condition.”

For more info about Ploof and his work, follow this link to his website. www.chrisploof.com

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Pop Up Artist Cynthia Woehrle

Featured Artist, Cynthia Woehrle is the guest artist for Pop Up beginning Tuesday, July 17 through Monday, July 23. Read on to learn more about her inspiration, her process, and her work.

July 17 – July 23

Landscape in oil is the medium in which my artistic themes are expressed. Each landscape represents the memory of an emotion and my aim is to present a scene that has a ground but also has an ephemeral and floating feeling to evoke a dreamlike memory. I am fixated on the subtleties of the atmosphere, which I layer in glazes of paint. Each work develops its own temperament; some complicated and heavy, others light, loose and confident.

Contradiction is also a theme, associating lights and darks in the atmosphere with both positive and negative implications. For example, with darkness, there is an acknowledgment of the negative and an appreciation for its beauty and solace. Darkness symbolizes repression and withholding but at the same time, and importantly, darkness brings comfort and rest. Light, a symbol of hope and renewal, is a focal point that disrupts this rest. In depicting the sky, I can explore a full circle of human emotion through light and atmosphere.

The moon is a subject within the contradiction theme that I began exploring at a time of forced reaction about the meaning of life and death. Ever changing, the moon’s presence is mysterious and is often contradictory in symbolism. This makes the search for absolute truths impossible. There is always another answer, another perspective. Philosophers grasp at answers in an effort to understand life but all that is true is the journey and what is discovered along the way.

Woehrle will be showing her work at Pop Up on Maine Art Hill at 5 Chase Hill Rd. in Kennebunk from July 17 to July 23. The gallery is open every day at 10 am. For more info about Woehrle and her work, follow this link to her website. www.cynthiawoehrle.com

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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

JUNE 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. www.erikamanningart.com

 

 

 

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Pop Up Artist Julie Houck

Featured Artist, Julie Houck is the guest artist for Pop Up beginning Tuesday, July 31  through Monday, August 6. Read on to learn more about her inspiration, her process, and her work.

July 31 – August 6

For 17 years, Julie Houck traveled the world as a professional location photographer. Working in many diverse locations throughout Europe, Asia and across the United States, provided Houck an invaluable opportunity to increase her understanding of composition and the elements of design. Houck’s career as a photographer also instilled in her a fascination with the powerful effects of light.

In 1995, Houck decided to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a painter. “I decided to redirect and pursue what I truly loved.” As a contemporary landscape painter working in oils and encaustics, Houck aspires to capture not only the scene but also the moment and mood, relying on her study of the classical principles of directly observing color, light, and form in nature.

Houck shares, “As a contemporary landscape painter working in oils and encaustics, I aspire to convey not only the scene but also the moment and mood. The moment is fleeting but the painting allows us to live in that moment a bit longer, to linger, to reflect, to contemplate, to enjoy. I am inspired by the interplay of light on the landscape which is ever elusive and always changing. Painting softly allows me the opportunity to recreate that one particularly special moment when the land, light, and atmosphere seamlessly fuse.

Reflecting a serendipitous moment in time can be, however, a deceivingly slow and deliberate process. Both of the media I prefer, oils and encaustic, involve applying layers upon layers of paint.  And even though encaustic, painting with hot pigment-colored wax, is known as an especially process-intensive medium, every layer spontaneously changes the piece, so it evolves over time with a life of its own. I find this element of working intriguing.

Simultaneously, my work in oils is highly influenced by my early classical training– particularly the study of light on form.  Each landscape is painted in transparent layers with sometimes up to 40 layers of paint in order to recreate the subtle play of light on the landscape as well as to control the incremental changes in tonality.

As an artist, I approach each painting believing that it is not enough to paint the literal view. My goal is to also capture the essence of the landscape and hopefully connect you viscerally to that place and time.”

Houck has studied with contemporary realist painters at the Atelier of Classical Realism in San Francisco with David Hardy, the Academy of Fine Art in Seattle with Anthony Ryder and most recently, in France, at the L’Ecole Albert Defois with Ted Seth Jacobs. Houck studied en plein air with John Cosby, Kevin MacPherson, Don Demers and Kim English.

Her landscapes reflect the influence of these artists as she hones her classical technique of painting in numerous transparent layers in order to recreate the subtle play of light on the scene. Her desire to capture the essence of the landscape is evolving into compositions dissolving into only the barest, most minimal components—the sky, horizon, and land.

Houck will be showing her work at Pop Up on Maine Art Hill at 5 Chase Hill Rd. in Kennebunk from July 31 to August 6. The gallery is open every day at 10 am. For more info about Houck and her work, follow this link to her website. www.juliehouck.com

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Pop Up Artist Robin Swennes

Featured Artist, Robin Swennes is the guest artist for Pop Up beginning Tuesday, August 7 through Monday, August 13. Read on to learn more about her inspiration, her process, and her work.

AUGUST 7 to AUGUST 13

I am an artist who enjoys pushing color boundaries and expanding my work to include more than one style of painting and many different collections.  My non-abstract paintings ride the fence between realistic and impressionistic; my goal is not to recreate an exact, tight, photographic scene because I find that paintings are more relaxing to the eye.  

I hope to eventually do more abstract pieces, but am continually applying my creative energies towards other design avenues as well. I recently designed a house and some coordinating furniture for it. That 3D work put a heavy demand on my artist’s brain, but I felt strongly about creating a unique vision and somehow knew that I could do it. I believe that true Artists are born with some innate ability that can be expanded and put to use in a broad range of scenarios—whatever the chosen media. We Artists can’t help that we are attracted to color, shape or texture; it’s just a natural response that produces some sort of ‘tickle on the brain’ that we live to repeat as we seek new opportunities to create.

Swennes will be showing her work at Pop Up on Maine Art Hill at 5 Chase Hill Rd. in Kennebunk from August 7 to August 13. The gallery is open every day at 10 am. For more info about Swennes and her work, follow this link to her website. www.designchoc.com

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Pop Up Artist Rachel Altschuler 

Featured Artist, Rachel Altschuler is the guest artist for Pop Up beginning Tuesday, August 14 through Monday, August 20. Read on to learn more about her inspiration, her process, and her work.

AUGUST 14 to AUGUST 20

For as long as I can remember I have been able to find solace in nature. It is and continues to be the biggest inspiration in my life, and my work as an artist. I have always been passionate about animals-especially birds. They have such a unique energy and spirit about them. Every type of bird has its own set of personality traits which I try to bring out in my work by paying special attention to detail in the face, and eyes. I believe the eyes are truly windows to the soul so if I am able to capture them it allows me to connect even further with each subject.

I also try to accentuate the features I see with each piece through the bold use of color, and creation of texture through purposeful brushstrokes. My work is definitely whimsical in nature, which is what I strive for. At the end of the day, I want to create work that spreads joy and makes people happy.

Altschuler will be showing her work at Pop Up on Maine Art Hill at 5 Chase Hill Rd. in Kennebunk from August 14 to August 20. The gallery is open every day at 10 am. For more info about Rachel Altschuler and her work, follow this link to her website. http://www.rmaad.com

Pop Up Artist Kristine Biegel

Featured Artist, Kristine Biegel is the guest artist for Pop Up beginning Tuesday, August 21  through Monday, August 27. Read on to learn more about her inspiration, her process, and her work.

August 21 – August 27

Kristine Biegel is a Maine artist that truly finds inspiration close to home.  As a painter, she is completely and totally in love with the landscapes, seascapes, and people of her home state.  Quiet in subject matter, her paintings allow the viewer a glimpse into the lives of the strong, independent and proud people of Maine.

From the magnificent rocky coastlines to the peaceful beauty of hanging laundry, Kristine’s paintings are a mix of realistic and whimsical, with a deep overlapping of colors, creating rich and vibrant works of art.  Well placed patterns are used to guide the visual journey through the artwork and although no people are ever seen in her paintings there are hints of them throughout giving a sense of their strong and independent nature.

As someone who loves to travel, I am always looking for inspiration in colors, textures, and landscapes around the world, and I can honestly say that very few places on earth have touched my creative soul as deeply as Maine.  There is truly something unique about Maine that inspires and calls to Artists to create.

Kristine Biegel is the owner of The Creative Child and Adult Arts Studio. She works in the community with artists of all ages and abilities from memory care to preschool and she believes that everyone can make great art and works to empower through the arts, encouraging exploration in the studio and in the community.

Kristine has a BFA in Printmaking and a Masters in Education for Creative Arts. She is a professor of Expressive Arts and recently published her first book called I LOVE YOU TO TEN.

Biegel will be showing her work at Pop Up on Maine Art Hill at 5 Chase Hill Rd. in Kennebunk from August 21 to August 27. The gallery is open every day at 10 am. For more info about Biegel and her work, follow this link to her website. www.kristinebiegelart.com

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Pop Up Artist Donald Rainville

Featured Artist, Donald Rainville is the guest artist for Pop Up beginning Tuesday, August 28  through Monday, September 3. Read on to learn more about his inspiration, his process, and his work.

August 28 to September 3

While many children climb trees, as a young boy who grew up in Salem, Massachusetts in the 1960’s, I spent an inordinate amount of time in trees—little did I know the education I was giving myself at the time! Foregoing acceptance to art school at the Massachusetts College of Art, I parlayed my interest in the natural world by attending the Essex Institute of Agriculture in Hawthorne, Massachusetts, studying Forestry and Ornamental Horticulture. Upon graduation, I entered the world of high-end antique and art restoration. For twenty years, I was able to hone colorist skills and the ability to experiment with diverse materials; the consistent nature of such refined work is in direct contrast to how I approach my paintings.

Painting primarily on board with house oil paints, I employ action painting techniques. By utilizing house oils, there is less interruption between myself and the application of paint—I am able to achieve random and spontaneous effects and have more direct access to the fluidity of the medium; to “be literally ‘in’ the painting” to quote Jackson Pollock.  No brushes are used in my work, as brushes impede the ability to manipulate paint, and diminish the paint’s ability to dictate form—I work with torn shapes of lightweight cardboard, and at times, actual plant material to apply paint. The dynamic nature of the paint, in addition to utilizing organic materials, links me to the textural nature of real and imagined landscapes with a sense of place, volume, and depth. While my work most often starts with abstract intensity, eventually there is a concentrated focus on refinement. In truth, the last 10% of any painting—the final refinement—takes 90% of the time to complete.

Primarily, my work focuses on “treescapes” and the never-ending inspiration provided by Maine and New England forests—I liken my paintings as orchestrations of visual music, much like jazz which is different from more formalized concepts of music. My paintings are invented as they proceed, and as each portion of the composition comes forward on a moment by moment basis, the components are random and abstract, yet consciously orchestrated—the growth of a living forest works in much the same way.

I presently maintain my studio in Camden, Maine where I live year round with my wife Michele, our cat (“Kringle”) and a Welsh corgi (“Chauncey”).  We enjoy exploring the forests and coast of Maine, especially Acadia and Reid State Park in Georgetown. Time is also spent working on the restoration of our circa 1804 cape house, and conducting historical research of the house or on antiques we have purchased.

Rainville will be showing his work at Pop Up on Maine Art Hill at 5 Chase Hill Rd. in Kennebunk from August 28 to September 3. The gallery is open every day at 10 am. For more info about Rainville and his work, follow this link to his website. www.donaldrainville.com

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Pop Up Artist Rick Hamilton

Featured Artist, Rick Hamilton is the guest artist for Pop Up beginning Tuesday, Septemeber 4  through Monday, Septemeber 17.  (YES THAT IS TWO WEEKS) Read on to learn more about his inspiration, his process, and his work.

This is not only Rick Hamilton’s two weeks at Pop Up but also his welcome to Maine Art Hill show.

After these two weeks, Rick will join The Gallery and show his work with us year round.

September 4 – 17

I was asked the other day about how I got started painting. I think it was 1999. I was living up on the Eastern Prom on Munjoy Hill in Portland Maine. There was a family in the apartment building below me that had a 10 yr old daughter. One day she had her paints out on the front lawn working. I started talking to her and she asked if I would like to try painting. I said sure and really liked it. I think within a week or so I bought my first watercolor paint kit. I just fell in love with painting. I started painting flowers. I have never taken any painting classes or sought out any training. I just think of what I want to paint and keep practicing till I get to a point I’m happy with. I started painting people at about 2012. It took a long time to get the hands and feet to a place I was happy with. Also, the eyes are hard for me. Oh and the hair. Damn, I guess every part is tricky for me. Necks were easy. I do love the way I represent people and that is part of the reason I do not want to take any classes or training. I don’t want to mess with my style. So this is some of how I got started.

My main motivation behind my work is making connections with people. I love to talk about my work and to hear how it may affect someone. I am a self-taught artist. I use wooden panels that I put together myself. When I am working on a piece I use multiple layers of paint. I use sanders, scrapers, and heat to create textures. I don’t paint from photographs or models. All of the images are from my head. I may be having a conversation with someone and hear a saying or sentence that inspires a painting. Or maybe I would hear a line in a song that puts an idea in my head.

Hamilton will be showing his work at Pop Up on Maine Art Hill at 5 Chase Hill Rd. in Kennebunk from September 4 through 17. The gallery is open every day at 10 am. For more info about Rick Hamilton and his work, follow this link to his website.   rickhamilton.art

   207-838-8375

 rickhamilton2003@yahoo.com