The Art of Giving Back

06/05/2017 0 Comments
 

Maine Art Artist, Kennebunkport Festival, and Full Plates, Full Potential

Here at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, we are so honored to be a Founding Sponsor for the 2017 Kennebunkport Festival. This is a festival that not only celebrates where we are from, but gives back to a charity that serves the best part of our state; our children.

“For six days each year we celebrate the excellence of Maine’s chefs, artists, musicians, wine purveyors, and beer makers while surrounded by the beautiful scenery, people, and enduring charm of Kennebunkport,” state the producers of the festival, the staffs of Maine magazine, Old Port magazine and Maine Home+Design magazine.

Yet the best part of the festival is what it gives back.  Full Plates Full Potential (FPFP) is a non-profit, charitable partner in the festival. Their primary goal is to end child hunger in Maine.

Founder John Woods says, “We want to thank and recognize everyone involved in this year’s Kennebunkport Festival. As the charitable partner of the event, we give our pledge to use 100% of funds from the festival to support and implement programs that connect kids in Maine with great meals all year long.”

John Spain, owner of Maine Art, has been involved in the festival since its conception. It has changed and grown over the years, but each year he is still overwhelmed with the amount of time, money and talent donated by Maine businesses and individuals to make this week such a success.

“It was easy to pledge to be a Founding Sponsor, and we are thrilled to know all of our ticket sales for our Art of Dining events and a portion from the 6th Annual Choice Art Show go back to FPFP,” says Spain. “What we are most proud of, however, are our artists. Each year, several are generous enough to share their time and talent during this busy season by volunteering to be a guest artist at an Art of Dining dinner.”

This year we are happy to have Craig Mooney, Charles Bluett, Ellen Granter and Margaret Gerding all participating in dinners on Tuesday evening. On Wednesday, David Witbeck, Liz Hoag and Philip Frey will be visiting here in Kennebunk for dinners of their own. This is a huge thank you to them, their generous hosts and the fabulous chefs for helping with such a wonderful event and a exceptional cause.

Although every dinner is now a sold out event, there are still tickets for a variety of other weekend events.  Please check out the festival website for more information: Kennebunkport Festival Events

To learn more about Full Plates, Full Potential and to become involved with their cause click here: Full Plates Full Potential

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Charles Bluett – A New Artist at Maine Art

06/01/2017 0 Comments
 

Along the Coast

This is always an exciting time for us here at Maine Art. With so much going on this summer already, it is an added bonus to be able to introduce you to another amazing New England artist, Charles Bluett.

Charles was born in Brussels, Belgium in 1965 where his parents happened to be working at the time. Both his parents are English, however, so they soon moved to the county of Kent, England, where he grew up.

Bluett says, “At 13, we moved again. Westminster, the heart of London, was quite the opposite from Kent’s natural beauty. We lived about 700 meters from Big Ben, the iconic Houses of Parliament and five minutes from the Old Tate gallery, before the New Tate was constructed on the South Bank of the Thames. This is where I first discovered my passion for art, but especially painting. I spent many hours sitting in the Rothko Room there, surround by his ethereal color panels.”

Bluett has spent the best part of his adult life in the US. He didn’t start painting in earnest until he moved to New York City as a young man back in the late 1980’s. Even then, it was purely as a thing he took huge private pleasure from doing; a hobby.

The Little Valley View

“It was a visit from Charlie Phillips who changed all that. Charlie ran an influential gallery in the West End of London with Harry Blain. He came to the house for dinner, saw my work, and offered me my first solo exhibition. This was back in the early 90’s. In the same month, I was also selected by The Royal Academy of Art in Piccadilly, the epicenter of British art for centuries, to feature in the Annual Summer Exhibition. This is where I sold my first work ever commercially. It was a great honor and a humbling experience. I remember taking my dear mother up the hallowed steps of the Royal Academy the day before the opening of the exhibit. We viewed my work in the most prestigious art institution in England. She had always been very supportive of my painting, and this was a definite ‘ah-ha’ moment for me.”

Bluett had a number of solo exhibitions in London and the US, but it was not until January of 2016, that life finally showed him that he must do this full time.

“Life is simply too short not to follow your passion. My wife had fallen ill with cancer, and after we were blessed to come through the other side, I decided it was time to stop compromising and use the gift I had been given to its fullest.”

For Bluett, this decision stays with him daily. After he spends what he considers a highly productive day completing a piece of work, he leaves his studio for the day walking backwards. He stares at the final piece through his studio door windows and contemplates.

“I am always still considering whether it is complete or not. Then, I turn toward the outdoor view ahead of me and see a twilight sky, a blazon sunset or simple tree line, and I am filled with so much color and energy. I smile to myself, realizing I should never take myself that seriously. In all I do, given what is laid out before me by ‘the powers that be’ in such scale and natural wonder, I keep perspective. I always try hard to be a part of it all. It is the important message I am left with, and I enjoy and relish the gifts I have been given, whatever they may be. This always makes me smile. Thankfully, it happens very often.”

Upstate

Bluett currently resides in Vermont with his lovely and hugely understanding wife, Suzy, his two kids, Ty and India, and a large number of critters, from horses to cats and dogs.

Be on the lookout for more posts about Charles Bluett, his inspirations and his process. His work is like no other in our gallery and certainly is worth a peek in person. We are open every day, but please check our website for hours.

**If you can’t make it to the Kennebunks soon, check out our complete collection of his work on his artist page. Charles Bluett – Artist Page.

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Kinkead in the Kennebunks

05/25/2017 0 Comments
 

This weekend is the start of the summer season in Maine. The sun has finally made its way to the Kennebunk coast, and we are planning to enjoy Memorial Day Weekend in style. It is time for the first show at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture.  Rebecca Kinkead’s widely anticipated solo show opens on Saturday, and we have the privilege of having her here with us. Talk about time to celebrate!

We love when our artists are able to visit the gallery and spend time with their show. There is nothing like walking into a gallery and having the chance to talk to the creator of a one-of-a-kind piece of work. The sharing of insights and stories between client and artist cannot be replicated.

John Spain, owner of Maine Art says, “I’m pleased Rebecca will be joining us for the reception on Saturday evening. Her last show at Maine Art happened to coincide with her prestigious residency in Iceland,” says Spain. “That show was a such a great success, many of our clients fell in love with her work, and subsequently Rebecca. Now, they are thrilled with the opportunity to meet and chat with her this weekend.”

Kinkead’s studio is in Vermont, so she is looking forward to a little escape to the coast. This will be her first trip to the gallery. No matter how much we try to explain the magic of the Kennebunks, it must be experienced first hand. We can’t wait to show her around town, and watch her fall in love with Maine Art and our surrounding community.

The show opens at 10 AM on Saturday, May 27th. Then join us on Saturday evening from 5-7 PM for the Artist’s Reception. The gallery at 14 Western Ave will be full of fun and friends. The Mike Walsh Trio will be playing outside, and David Hurd has whipped up an amazing array of appetizers to share. The entire first floor is dedicated to Kinkead’s work and will be a fabulous first stop to kick off the holiday weekend.

If you can’t make it to Maine this weekend for a visit, remember the Kinkead show will run until Thursday, June 17th, and we are open 10 – 5 Monday to Thursday and 10-6 on Friday to Sunday. The complete show is also available to view on our website beginning Wednesday, May 24th.

Hope to see you soon!

To read more about Rebecca, her process, and insights into her work, check out our other blog posts that feature her.  Rebecca Kinkead Artist Insights and Stories.

To see the entire schedule of summer events at Maine Art click here. Summer Show Schedule

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Rebecca Kinkead’s Spring Show

05/18/2017 2 Comments
 

Barn Owl (Blue Yonder) - Rebecca Kinkead

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

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

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

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

Fetch (Sunrise) - Rebecca Kinkead

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

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

Meadow Bloom - Rebecca Kinkead

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

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

Rebecca Kinkead

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

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

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

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

05/11/2017 0 Comments
 

Summer Chairs - Abbie Williams

This weekend is all about the mothers.

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

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

Beach Day - Craig Mooney

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

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

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

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

A few other websites you may find helpful:

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

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

Choice Art Show, 2017 – Let the Voting Begin

04/27/2017 0 Comments
 
 

CHOICE ART SHOW

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

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

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

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

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

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

IMG_3307

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

We look forward to seeing you soon and happy voting!

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

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

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

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Lyman Whitaker and Whitaker Studio – 10 Years with Maine Art

04/20/2017 0 Comments
 

Double Helix Horizontal Merinda III Desert Flame

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

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

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

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

Lotus with Double Helix Vertical behind Double Spinner

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

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

Lyman at work

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

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

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Meet the Staff – John Spain, Owner of Maine Art

04/13/2017 3 Comments
 

Apparently, Things Do Change

Then......and Now

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

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

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

His Personal Ford Truck Ad

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

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

Always #47 Meeting of the Minds

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

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

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

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

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

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

Doing what he does best

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

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

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

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Blossoming at Maine Art

04/06/2017 0 Comments
 

The Language of Flowers - Barbara Peabody

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prendergast, Christine copy

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

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

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

Lobsters and Champange - William B Hoyt

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

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Meet the Staff – Donna Speirs

03/30/2017 8 Comments
 

Donna Speirs

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

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

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

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

Oakland, CA 1978

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

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

Stonewall Cooking School

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

Cooking and Eating the Maine Way

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

The Winning Recipe Publication

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

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

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

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

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