Abbie Williams – A Studio Visit

03/23/2017 0 Comments
 

John and Abbie making a few "Choice" decisions.

At Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, all of our artists have strong connections to Maine and New England. With artist, Abbie Williams, Maine has come in and out of her life for as long as she can remember. However, recently her curiosity as both a woman and an artist has brought her back to the southwestern part of the United States and a place she has called home before; Taos, New Mexico.

Often, we are able to visit artists in their studios and see where their magic happens. It is not often that studio is in New Mexico. However, all the stars aligned in February, and we found ourselves in Taos and able to spend a wonderful day with Abbie and her husband, Bob.

Backyard Warm and Cozy

Over sixteen years ago, Abbie and Bob built their dream home at the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Made in the traditional southwestern adobe style, Abbie was the architect, and Bob was the Builder. With help from wonderful local contractors and the blessing of an exceptional sense of imagination and adventure, their perfect home and studio was created. Two years later life changed again and Maine called them home. They spent twelve years from Nobleboro to Monheagan Island as Abbie captured the beauty of this state. Maine has her heart, and for many years, her paint brush. Yet, things were about to change again.

“During my time in Maine, I visited the Taos area while house sitting for a friend,” says Abbie. “There is something about this area that has always called to me. Two years ago, when the opportunity to come back presented itself, I had to take it. There is a saying in Taos. ‘The mountain either accepts you or spits your out.’ I felt strongly that the mountain was calling me back.”

Since Abbie has returned to Taos, she has not only found the land she missed while back in Maine, she also found the house she missed. As fate would have it, the home and studio they designed and built was for sale.

Studio

“Years ago, we made a wonderful light space for my studio. It was a place that called me. It was still there, almost just as I left it. Here I can let down and relax. It’s more than just a place to paint. I meditate. I write. It’s a place for me to go and just be,” she says. “I am a believer in positive energy, and I need that to be part of my studio space. It’s just a peaceful spot.”

From her studio, Abbie looks out onto flower gardens, she planted years ago, not knowing if she would ever see them full grown. Gardening has always been one of her passions. She left parts natural and wild, but also added meditation paths to wander through. There is even a bench that began as a practice piece of Bob’s for their kitchen counter.

“Everything is the way we planned it. The bench was still here, waiting for me. Everything was still here,” she says. “I stand at the window in my studio, and say, ‘I did this.’ I planted everything around me. I created my little Garden of Eden here, and now I am able to come back and see it all grown up.”

Since her move back, she is stepping out and trying new things, especially where her work is concerned. Abbie has always been a very serious artist. She has used her talents to support herself. The importance of producing work was engrained in her. It was what she did for a living. It was her job. This is changing, too.

“I needed to get back in touch with my imagination. I lost that for a while and very realistic work was the result. I’m not sure what it’s going to look like this time,” says Abbie. “I fight with my internal New Englander as I begin to push the edges a little bit. I am still a Maine painter, but I want to bring a little more abstraction into my work, make it more contemporary.  I have very strong drawing skills, and I want to start using them more.”

For Abbie, there are choices to be made all the time. In the past, if she was using a photograph, she followed the picture. As she began pushing her limits, she began following the picture but took charge of her own color choices. Next, she began to move a subject or make it bigger or smaller.

A Sneak Peek

“At this point, I am finally free enough to start adding and subtracting. I can do whatever I feel like doing. I am no longer beholden to the image. If I want to copy it exactly I can, but I no longer have to, and I don’t feel bad about it,” she laughs. “I am starting to let go. I still feel a little guilty if I don’t go into the studio every day… but I don’t. Now the main point of it all for me… it has to be fun.”

Abbie Williams

Of course, the change in Abbie’s scenery has had an impact on her work. We will still see the classic Maine that we love, but there are changes, good changes, that are happening. Be the first to see some of her new work during the 2017 Choice Art Show. She has six amazing new pieces that will be up for your vote in May.  Be sure to watch for future posts about the Choice Art Show and, as always, you can see her work on her Artist Page.

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One Way or Another – The Mathew J. Lanigan Bridge

03/09/2017 0 Comments
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Watch the bridge repair live with the new LIVE BRIDGE CAM

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

   

Meet the Staff – Patrick Harrison

03/02/2017 1 Comment
 

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

02/23/2017 0 Comments
 

Nomad

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

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

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

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

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

Baby Buoys

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

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

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

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

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And so are we.

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

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Meet the Staff – Trisha Winslow

02/16/2017 0 Comments
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Frame Shop – A Look Inside

02/10/2017 0 Comments
 

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Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture; the name says it all – almost. Maine Art has an additional service that not all galleries offer; custom picture framing.  At the back of the sales counter sits our in-house frame shop. It is behind the scenes, yet a key part to complete your gallery experience. Every February, we thank our customers & celebrate the custom framing aspect of the gallery with a 25% off Custom Framing Sale. The time is now!

The custom framing aspect of the gallery works to support our artists and our customers. Only a few of our artists frame their own work. By having the frame shop at hand, we are able to assist them and our clients to find framing that enhances each piece, as well as the room it will soon call home.

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John Spain, circa 1991, at Kennedy Studios…soon to be Maine Art

John Spain, owner of the gallery, says, “When I purchased Kennedy Studios 25 years ago, framing was a large component of the business. Now, even though framing is only a part of what we do, it remains an invaluable convenience for our customers and artists alike.”

Though John understands the value of this service, it is Natalie Lane, the gallery manger, who is the brains and talent behind it.  With over twenty-four years experience, we are incredibly lucky to have her at the framing table.  For the last ten years, she has shared her amazing eye for design, her color sense, and skills in the Maine Art workshop. She is a master framer.

Natalie Lane, Custom Frame Manager

Natalie Lane, Gallery Manager

Many have used this service for new pieces of work which were purchased through the gallery. However, we offer custom framing for a myriad of cherished items and previously-owned artwork. Natalie’s ability and willingness to think “outside the frame” has changed heirlooms into works of art.

“My favorite items to frame are photos and correspondence from the past. Clients bring in bits of family history to preserve, so their story continues to touch future generations,” says Natalie. “I enjoy listening to the client and discovering the story behind whatever they’ve brought in. Knowing why it’s important to them is just as much a part of the process as finding the perfect frame.”

From ‘Hole in One’ score cards, a golf course map, and a flag from the hole, to a handmade christening gown that was passed through several generations, we can help you preserve it.

“I am always amazed at what people bring in, and have been truly blessed to see some fabulous pieces of family history,” says Lane as she lists off some of her favorites. “A Civil War Union cap with drumsticks, rocks and sediment samples from a mining vacation, a marriage proposal on a napkin, (she said yes!), a chef-signed menu from a favorite restaurant,vintage maps, wallpaper and upholstery scraps along with recipe cards from a grandmother. The list goes on. I even framed a hand painted tapestry of Hare Krishna’s Wedding.”

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Just when we think we have seen it all, someone comes in to challenge Natalie and her skills. “One of the most unique requests for me was a bathroom fixture with a plug. The customer just couldn’t part with it after renovations. It was part of a childhood memory of the home. Once framed, they hung it in the newly renovated bathroom; a perfect memory of the past. How fabulous is that?”

Due to the influx of work, Natalie has started to train Patrick Harrison, one of our year-round sales staff. There is just too much work for one woman to keep up with, especially in the summer. Patrick has agreed to spend part of his winter hours learning this trade.

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Patrick Harrison, Sales Associate and Framing Assistant

“Patrick has just begun his training. There is still a lot to cover, but he is taking to it very quickly. He is showing a real talent,” says Lane. “His art background is advantageous in understanding what type of artwork is before him. It is also key when looking at the design aspect.”

If you love, cherish or otherwise value it, it should be cared for. If framing is the best way to present or preserve it, we can help. Each individual work that comes before us is carefully considered as to how it should be handled. We frame original works along with limited edition gilcée prints, serigraphs, lithographs, textiles, needlework, pastels and anything else you can imagine. We use all acid-free materials and care for each item as if it were our own. We offer glazing selections that include UV protection for works to be framed under glass, including museum glass.

If you have questions or need ideas, feel free to contact Natalie directly at natalie@maine-art.com or call the gallery during business hours, 207-967-2803. Check the website for winter hours.

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Meet the Staff

02/09/2017 1 Comment
 

We are the faces that greet you when you walk through the door. We are the “Hello,” the “How are you?” and the “How can I help?” We are the knowledge of the artists and the experts on those amazing “spinny things”. There are even times, because we are all locals, we are the tourist information center. That is us, the staff at Maine Art.

Kennebunk and Kennebunkport are very much small towns. We are referred to as,  “a friendly coastal village,” and we try to live up to that reputation. Most of us have been here for a bit, and plan on sticking around for a while longer. For those who have visited before, we pride ourselves on recognizing faces, calling folks by name, and often asking about family and winter’s news.

We know our artists personally and have had the privilege of spending time with each during visits and shows. Due to this, we are able to share their stories and insights with you. Whether it is a featured artist at Maine Art Shows or one of the thirty continuing artists at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, we tell you more about a piece than just the size and price. We tell you about the person.

In the end, it’s our job to make our customers feel at home when they call or come visit either gallery. We not only sell this work, we all own a few pieces, as well. We want shopping for and buying artwork to be fun and engaging. We want clients to leave the galleries having enjoyed their time and making plans for another visit.

With all of this said, we would like to introduce ourselves. Throughout the winter we will be featuring a member and sharing a bit about them. It is our hope this will allow you to get to know us a bit better and feel a bit more at ease when coming to visit.

So, until then…happy days.

Don’t forget to come and visit in February during ‘Paint the Town Red.’ We are open all winter, but be sure to check the website for current hours.

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Painting the Town Red

01/19/2017 3 Comments
 

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Over the last few years, February has brought more than just ice and snow to the Kennebunks. Winter is long here in Maine, and we do what we can to celebrate it and enjoy every piece and part that makes us smile. So – in keeping with recent tradition – we will once more, “Paint the Town Red” and celebrate a little love.

For the entire month of February visitors and locals alike will find special deals, interesting events and wonderful surprises throughout Kennebunk and Kennebunkport. Eat, stay and play (and don’t forget skate) specials will run from January 28 – February 28, 2017.

The kick-off event began at David’s KPT on Saturday, January 28th at 7pm. FROSTED! is said to be a freezing good time. There was a custom ice bar with a luge, light fare by Chef David Turin, s’mores & hot chocolate bars, and entertainment.  Tickets included two signature drinks, with a cash bar available as well. Tickets were $50/pp in advance through Love KPT or $65/pp at the door. Remember this is only the beginning.  The complete schedule of events can be found by visiting the Event Page.

After this, the love keeps on flowing.  Here at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, we are offering 25% off select custom picture framing from February 2 through February 28th. Bring in your own artwork or have a new piece framed. Be sure to check our website for our hours for February. Many other shops are also offering specials, as well. River’s Edge Spa & Salon, Cottage Breeze Day Spa and Boutique, and Mainly Drizzle are just a few.  Check out the complete list on www.lovekpt.com.

Of course, if you are coming to the Kennebunks, you have to eat. It’s some of what we do best around here.  Even in the winter, there are so many amazing choices. To get you started there is not one, but two happy hours at Toroso, a Spanish tapas restaurant that is fairly new to town. You will find one early happy hour and another for late night snacks all winter long. Whatever suits your fancy. For dinner, Salt and Honey is offering a wonderfully Warm Dinner for Two: Pre-fix three-course dinner including a bottle of wine for $89.00, throughout the month of February.  Ports of Italy and The Kennebunkport Inn are both offering special events all month long. If you are staying for a few days, check out the entire list of specials on the Restaurant Page.

Staying over is always part of the fun. The Kennebunk Inn has a Valentine’s Day package. The Boathouse is offering a crazy engagement deal. Don’t forget Captain Lord Mansion, The Breakwater Inn and Spa and The Grand Hotel. There are so many to choose from. As before, a complete list is available on the Hotels Page.

For complete lists of events, offers and details – www.lovekpt.com Check out the top twenty five romantic ideas for the Kennebunks.

The Kennebunk-Kennebunkport-Arundel Chamber of Commerce is always a good source for anything Kennebunks.

Want more? Kennebunkport Maine Lodging.  These folks know, love and live the Kennebunks all year-long.

No matter what the weather, we welcome you to come and spend a little time in the Kennebunks. Winters are long – spend some time with friends and enjoy a “bit of summer” in Kennebunk and Kennebunkport.

Elizabeth Ostrander – Artist Insights

01/12/2017 2 Comments
 

Elizabeth Ostrander

Elizabeth Ostrander has not forgotten her “inner woman”.  She celebrates her with clay and a glaze of acrylic paint to make her come alive in so many of her sculptures. “The mystical and the mythical, the search for understanding and harmony, the conscious creation of self and community are essential parts of my female life and experience,” says Ostrander. “Female images in my sculptures reflect not only my own experiences as a woman, but also synchronicities beyond myself.” She believes in the power of this connection. It is a balance and a love, along with an understanding of the body as an expressive agent. This originated in her teens while a student of classical ballet in New York. “I found through dancing that our bodies are places of knowledge and revelation. Early in my childhood until my late teens I studied ballet and experienced my body’s emotional expression through movement. Today, I still love to dance. I enlighten my sculpting-self with my dancing-self by posing my own body in the position I want to sculpt,” says Ostrander. “I want to feel my sculpture both physically and emotionally from the inside out. Some artists find this through music, but it is the physicality of dance that becomes the physicality of my sculptures.” Nature, especially in Maine, also gives her enduring inspiration. In 1971, Elizabeth moved from New York to the coast of Maine, a move that holds no regret.
“Rural Maine has been my home since I moved from New York City, heeding the call of the then popular back-to-the-land movement. Like many others, I was filled with the idealism of the time, and wanted to live a self-directed life, close to Nature,” says Elizabeth. “I am still grateful for my unique and uprooted New York City childhood, and Eastport has its own distinctive history of artists finding their way to its beautiful shores. My Eastport colleagues and I continue that tradition.”
Grateful for her ability to continue the unfolding adventure of pursuing her work as an artist, Elizabeth celebrates being able to create what she needs. “The impulse to create is ancient.  I feel goosebumps when I picture that somewhere back in the days of early humans, someone reached down and pulled up a handful of mud and started shaping it – and something arose in this artist’s hands and mind that had never existed before. I like feeling I’m a part of this continuum. This passion to create has been my unfolding adventure in life.”

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Elizabeth has a wonderful collection of sculpture at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture in Kennebunk. She is always bringing in new work, and we encourage you to visit, as well check out her Artist Page on our website. Our January hours are Friday – Sunday, from 10-5.  Please feel free to call with any questions 207- 967-2803.

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Trip Park – Artist Insights

01/05/2017 1 Comment
 

Trip Park

Born in upstate New York – really, really far upstate New York – Trip Park “started” in the world of art by drawing. Not knowing where it would eventually lead, he took every opportunity to put pencil to paper. He didn’t just love to draw, he felt he had to draw – every and any place he could.

“For me, drawing was a zip-line to staying focused. I drew through high school and college,” says Park. “I created editorial cartoons at UNC, which was fun. Perhaps I had a never-diagnosed-case-of-ADD. If so, drawing was my natural Ritalin.”

At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he majored in Journalism, but drawing lead him to advertising classes. A career in advertising, as an art director, soon followed. It wasn’t until five jobs later – an illustrator, a children’s book illustrator, an editorial cartoonist and an animation character designer – that he began painting.

“Let’s be clear. I never, ever wanted to paint!” laughs Park. “I painted with watercolor and gouache when I began illustrating, and I will never forget how messy it was. There was paint everywhere. Later, I illustrated children’s books on the computer. The drawing programs were so clean and simple. I loved the fact that there was no mess.”

It wasn’t until his wife decided to paint and sold her work first that the idea of painting became reality. Trip claims he was shamed into paint. Little did he know, after a few years of painting, he would finally turn himself over to “the mess.”

“I’m a pig-n-slop-slobby. There is paint everywhere in my studio. It is on me, on my clothes, in my hair,” Park says with a sigh. “I miss drawing on the computer.”

Trip works best in his studio, but owns the fact that it’s a complete chaos of art in progress. Paint truly is everywhere. With this, he knows it’s best to stay put. His studio is his creative space.

“It’s good I stay inside. People would be highly offended if I flung paint at them in public,” says Park. “Also, I’m a hoarder of many paints and need the routine of all of them surrounding my canvas. I don’t just want my studio, I need it.”

Amongst the artist clutter, there is  little about Trip’s process that stays consistent. It is a place he can explore and experiment. It’s always changing. He started with brushes, then for a while only used palette knives, and now he is back to brushes. The only constant; he must love what he creates.

“It stings a little each time one of my paintings leaves the studio; I really want to love each one before I let it go,” says Park. “I owe that to anyone who purchases one of my paintings. If I’m not happy with them, how should I expect anyone else to be?”

In this regard, Park is relentless. He doesn’t give up until he feels the work is his best. He admits to not meeting his own expectations sometimes, but the continued push is what makes his work great.

“I never quite get a piece exactly like I had hoped, but in the words of artist, Ralph Steadman, ‘Anything could be there (on the canvas)… I don’t go out of my way to be professional, I go out of my way to try and make something that is as unexpected to me as anyone else.’  This quote gives me solace,” says Park, “and I continue to paint.”

An example of a new thought process for me. These are parts of the campuses that I step on for months on end, then I have a thought...?

Trip Park has been with Maine Art for over two years now. We are lucky to have a fabulous collection of his work in the gallery at 14 Western Ave. in Kennebunk. We welcome you to come visit and see it in person, but know it is also available to view online at www.maine-art.com/trippark.

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