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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture is now open seven days a week. Click here for hours.
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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.
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.
“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.
“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.”
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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Summer is all about being outside, enjoying the warm air, and often the late afternoon sun. The season is short here in the Northeast, and we need to enjoy every moment. This is especially true on the small islands off Maine’s coast, like Monhegan; the place that inspired Abbie Williams’ Summer Chairs.
“This image is so telling of summer on Monhegan Island,” says Williams. “Actually, it is true for almost anywhere along the coast of Maine.” Visiting Monhegan Island is a regular occurrence for many artists, including Abbie. It is a quiet little island village that celebrates the way life used to be. Artists find the peace and the surroundings a perfect place to work. It is not uncommon to find artists with their easels along the rocky coastline, in the harbor, or even on the wooded trails that weave their way across the island.
For Abbie the “choice” this year was an easy one. The small white house and the adirondack chairs are idyllic. “They just drew me in. Those colors and how they weave together; it is why I paint,” says Williams. “They are so luscious and inviting.” The brilliance of the sun practically sets fire to the sky, and Williams recreates it perfectly in oil. “I love how this piece turned out. The colors just work,” says Williams. “Besides that, I simply feel good when I look it.”
Abbie has been a part of Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture for almost five years, and has participated in multiple shows at Maine Art Shows. Her work embodies every season of Maine, from the ice shacks of winter to the summer chairs.
Summer Chairs is part of the Choice Art Show, and will be running until June 30 at Maine Art Shows at 10 Chase Hill Rd. in Kennebunk. We are open daily from 11am – 5pm. She also has a collection of work at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture just down the hill at 14 Western Ave. We welcome you to stop by to visit – please visit our website for directions and hours. www.maine-art.com
If you are interested in reading more about Abbie Williams and her work at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, please visit our blog. Maine Art Blog- Abbie Williams. Also, click her Artist Page to view our entire collection of her work online.
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Abbie Williams by Ric Kasini Kadour
Abbie Williams paints from her studio in a lush wood in Nobleboro, Maine and regularly from Monhegan Island, Maine and Taos, New Mexico. Her subject is often the rich landscapes she finds “while painting outdoors, painting in my studio or while I’m prowling around Maine’s uncommonly visited corners with my camera.”
The appearance of birds in Williams’ paintings is a natural extension of her approach to painting. In works like Moody’s Barn and Seagull Cyclone II, they are as much a part of the landscape as the yellow fields or boulders on the shoreline. She renders the birds in Seagull Cyclone II as a blur of white, allowing details to take shape as individual birds break away from the flock. When birds are her subject, like in Goose Taking a Gander and Black Jack Flagg and His Gang, Williams paints with the same attentiveness she gives to flowers in a field. She paints the back feathers of the subject of Goose Taking a Gander as a patchwork of light brown and white stripes and the bird’s reflection in the stream as a dreamy collection of lines. “Using rich color and employing the dramatic light of the coast and the high desert, I work to capture the extraordinary way the light changes moment to moment which infuses my response to the colors that are often too subtle for the casual observer,” said Williams.
One can see this color work in the painting, Small Cove, Maine, which shows a gull perched on a dinghy moored in a cove. A wall of rock forms the backdrop of the scene. A round pink buoy floats in the water. The buoy’s reflection begins an expanse of wild color play: pinks trickle out from the buoy, glitters of orange catch the tips of ripples in the water as a strip of brilliant sunlight illuminates the rock. The lonely bird quietly takes in the moment.
It is dirt roads and no cars, cagey cliffs and quiet paths, fir trees and fairy houses. It is twelve miles of hidden trails wound around one mile of island. It is quiet beauty, living colors, and one of Abbie Williams’ favorite places.
Monhegan Island is a sanctuary for many artists. All who travel here are looking for one thing; solitude. Artists seek out the peace and natural surroundings of Maine unspoiled, and Abbie has been lucky enough to find it on this little island in Maine.
“One of the amazing parts of being able to stay on Monhegan Island for a period of time is seeing how the light changes day to day, from the early morning to the late afternoon,” says Williams. “The skies around the island are intriguing, magical, ethereal. Beyond description.” So, if she can’t describe it with words, she must paint, and that is how Red House and Pink Cloud II came to be. “This orange and pink cloud behind the red house created such an exciting response in me, I couldn’t help but paint it.”
It is this passion, this love, that Abbie has for her surroundings that is revealed in each canvas. Works like Lone Pine and Winter Moon breathe with the life she infuses in her work. Standing in front these paintings, one is transported and sitting on the edge of the scenery taking in the world that is Abbie Williams.
Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture has the pleasure of housing a wonderful collection Abbie Williams’ work. If you would like to see more, please visit at 14 Western Avenue in Kennebunk or visit her Artist Page on-line.
Maine. As they see it., will be open at Maine Art Shows everyday from 11-5. Please come in and check out this wonderful new show highlighting our state through the eyes of some of the most talented artists in the area. You can also view the show on-line at Maine. As they see it.
“At first my favorite was Lone Pine, but after living with the paintings for some months now, I am beginning to lean towards Fog and Flaura,” says Williams. With her obvious love of what she creates, choosing one as a favorite took months. The lure of “Fog and Flaura” is understandable. “It is so solitary, yet serene, quiet but with a strong statement. I like that.”
A painter at heart, Abbie is seduced by anything that sparks her imagination. “It demands I paint it!” she says of the fog found in a series she started over a year ago. Ensnared is the word she uses to describe the mist of fog. It has captured her. The multitude of Maine wildflowers blended with the shadow of the pines in the distance brings the viewer home. It’s as if you have been here before. You can actually feel the comfort Abbie has created.
For forty years Abbie has been putting paint to canvas. She has a beautiful collection of work at the gallery, as well as two other stunning pieces in the Choice Art Show, which were unveiled on June 13th at the opening. We hope you find time to come see them in person. If not, please visit Abbie’s work at www.maine-art.com.
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