In the Studio – Time with Craig Mooney

11/03/2016 0 Comments
 

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Visiting artists in their studios is one of our favorite things to do. Seeing each individual, how they work, what their space looks like, and the process they go through gives us a better understanding of the artist and their final works.

“No artist works the same way. I am always amazed at the range of style and personality that comes through on a studio visit,” says John Spain, owner of Maine Art. “From organization to process to space, each artist visit truly is a unique experience.”

When visiting Craig Mooney in Stowe, Vermont, this generalization held true.  Craig has a fabulous space off a small gallery in Stowe.  It is large and bright, and has become more than just his space, but part of his process.  In the very center of his studio is a large rectangular table that holds his brushes and paint. No matter what it looks like to the outsider, it is organized chaos to him.

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“Typically when I finish a collection of works that have to go to a gallery, I need to go through and reorganize. As you can see, things end up in a messy state,” claims Mooney.  “It’s a system, believe it or not. I know where the location of certain pigments are, even though it doesn’t look it,” Craig laughs as he explains. “I can tell you that there’s definitely a cadmium green over there somewhere, a Van Dyke brown on this side…” Mooney waves his hands as he shows off his system.  “My cools over here, my warms over there; I have sort of families.”

When the paint tubes are pretty much empty, he sends them to “the bin.” Someday, he says, he will pay his nephews to squeeze all of the almost-empty tubes and get one more tube out of the remnants.

Click here to see video of Craig’s explanation.

Another difference, compared to other artists, is that Mooney likes to work at night. Apparently, the witching hour is what gives that touch of magic to a Craig Mooney sky. The irony is not lost that some of the most beautiful skies and light come from a man that prefers to work when its dark.

“The building is quiet at night, and I get in my zone,” says Mooney.  “Most people are home from work and doing other things, and I’m here. The night is a peaceful time. All the thoughts I have accrued throughout the day percolate to the top. It is just a good time for me.”

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Whatever he is doing is definitely working. Craig had a fabulous summer with us here at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, and we are looking forward to a repeat performance in the Summer of ’17.  Mooney’s solo show at Maine Art Shows starts July 1 and runs through July 20. Until then, please come and see our entire collection in the gallery at 14 Western Avenue in Kennebunk.  We are open every day from 10 – 5.

To see Craig Mooney’s collection online, click here. Craig Mooney Artist Page

To read more about Mooney and Maine Art, click here. Maine Art and Craig Mooney – Stories and Insights

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Behind the Painting – Custom Stretchers from Brickyard Enterprises

08/01/2016 0 Comments
 

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In the spirit of First Lives, we here at Maine Art are taking a bit of time to recognize a behind-the-scenes source that has just recently come to our attention. Brickyard Enterprises is located in Ferrisburgh, Vermont in the beautiful Champlain Valley. They are a small company run by Mike Poskas and his wife, Ann. They also live about a half-mile from Rebecca Kinkead. Mike and Rebecca’s husband, Jamey, hunt together. One day, during a rabbit hunt, Jamey tossed a very random idea his way.

“When Jamey asked about making stretchers for Rebecca’s canvases, Mike was all in,” says his wife, Ann. “Then he promptly came home, and together we researched what a stretcher was and how to make one!”

Four months later, the Poskas’ new three-car garage was transformed into a high-end woodworking shop, which they call “the barn.” That was now four years ago. Even though Mike is busy flying as a pilot for a commercial airline, the duo has kept the business going.  Orders were thriving and soon Ann left corporate America to focus on Brickyard. She doesn’t stop at the business end though. The couple splits the duties in the wood shop, as well.

“Mike does all the major cutting, but I put everything through the joiner. Then we work the table saw and the shapers for the profile together,” says Ann. “He does the precision cuts – that pilot’s attention to exact detail comes in handy. He also handles anything too dangerous for me to do alone.”

With five shapers, four are dedicated to the tongue and groove work. Ann handles four of them without issue. She also puts the smaller stretchers together. The larger pieces require a cross-bracing; this is where Mike is needed again.

“I stretch the canvases and do most of the delivery,” says Ann. “We have over forty artists, twenty of them are regulars. I deliver all over New England and we ship to as far away as Florida.”

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Everything at Brickyard Enterprises is custom ordered and made by hand with locally sourced basswood. They keep no inventory in stock and make each piece to the exact specifications of the artist, offering both stretchers and panels in a variety of sizes.

“We have never advertised. It has been word of mouth since we started and we are more than busy. It has always been a fun business and has come to be something we love to do,” says Ann.

Word of mouth is exactly what led a second one of our artists to Brickyard. Craig Mooney and Rebecca Kinkead have worked in galleries together for a few years.  When Rebecca committed to an exclusive deal with Brickyard, she immediately called Craig to let him know how fabulous their work was. It wasn’t long before Craig was on board, as well.

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Not only does Brickyard produce custom stretchers and panels, they have added fine art transportation to their list of services, and transport to all of New England. They have also begun stretching completed works for collectors and artists. It’s important to have high quality materials supporting the beautiful work that hangs on our walls and yours. Our artists take this part of their process very seriously, and it’s all the better when we can keep it local.

For more information on Brickyard Enterprises, visit their website and check them out on Facebook.

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To see both Craig Mooney and Rebecca Kinkead’s work please visit our galleries in Kennebunk; Maine Art Shows, at 10 Chase Hill Road and Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, at 14 Western Avenue. You can also view our complete collections of their works on their Artist Pages and read more about them on our Blog by clicking the links below.

Rebecca Kinkead at Maine Art and Rebecca Kinkead an Inside Look

Craig Mooney at Maine Art and Craig Mooney an Inside Look

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Craig Mooney on Trade Winds – An Artist’s Choice

06/08/2016 0 Comments
 
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“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” – T.S. Elliot.

Craig Mooney has been exploring.  Not in a sailboat. Not out on the sea. He has been exploring in his studio in Stowe, Vermont, and he has invited us to join him.

“Ironically, I’m not a seafarer. My knowledge is from reading and skirting the coastline,” says Mooney. As a kid, he lived on a dead end street in Manhattan that overlooked the East River. He watched huge freighters and barges pass by en route to some unknown location, with the help of tugboats in many cases.  “My father took me to the piers on the west side, and we visited the huge ocean liners,” says Mooney.  On a good day, he and his father were allowed to step on board. Sometimes it was only for an hour as passengers readied to disembark. “It was exciting to me, even if I wasn’t really a passenger. It stirred something in me.”

In part and in pieces these memories resurface in Trade Winds. Daydreams of what it is like out at sea and wishes of travels that may one day come.  Craig Mooney is proof  you don’t have to experience the open ocean first-hand to find that connection and fall in love.

“I didn’t want to create a cloyingly sweet vignette of a romantic sailing voyage, but in some cases, ironically, it is where I ended up,” says Mooney. On a deeper level, he connects with the quote above he shares from T.S. Elliot and arrives back at the beginning with new eyes. “When I started this series based around Trade Winds, I was unsure what my motivation was. I do know it was a journey for me. The immense power of the sea, the endless heavens above and the lone vessel carried me along.”

Commanding a room, this six foot by six foot piece has a life of its own. It fills a space with a blend of the luminescent light of the sun and the deep blue shadows of the ocean. It pulls the viewer in yet still leaves enough space to enjoy one’s own personal journey.

As beautiful as the images are on the website, this piece is worth a visit to Kennebunk. Trade Winds was Craig Mooney’s Artist’s Choice for the Choice Art Show and will be on display at Maine Art Shows at 10 Chase Hill in Kennebunk until June 30th. Please stop in any day from 11am – 5pm.  The Choice Art Show is also available to view online by clicking here; Choice Art Show.

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If you are interested in reading more about Craig Mooney and his work at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture on our blog, click here. You can also visit his Artist Page at www.maine-art.com to view our entire collection of Mooney work.

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Art Walking in the Rain

10/11/2015 0 Comments
 

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Friday evening the streets of Kennebunk and Kennebunkport sparkled.  The street lights and warmer-than-normal temperatures off-set Mother Nature’s attempt at washing out October’s Village Art Walk.  Instead, we walked in the rain, celebrated a beautiful autumn, and enjoyed the company of artist, Craig Mooney.

This quiet time with Craig allowed many to get to know the artist just a bit better. Stories of travel and family, and of course art, filled the first floor of the gallery.  Almost every visitor, after walking around, had the same question, “Where is the setting of this piece?”  They would point to the rocks overlooking the ocean in Summit Light, or the girl leaning against the banister in Coastline Remembered. Craig’s answer always varied a little, but the idea was the same.  “It is a place only I have been. It is the the epitome of New England’s perfection. It is a piece and a part of each beach, mountain, or ocean I have visited. It is where I was at peace. It is wherever makes you happy.”  All of Craig’s work in From a Distance contains this peaceful, picture perfect setting. Growing up in Manhattan, surrounded by the noise and craze of the city, Mooney began creating his own bit of tranquility with paint and canvas.  “I needed quiet, so I made my own,” says Mooney. For those of us that seek out Maine and her coastline, this is a concept that is very easy to understand.

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Upstairs was just as busy as down. The patter of rain against the windows that surround the upper level of the gallery fashioned an ideal visit.  Glass of wine in-hand and background stories provided by the staff made the tour of Maine Art personal and warm. A few pieces found new homes and braved the sprinkles wrapped in plastic and paper clutched by happy customers. All in all, it was a perfect evening.

As always, the food was incredible and the wine was stellar. Thank you, Donna and Down East Wine Imports.  All who dropped in left with a smile. Columbus Day weekend brought many first time visitors to the gallery, Kentucky, Georgia, California. Then, of course, many of our favorite local customers came by to say hello. Thank you to all.

The next and final Village Art Walk of the season will be December 11th, as Prelude once again turns Kennebunk and Kennebunkport into a winter wonderland of the classic New England Christmas. Mark it on your calendar and come join us.

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Craig Mooney’s show, From A Distance runs until October 23rd.

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Sunsets in the Marsh

10/09/2015 0 Comments
 

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Over the last couple weeks, the first floor at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture has been immersed in Craig Mooney’s Show, “From A Distance.” These paintings encompass the theme of distance, both physically and mentally, as they encourage the artist and the viewer to use both space and time to reflect on the beauty of the ocean and its shoreline.

Standing in the middle of the gallery, it is difficult to not let your eye wander from one painting to the next. There is a flow and a peace that connects each painting into a single moment and allows the viewer to float uninterrupted. That is, until your eye reaches Evening Sky.

The burst of orange light that flows over the marsh reflects in both water and sky.  The contrast of the deep green grasses and the glow of the last rays of sun is startling, but the process to take it in is completely subconscious.  It demands a step backward, a slight tilt of the head, and begs for the smallest squint in an attempt to see more clearly: as if looking into something luminous.  You must instinctively pull back in order to be pulled back in. Brush strokes of gold and grey and a faint remnant of sky blue cover the canvas, but it’s the orange. Burnt and bright. Deep and daring. “It’s all about the light and shadow, the contrast. It sets the mood, and the orange is really a combination of warm hues that draw the viewer in,” says Mooney when asked about this piece.

The companion to Evening Sky is Quiet Haze.  It has those same orange tones, but this time they are settled down and snuggled into the land.  They have seeped into the waters and clouds and appear as mere remnants of what once was.  As Evening Sky sings, Quiet Haze whispers.

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Mooney’s show, “From A Distance,” is at Maine Art in Kennebunk until October 23rd.  We welcome you to see it for yourself.  We will be open until eight o’clock Friday, October 9th for the Village Art Walk, and Craig will be here to help us celebrate. Come in to chat and enjoy.

As always, you can see the show in its entirety at “From A Distance,” or visit Craig’s Artist Page on the gallery’s website.

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When It Was Summer

10/04/2015 0 Comments
 

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Over the last week or so, Southern Maine has started to change.  The temperatures are dropping to normal autumnal numbers, leaves of red, orange and yellow decorate the trees and the beach goers dress in cuffed jeans and sweaters instead of bikinis and flip-flops.  Fall has finally come to the Maine coast.

As much as we all celebrate this change of season, it is hard not to miss the summer. Days spent in bright sunshine, warm sand and crashing waves fill our minds. Craig Mooney knows this all too well. He spent his summer with his wife and two-year-old daughter getting reacquainted with the seagulls and seaweed. It was a summer he is not all that eager to forget.  And so, in the midst of his show “From A Distance,” you will find the paintings Beach Day and Low Tide Strollers.

In Beach Day, small shapes and colors dot the shoreline; illusions in paint. Wisps of figures, so familiar it is impossible not to smile. Mid-day is captured when summer still felt long and full. Low Tide Strollers has a different feel. The sun has dipped lower in the sky, and the smallest of silhouettes are outlined by dark blue water and wave-soaked sands. If you look closely you will see that even our canine friends have come to share this playground.

We all love the beautiful seascapes that Craig is known for at Maine Art. With these two pieces he has not only invited us to see his world, but to actually be a part of it. Come in and experience it for yourself. Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture will be hosting “From A Distance” until October 23rd.  The gallery is open until 6pm during the week, and 7pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Also, don’t forget to come and join us for the Village Art Walk next Friday, October 9th from 5pm – 8pm. Craig will be here to enjoy the evening with us. If you are away and interested in viewing the entire show, you can find it online at “From A Distance.” You can also view all of Craig’s collection in the gallery or on his Artist Page.

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The Lobstermen of Maine

10/01/2015 3 Comments
 

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For us here at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, the name Craig Mooney is synonymous with large, semi-abstract landscapes. Even though he does not paint specific places, his work draws us in and gives off that sense of home for those of us who live on the coast.

However, there is another part of the sea and the coast that occasionally grabs Mooney’s eye and interest.  It may not be as beautiful or as picturesque, but it is still very much a part of coastal Maine life;  the lobsterman.

We have seen the craggy, sea-worn man before in Mooney’s work. The Old Man and the Sea and Storm Watch are classic fisherman. They are the men who have been here for generations and will continue to be here long after we are gone.  But why do they stay? Why do they get up at dawn and come home at dusk facing brutal wind and freezing water? The same reason that lures the rest of here – the water.

Craig has two new pieces in the show, “From A Distance,” that show off the beauty of the lobsterman and his work. Setting Traps and Back Out to Sea.  Each piece allows us a different view of this very solitary world.  One boat, one man and the water he loves. In each, the water is at its clearest and calmest. This is where biting wind and bitter cold change to warm sun and silent sea. This is where a moment of rest is taken.

If you love the coast of Maine, there are many new and interesting subjects and views in Craig’s new show. “From A Distance” is more than just a glimpse of why we love it here. We welcome you to come see it for yourself at 14 Western Avenue in Kennebunk, or view it online at “From A Distance.”  The show will run until October 23rd.  Craig will also be in the gallery for the Village Art Walk on Friday, October 9th from 5-8. We look forward to seeing you soon.

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Opening Day – From A Distance – A Craig Mooney Show

09/28/2015 0 Comments
 

From A Distance – A Craig Mooney Show

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Saturday, the doors of Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture opened for Craig Mooney’s show, “From A Distance.”  Now, this was the first time we have ever done a show here in the gallery at 14 Western Ave. and rarely do we have shows in the fall. This was a first for us, and we truly didn’t know what to expect.

We spent all day with the over twenty tour busses that teetered into town.  The streets were full and we had a plethora of happy tourists and locals alike. By three o’clock the crowds were starting to dissipate, and a few paintings boasted the glorious little red dot… sold. “From A Distance” was off to a wonderful start, and we were only a few hours in.

The Artist’s Reception began at five and was a perfect place to come in and see the work first hand.  It was also a chance to chat with the artist himself for a few minutes.  The online show is spectacular, but there is nothing like seeing great works of art in person. Craig, his wife Kristen and their daughter Millie were on hand to share stories and details about Craig and his work.  A painting becomes more personal knowing the story behind it. While standing in front of each canvas, patrons reminisced about their where and when, their sky and sand and sun and their memories that flooded back as they took in the scenes Craig created: Goose Rocks Beach, Damriscotta, Cape Cod, Kennebunk Marsh, and Acadia among others. “I love to create a place where someone feels like they have been there,” said Mooney.  “ Like a lyricist or a poet, I want to inspire people to bring their own story to the work; to find what it means to them.” Craig still wonders at the familiar.  He finds a way to make everyday beauty a celebration and he brings to life a moment deserving of paint and canvas. This is what people love about a Mooney painting. This is why the first floor at 14 Western Ave. in Kennebunk held a crowd of art loving people. (Of course, it could have also been the food. Donna Speirs, our in-house caterer, never disappoints.)

The night flew by in a whirlwind of  people and laughter and community. By seven o’clock the street lights were coming on, and it was time to close the doors of Maine Art for the night.  There were a few of us heading out to Bandaloop, a local restaurant, to toast a fabulous first day.  Kennebunkport was still in full swing, celebrating a September like we haven’t seen in years. We were feeling blessed and grateful to be able to celebrate right along with her.

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Thanks so much to all those who came out to support Craig Mooney and Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture during his opening day.  We look forward to seeing you again soon.  Remember, the show runs until October 23rd.  Please feel free to bring a friend in and share this incredible show.  The gallery is open everyday, and as always, click here for the online show. It is a great way to take a peek if you are far away and wishing you could be here.

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Autumn Transformations – From A Distance

09/25/2015 0 Comments
 

Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture is going through a bit of transition today.  We are still open for business, but the majority of the first floor will be a bit crazy as we prepare for the opening of “From A Distance,” Craig Mooney’s one-man show that opens tomorrow.

Normally, our show gallery is up on Chase Hill at Maine Art Shows. However, we are doing something a little different this fall. Maine Art Shows closed after Labor Day, but Kennebunk and Kennebunkport are just revving up for what is looking like a beautiful and busy autumn season.  Therefore, we decided to celebrate the changing of the leaves and cool breezes by showcasing artists on the first floor of Maine Art.

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The first of these shows is Craig Mooney’s, “From A Distance.” Mooney has always loved New England’s ocean and landscapes, and has a natural talent for capturing that place and time one promises to never forget.  Craig joined the gallery all the way back in May of 2007. “Looking back at the first few deliveries of paintings, his work has changed dramatically,” says Amy Lewia, Maine Art’s Gallery Director.  Age, skill and vision all push an artist to grow and become better. Yet, Craig’s ability to encapsulate Maine, her coast and her sky remains true.

Remember, the show starts tomorrow morning at 10 am.  Please come in. The entire gallery will be open until five, and then we welcome you to celebrate with Craig and the Maine Art staff from 5-7 at the official opening of “From A Distance.”

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The show will run until October 23rd, and as always is available to view on-line at www.maine-art.com.

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From A Distance – A Craig Mooney Show

09/24/2015 0 Comments
 

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It’s important to take a step back, take a deep breath, and truly embrace the beauty surrounding us. In this new show, this is exactly what Craig Mooney has done. “From A Distance” is that step back. This is a show filled with new works and new perspectives on his classics. If you are already in love with Craig Mooney’s work, you will be amazed at what he has created. If this is your first experience, you are in for a treat.

When “From A Distance” was in it’s early stages, Craig connected with the theme. “It is necessary to put distance between you and the work,” says Mooney. “I have to stand back. Right up close, it just doesn’t make sense. It’s just blobs of paint. The distance is necessary to really see the whole picture.” Strokes of blues and greens come to life and become the ocean as we step back. Paint produces emotion. It breathes life.

Craig has been lucky enough to experience places where skies change from orange to pink to blue in the course of a day; where seas reflect dark and grey, and in just a moment change to crystal blue; where land, sky and ocean converge to produce a perfect contrast of nature. These places are familiar to us. We live here. We have created memories here. “Before this show, I went back over the last ten years,” says Craig. “ I discovered the paintings where people felt connected. Over and over, it was the sky and the sea.” It was these works that Craig revisited, creating new and original pieces that hold the same familiar feeling – a feeling we are just not quite ready to let go.

On Thursday, September 24th, the online catalogue for the show will be available to view. On Saturday, the 26th, “From A Distance” officially opens at 10 am. You will find Craig’s work on the first floor of Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture on 14 Western Ave in Kennebunk. Consider this your invitation to come in, step back, take a deep breathe and enjoy.

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