Craig Mooney on Being Ambiguous

07/13/2017 0 Comments
 
Craig Mooney on Being Ambiguous

Our long-time clients and visitors have come to love and recognize the works of Craig Mooney. No one captures the color and expanse of the Maine sea and sky the same way he does. Viewers love the fact that the places he paints can be anywhere, but he also holds this same standard to his figurative works.

“My landscapes are places only I have been. They are the epitome of New England’s perfection. There is a piece and part of each beach, mountain, or ocean I have visited, and they represent somewhere I found peace,” Mooney says. “But for you, it should be a memory from a place that makes you happy.”

Along this same line, his new figuratives are beginning to push the abstract, while still capturing the essence of the man, woman or child. Works like In the Bedroom, Evening Commute, and Afternoon Light have a much looser feel to them without losing the connection to place and person.

In The Bedroom by Craig Mooney Evening Commute by Craig Mooney Afternoon Light by Craig Mooney

“The way I do figurative work is the same way I do landscapes. My landscapes are not a specific place, but they are familiar. The trick with figures is to make them ambiguous, but with a sense of realism,” says Mooney. “I want you to put yourself or someone you love into the work.”

His rose window and woman in white are both popular motifs Craig has been working with. However, his newest concept is his ‘surf riders’. These works find a perfect harmony with his love of the ocean and his wave jumping four-year-old daughter.

Surf Riders and Tumbler are perfect pieces for this show. They force the art to be cohesive, and keeps a connection between the pieces,” Mooney says. “The whole show is about escaping and the variety of the work covers the variety of ways people find their own escape.”

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Whether you are a collector of Craig Mooney’s, or you are a first-time viewer, this show will be a delight. We have been representing him for close to ten years, and this is by far some of his best work.

“I am trying to reimagine my image of Maine Art Gallery. It has become so much more than the traditional Maine gallery, and this show has so much more than the classic Mooney sky,” says Craig. “It is by far the most all-encompassing display of my work.”

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If you still haven’t made it to Kennebunk we encourage you to make plans soon. Craig’s show runs until Thursday, July 20th. Maine Art Shows is found at 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk and is open every day from 11am to 5pm. If you cant make it in, please view the show online by clicking here. You can also experience the work in a virtual walk-through by clicking this link; Walk Through Craig Mooney’s Show. It is the next best thing to being here in the flesh.

To read more Artist Insights from Mooney click this link – Artist Insights from Craig Mooney

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“Celestial” by Craig Mooney – An Ode to William

07/06/2017 0 Comments
 
“Celestial” by Craig Mooney – An Ode to William

Craig Mooney has a variety of motifs he is known for. We love his skies, sails and coastlines. Normally, each motif is focused on separately. There was a special inspiration, however, that nudged him into bringing three of his favorites into one piece.

Celestial by Craig Mooney

“In my mind, the cornerstone of this show is the piece I originally called Ode to William. It is an ode to William Trost Richards, the 19th century maritime painter,” says Mooney about the piece now named Celestial. “Trost had a distinctive style and was specially known for waves crashing on beaches.”

Richards’ work is much more realistic and detailed than Mooney’s, but the inspiration is obvious for those familiar with Richards’ work. When speaking about a particular painting of Richards’, Mooney said, “It was so interesting. His piece looked like three different paintings I had done in the past, but they were combined into one canvas.” It was a combination of a sailboat, a large cloud with light hitting, and a rocky shore. “Richards’ captured light beautifully. It is the first piece I thought of doing for the show.”

Ode to William was soon renamed Celestial, but the inspiration stayed with Mooney throughout his work for his summer show at Maine Art.

Celestial is a little more tightly controlled and more detailed than my normal work. It began an ever-changing journey into subject matter for this show,” says Mooney. “The next few pieces were more expressive and abstract, but Richard’s work stayed with me throughout.”

Craig Mooney

To see our entire collection for Craig Mooney’s Solo Show visit Maine Art Shows on Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk. We are open seven days a week from 11 AM to 5 PM. FMI call 207-967-0049 or www.maine-art.com

Read more about Craig Mooney here – Craig Mooney – Artist Insights

See all Mooney’s work at Maine Art here – Craig Mooney – Artist Page

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Craig Mooney Opens at Maine Art

06/29/2017 0 Comments
 
Craig Mooney Opens at Maine Art

Artist Craig Mooney is stepping back to a time when art was an escape.

“People are always going to be in search of love. People are always going to be in search of adventure. People are always going to be in search of an escape,” says Mooney. “This show gives them all three.”

Celestial by Craig Mooney

Maine Art Shows is hosting Craig Mooney’s one-man show beginning July 1st. This show will run for three weeks and contain not only his classic semi-abstract seascapes and landscapes, but also some fabulous new figurative works.

Mooney says, “In this time and age we are entering, people are looking for an escape. This new series of work offers that. My recent works are more romantic motifs. I want to give people a place to go for a bit of peace. It’s that feeling found when spending time with a painting, then suddenly it captures you. It holds on, and you are there, even if only for a while. It’s more than just seeing it, it is feeling it. The work has to be sincere.”

Dory Calm by Craig Mooney Surf Riders by Craig Mooney

Born and raised in Manhattan, Mooney left the city in 1988 to attend Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, where he received a fine arts degree in 1992.  He secured his first large commissioned work from New York Hospital in 1995. “The work for the hospital turned into a series of works and more commissioned pieces for Cornell Medical College,” says Mooney. “Thanks in part to this early success, I was able move to rural Vermont and set up a studio.”

He is inspired by all the places he has called home – his native New York, the mountains and farms near his studio in Stowe, Vermont, and the beaches of Maine and Massachusetts where he spends as much time as he can.  Mooney imbues these semi-abstract renderings of place with emotions he feels are universal and timeless. “I love my studio in Vermont, but with all the time I spend in Kennebunk and the weekends I spend with family on Cape Cod, I have become a ‘coastal painter.’ I am not sure when it happened, but it is part of who I am now,” says Mooney.

The romance of his landscapes is also found in his figures. Amy Lewia, Maine Art’s Gallery Director, notes, ”I’m very excited about presenting some new imagery in this solo show. His figurative works and cityscapes are absolutely breathtaking, and we can’t wait to share more of them with our customers.”

Craig Mooney

Mooney looks forward to discussing his work and his process during his Artist Reception on Saturday, July 1st, from 5 to 7 PM.  This show runs though Thursday, July 20th. Maine Art Shows is at 10 Chase Hill Road and is open from 11AM to 5PM daily. If you can’t make it to town, please visit the show online by clicking here. FMI visit www.maine-art.com or call  207-967-2803.

To read more about Craig’s process and past – Craig Mooney – Artist Insights

To see Craig’s entire collection – Craig Mooney – Artist Page

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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.

Brickyard Enterprises Brickyard Enterprises Facebook Page

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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