Witbeck has been working on figure drawing almost every week for several years. The drawings and sketches, however, piled up in his studio, unseen by anyone but him. Then one day, that changed. “I thought it would be fun to turn some of them into paintings. An artist should paint what he loves,” grins Witbeck. “ ‘Nough said.”
Even though David Witbeck now lives in Rhode Island, Maine still holds a large portion of his heart and his work. He has so many memories he has created here and visits as often as he can. “Last October I spent a couple weeks recharging my Maine batteries and explored,” says Witbeck. “I wandered amongst the pole wharves of Friendship and Stonington, and visited many bays and harbors along the coast.”
This is by far the most diverse collection of Witbeck’s work we have seen here at Maine Art Gallery. We love the variety of both subject and size. It is really a wonderful show. The work is simple and clean, but never loses the honest feel of Maine and the way it should be.
“I love walking low tide mudflats around and under pole wharves looking for whatever secrets the receding water may have revealed,” Witbeck says. Last October he spent a couple weeks recharging his “Maine batteries” and explored amongst the pole wharves of Friendship and Stonington. “The actual wharfs in these harbor villages don’t look a bit like the ones I painted for the show. As always, my work has always been more about what it feels like than what it looks like.”
David Witbeck’s work has a classic charm and character. He captures coastal life like no other New England artist. This year, however, he decided to use the Choice Art Show to play with another idea. Witbeck says, “I’ve been painting my signature fishermen for eleven years. They’ve become my identity as an artist, but it’s… Read more »
Amos, Wade, Lumper, Newman, Eliot and Barry. They work the local docks. They are Maine, born and raised. They are coastal life personified. They are the iconic fisherman of David Witbeck. And from now until June 16, you will find these boys on the walls of Maine Art Painting and Sculpture.
Witbeck is an artist with a special talent, a unique eye and an unconditional love for coastal life. His canvases are full of characters from working fishing villages and harbor towns. He captures the fabulous personality of the lobsterman and the sarcastic sass of the seagull.
As everyone in Maine begins to celebrate the coming of spring, here at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, we are already looking toward the coming summer. Which means…The Summer Show Schedule! We have planned four single artist shows and one group show. All will contain new and unique pieces from many of our amazing artists.
“As a kid, I thought I wanted to be an artist… or maybe a musician,” says David Witbeck. “As a high school senior my choices were music school in Potsdam, NY (the boonies, -40 in the winter), or Art School in the Big Apple. What would you choose?”
David thought it would be fun to somehow use the photo in his art and started a painting. “It became too much of a copy of the photograph, so I abandoned it. It still sits unfinished, face against my studio wall.” Luckily for us the photograph continued to poke at his imagination. “I kept looking at the photo. I knew there was something that eventually would come from it.” One morning, months later, he walked into his studio, picked up a piece of charcoal and in an hour or so had a drawing that resulted in one of his most recent woodblock prints, “Fishwife”.