David Witbeck in BIRD – A Maine Art Show

08/06/2015 0 Comments
 

David Witbeck  by Ric Kasini Kadour

 

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The gull perched on the bollard in David Witbeck’s Harbor Gulls is watching you. They are fighting over chum in Free Lunch. And one is calling out to the sunrise in Morning Gulls. When they are not the subject, Witbeck uses birds in his paintings as a call to action, a source of drama, and sometimes a point of humor. David Witbeck studied art at the Pratt Institute and the Rhode Island School of Design, and photojournalism at Rochester Institute of Technology. He worked as a freelance photographer for over twenty-five years. He took up painting in 2000 and has steadily exhibited his work across New England.

Witbeck paints with the wit and eye of a freelance photographer always on the lookout for the perfect constellation of elements that will make a composition tell a story. Often the birds in his paintings obscure and temper the scenes around them. This allows the viewer to parse the painting in a different way. For example, the prominence of the birds in Morning Gulls distracts the viewer from the fact that the painting is a landscape, a simple rendition of the sun rising over an island out in the water. The quieter of the two birds stares at the viewer, almost daring you to notice what is going on. Look closely at Free Lunch and you will see that the fisherman is sacrificing his chum to distract the birds from the large lobster he holds in his hand. By contrast, when birds are the only subject, Witbeck portrays them with humility, as in the simple rendering of gulls in Conspirators, or with nobility, as in his paintings of cormorants where he shows the birds perching, wings spread, nodding to the heavens.

Click on David’s Artist Page to see Maine Art Painting and Sculpture’s entire Witbeck collection or visit us at 14 Western Ave. Kennebunk, Maine.

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Rock ‘n’ Roll – David Witbeck

06/15/2015 0 Comments
 

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David’s work is very unique and easy to distinguish. The charm and love of the coast comes through. For those of us born and raised on the New England coast, we have seen the “Rock ‘n’ Roll” of the fishing harbor our whole life. However, if you are from away, it only takes a few minutes down on the docks to discover it.

“I wanted to paint something other than my usual fisherman. I love to watch boats tugging at their moorings on blustery days as if they’re trying to get free,” says Witbeck about how “Rock ‘n’ Roll” was born. There is no doubt that the Atlantic Ocean and the boats are in cahoots in the battle for freedom in this piece. There is also no doubt that these boats belong with David’s fisherman. Eliot, Walt, and Amos  would be happy that the moorings are holding strong.

On June 13th, these whimsical lobster boats can be found on the walls at Maine Art Shows. The heart of David’s work is best seen in person. Each piece has a life of its own. If you can’t make it to the gallery, many pieces can be found on David’s Artist Page at www.maine-art.com. In the end, when it comes to judging David’s work, he sums it up best. “I know I have a good painting when it makes me smile. This one made me smile.”

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Not a Normal Wednesday – Kennebunkport Festival 2015

06/10/2015 0 Comments
 

Before we start in on what today brings, we have to give a huge Thank You! to a few folks for last night. First off, One Dock Prime rocked it! What a perfect way to start of this week.  After cocktails we were lucky enough to spend the evening in Jay and Erica Knudsen’s home with a crazy group of wonderful people.  Artist Jill Valliere, Sponsor Tom LaPierre from LaPierre Stone, Maine Media Collective’s Emily McConnell, and of course the fabulous Chef Cara Stadler from Tao Yuan, thank you so much. Kudos to everyone involved in the Kennebunkport Festival, last night was amazing.

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Today’s calendar of events is just as crazy and just as wonderful as yesterday’s. And, of course, Maine Art Painting and Sculpture will be celebrating the best of it. Our artists, David Witbeck, Ellen Welch Granter, Henry Isaacs, Jeffrey T. Fitzgerald, and Philip Frey are all having artwork delivered as we speak to the homes hosting dinners tonight and they will  be in on the festivities tonight, as well.

Everything begins at the Colony Resort at 140 Ocean Ave in Kennebunkport for cocktails around 5pm. John and the artists will be milling around enjoying all the wonderful treats the Colony has to offer, and listening to the wonders of Dominic Lavoie, a Portland area musician. It is sure to be a perfect way to kick off the second night of the Art of Dining. There are still a few tickets available at  the Kennebunkport Festival website.

Dinner Time.

Tonight you will find David Witbeck and his collection of fun and interesting Maine characters at the home of the Raffaellis, whom have graciously opened their home yet again this year.  Chef Harding Lee Smith from The Rooms will be joining them.  The Rooms, refers to several of Smith’s Portland restaurants.  All of which are worth a visit if you are in Portland. This is sure to be a dinner to remember.

Ellen Welch Granter and some of her new work will be found at the Turner/Bull residence tonight. Chef Jeff Buerhaus of Walters will be wooing the guests with his Asian, Mediterranean and Caribbean inspired menu.  This is a lucky crowd to be feasting on such fabulous artwork and food all in one beautiful place.

Dinner at the Hurlbutts’ is sure to be one of the highlights of the Festival again this year.  They were gracious enough to open their home to both artist Henry Isaacs and Chef Guy Hernandez of Lolita. Henry will be sharing some of his best and newest pieces from the Choice Art Show and Guy will be offering up the flavors, traditions, and simplicity of the Mediterranean cuisine from his restaurant on Munjoy Hill in Portland.  Everyone will be very well taken care of at the Hurlbutts’ tonight.

The stunning artwork of Jeffrey T. Fitzgerald  graces the walls of the Taranto/Ellms home this evening.  Fitzgerald will be joined by Chef Chris Wilcox of the Velveteen Habit in Cape Neddick. The Velveteen Habit is said to be a place that invokes, “…memories of family gatherings where food was made for comfort and nourishment and families gather together to share stories and make memories.” A few more memories will be made tonight thanks to all involved with making this dinner happen.

Even though Philip Frey isn’t a Choice Art Show artist, he is one of Maine Arts Paintings and Scultpure’s featured artists this summer. He also loves a good time for a great cause and is happy to be a part of the Art of Dining party at the Rice home.  Chef Emil Rivera of Sur Lie on Free Street in Portland is the second half of the talent joining this gathering.  While Frey will be sharing pieces from his extensive collection, Chef Rivera will be sharing the progressive and delectable plates and snacks from the cool new restaurant that is rocking Portland.

The Philip Frey Show, New Works, will start June 27th at Maine Art Shows and run to July 16th.

Well…that is what we are eating tonight.

Then its on to the After Party!

Stripers at 133 Ocean Ave., right here in Kennebunk, is hosting this complimentary event starting at 9pm. It will be a great way to work off some of this food! Todd the Rocket will be our DJ and Maine Art will be there to celebrate the end of another successful day of the Kennebunkport Festival. Come wrap up the night with us – you can sleep next week!

Remember to stop in at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture as you wander around Kennebunkport, or visit us on line at maine-art.com.

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