Liz Hoag – First Life and the Law

09/14/2017 0 Comments
 
Liz Hoag – First Life and the Law

“People think that being an artist and being a lawyer are exact opposites, one, a left brain activity, one a right brain activity,” says Liz Hoag. “I disagree.”

Liz Hoag completed her undergrad at Cornell and received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Studio Art in 1983. She then earned her Masters of Fine Arts in Painting from Boston University in 1986. Thinking she had completed her “college life”,  she moved to Maine started a screen printing business, mostly on fabric, t-shirts and such.

“My boyfriend quit his urchin diving business and grew the screen printing business with me two years later. However, things change. Our relationship ended in 1994, and in 1997 I sold out my share of the business to him, as well.”

 

At that point, Liz decided on another change and opted for law school at the University of Maine. She met her husband in 2002,  earned her JD in 2003, clerked for a Justice on the law court and had twins in 2004, and soon after took a new job at Pine Tree Legal Assistance. We are fairly certain she took a few deep breaths in there as well.

When asked about her complete change in life work, this is often her answer:

“The biggest difference lies between the culture of art and the culture of law.  Art is generally a friendly and even collaborative field.  Law is neither,” says Hoag. “Law is designed to be adversarial.  Someone wins and someone loses; end of story.”

The second twist in the story…in 2010, Liz quit law and went back to art.

“It took a while for the decision to gestate.  Up until 2010, I didn’t have the courage or self-confidence to be an artist full-time.  I  had a husband.  I had children.  I had financial responsibilities,” says Hoag.  She also had the problem many of women have, she felt like a fraud. “I never thought I was as good as others thought I was.  So if I never really tried, I couldn’t fail, and people would still think I was good. There was no risk.”

However, with a fiftieth birthday coming up fast, Liz knew if she was going to do it, she had to do it soon. “I did my financial calculations. I had arguments with my husband. Then, I quit my job,” she says with a grin.

As an artist, one might not be as successful financially as another painter or might not have particular skills another has, but Hoag believes artists are not expected to face off against each other so that someone wins and someone loses.

“We find our places as artists. We change and grow and have open-ended possibilities,” says Hoag. She found after a few years of practicing law, she was just exhausted from spending her days arguing with other lawyers and always trying to “win”.

“There were certainly some good feelings that came with a win in court, but the feelings didn’t last. I worked with low-income residents of Maine and liked the idea of giving them quality legal representation, but in the end, I knew that I was better at something else, and I’d be happier doing that something else.”

The biggest difference between the two I think lies the culture of art and the culture of law.  Art is generally a friendly and even collaborative field.  Law is neither.  Law is designed to be adversarial.  Someone wins and someone loses; end of story.  As an artist, I might not be as successful financially as another painter or I might not have particular skills another has, but we are not expected to face off against each other.

Having found success in both fields Liz feels there are more similarities than many understand.

“The thought processes of both professions require both sides of the brain.  Of course, we think of art as being creative, but the fact is if I sit around in my studio and wait for inspiration to show up, I would never get anything done,” laughs Hoag.  “An artist and a lawyer need to focus, have goals, and plans to achieve them.”

Hoag knows we all need to work through the days of “I just don’t want to do this”. We all have to learn and we have to be creative. Law is no different.

“On an average day, I was rewarded for NOT being creative – that’s what “precedent” is all about.  The need to research and use what has gone before to help win a case,” says Hoag. “But then when a case with a novel issue comes, one that hasn’t been dealt with in Maine perhaps, this is when creativity is critical. I was able to take precedent and expand it. I loved giving the judge something new to think about,” says Hoag with a smile. “It’s rare and exciting working on a novel idea in law, but it does happen. So see, art and law both require hard work, critical thinking, and creativity.”

Law has also helped Hoag understand producing art is hard work like any other profession. It deserves respect and effort. “I still get comments about how being lucky,  about being talented and the lovely comment ‘I wish I could quit my jobs and just do art’,” Hoag laughs. “Me too, I want to say, but I simply say Thank you. Yes, it’s great.’ and move on.”

Hoag knows it’s not that simple and being lucky or genetically talented didn’t get her where she is as a painter today.  “Hard work, a lot of thought, and some middle-aged self-confidence got me here,” she says. “And I’m so glad I made the move. My possibilities are infinite.”

Click the links below for more about Liz Hoag. View her One Woman Show at Maine Art Gallery

Read more Artist Insights from Liz Hoag

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Artists Insights – Words from Liz Hoag

09/07/2017 0 Comments
 
Artists Insights – Words from Liz Hoag

The entire first floor of Maine Art is currently featuring work from artist Liz Hoag. While she was here visiting, she shared a few words with us regarding her work and her perspective of Maine.  Her show will run through Thursday, Septemeber 21st.

From Liz…..

“You take a photograph of a sunset over a lake and realize later when you look at the photo that there were branches in your view.  You unknowingly wiped them from view when you were looking through the lens.  But they’re there; part of the landscape that gives depth and frames the beauty. They are an integral part of the beauty.  You take them in without thinking about them.

When you’re walking in the woods, you think “this is so peaceful” and look around at the “quiet.” It’s not just that the trees surrounding you dampen the sounds of nearby civilization, but the light and color around you also make the space “quiet. “ The warm light sifting through the trees, the colors of early morning or late afternoon, the cool blues and browns of the path all come together to give you that peace.  At any time of day, even at midday with the bright light washing away some of the color, the balance of the trees, branches, light and dark of the forest still creates calm.

You go to the edge of the sea in Maine to find “calm.”  Islands, boats, and seaweed break up the vast expanse.  Rather than wrapping your arms around yourself as you might in the closed quiet of the forest, you instead take a deep breath and spread your arms wide. You find a different sort of peace here.

Paths, trees, branches, color, light, air, open space, water; we have it all here in Maine.  Whether it’s looking up at trees in our suburban neighborhoods, driving down country highways, or walking trails to the lakes and sea; we have a visual peace and quiet within reach.  You can find calm and beauty right along the road almost anywhere in Maine.”

Artist Liz Hoag

We are open daily at 10 am. Please come visit or click here to see her entire show in a 360-degree virtual tour.  Virtual Tour and Online Show.

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Liz Hoag – A One-Woman Show at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture

08/31/2017 0 Comments
 
Liz Hoag – A One-Woman Show at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture

Artist Liz Hoag finds inspiration in the simple act of taking a walk in the woods near her Portland home. It isn’t just about what she sees – it is also about what she feels.

“When walking in the woods, the trees surround us. We cannot see the quiet, but we feel it,” says Hoag.

We are so excited to be featuring Hoag’s work in a three-week show beginning Saturday, September 2. We are also thrilled that she will attend the opening reception Saturday evening, from 5 to 7 PM.

Hoag, who has lived in Maine for about 25 years, has a studio in Westbrook. After taking photographs on walks around her Portland neighborhood or one of the many trails around the state, Hoag goes to work in her studio. “This is where the magic happens. I normally start with a dark canvas, or negative space, and build up by adding light. For me, the result is both abstract and representational,” she says.

Hoag blends the ideas inspired by her nature experiences into her work, using mostly acrylic paint on canvas. “It seems I have always leaned toward realistic work, but I like abstract. It’s looser,” Hoag says. She describes the work as “misty” when she discusses the pulling of light color over dark. “It is the light and color that makes a space quiet,” she says.

Hoag especially focuses on trees, as she feels they are the part of the landscape that gives depth and frames the beauty of the outdoors. “They are an integral part of nature. We take them in without thinking about them,” she says.

Besides the “treescapes” Hoag has become known for, she also paints seascapes and landscapes, which will be part of her upcoming show. Nature is constantly inspiring her to paint. “It’s balance and shape,” Hoag says. “For each of us, there is a need to find beauty and balance in the everyday. Much of what I paint is considered ordinary. They are things usually passed by, but if a second is taken to stop and see, it’s impossible not to notice how truly dramatic they are. The balance of the light and dark always manages to create calm.”

Although her work is an expression of her relationship to nature, Hoag ultimately is hoping to evoke feelings in those who view her work. “I personally do not think of the ‘story’ or ‘narrative’ of my paintings,” says Hoag. “That being said, these paintings truly reflect the feel of the moment when I was in this beautiful place.”

Hoag is looking forward to discussing her work and her process at the reception opening night. Please come in and visit at 14 Western Avenue in Kennebunk.

The online show is live Friday afternoon, Septemeber 1. Watch our Facebook page for the update.

FMI maine-art.com or 967-2803.  We are open daily – please check our website for times.

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6th Annual Choice Art Show – Liz Hoag and the Trees

06/28/2017 0 Comments
 

Come meet Liz at Toroso from 5-7. Click here for details.

Stand of Trees by Liz Hoag

Each artist in the Choice Art Show chooses a piece they are especially fond of. For Liz Hoag, it was Stand of Trees. However, it is hard to talk about it in a singular way. Her thoughts on this piece encompass our entire collection of her work

Hoag says, “We take a photograph of a sunset over a lake and realize later when looking at the photo that there are branches in the view?  We subconsciously wipe them from view when looking out at the sunset, but they’re there.” She notes that they are part of the landscape that gives depth and frames the beauty. “They are an integral part of the beauty. We take them in without thinking about them.”

For Hoag, the warm light sifting through the trees, the colors of early morning or late afternoon, the cool blues and browns of the path all come together to give a sense of peace.

“When walking in the woods, we cannot see ‘the quiet,’ but we feel it. It is the light and color around us that makes the space quiet,” Hoag says. “At any time of day, even at midday with the bright light washing away some of the color, the balance of the trees, the branches, the light and dark of the forest still manage to create calm.”

Paths, trees, branches, color, light, air, open space, water – we have it all here. From looking up at trees in our suburban neighborhoods to driving down country highways, to walking trails by lakes and sea, we all have a visual peace and quiet within reach.  Liz Hoag loves this and could paint it every day.

Stand of Trees is a view from a country road. I don’t even know what town I was in,” Hoag laughs. “The beautiful snowy field was visible through the trees lining the road, and I remember being out on an adventure with my family on a sunny winter day.” A common occurrence for Hoag. “I love the simplicity of the idea that we can find calm and beauty right along the road almost anywhere in Maine.”

To see more from Liz Hoag, visit Maine Art Shows from June 10th to June 29th to see the 6th Annual Choice Art Show in person. We are located at 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk. The gallery is open every day from 11AM – 5PM. FMI, please call at 207-967-0049 or email at info@maine-art.com.

Click the link below to see the complete show online.

The 6th Annual Choice Art Show

 

To view our complete collection of Hoag’s Work – Liz Hoag – Artist Page

To read more about Liz Hoag, her process, and her work – Liz Hoag – Artist Insights

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Liz Hoag and Eagle Lake – An Artist’s Choice

06/24/2016 1 Comment
 
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Once again, one of our artists has found inspiration in Acadia National Park. The only National Park in Maine, Acadia boasts beautiful ocean views, cliffs that tower over rocky coasts and even their own Sand Beach. Yet, for Liz Hoag, it is the freshwater of the park that lures her in. At 436 acres, Eagle Lake is the largest fresh water lake in Acadia National Park. Whether traveling the carriage roads or exploring the trails that encircle it, it is nearly impossible not to let the magic of this place slip into your soul.

During a visit over New Years, Hoag was cross county skiing here with friends and family. View from the Trail was inspired from a photograph taken on the shores of Eagle Lake during this trek. It is her Artist’s Choice piece for the Choice Art Show here at Maine Art Shows.

“I chose this painting because I believe it is far and away the best painting of the group. Period,” says Liz about her unwavering Artist’s Choice decision.  “The two-dimensional balance worked out perfectly. The afternoon yellow light works flawlessly to create depth and quiet. The overall color combination gives the exact feel I wanted of a cool, but not cold, quiet winter afternoon.”

Hoag was not the only one that made this choice. A very happy customer, just hours after the show opened, chose it as well. Not to worry. If you love View from the Trail or have an soft spot for Eagle Lake, there are a few more pieces from Liz Hoag that you need to see.

Eagle Lake Reflection is Hoag’s Editor’s Choice piece, and another that features this national treasure. “Considering each piece in the context of a larger, related body of work brings an extra layer of meaning to the work,” says Susan Grisanti, the editor of Maine Home + Design, “but one piece usually rises to the top pretty quickly for me.” Grisanti has been the eye behind the Editor’s Choice since the show’s conception five years ago.

We also have a large collection of Hoag’s work at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture at 14 Western Ave. in Kennebunk.  It is here you will find Eagle Lake Revisited, a small acrylic with a view through the branches to the lake in the distance. The rest of Hoag’s collection may not have the name “Eagle Lake” in their titles, yet it is a strong possibility that several others came to be due to this remarkable place.

For anyone that loves the woods, or has a spot on the lake, this collection of work from Liz Hoag is sure to awaken your own memories. For this artist, it is all about what her work brings to the viewer, what they feel, what they see. “I personally do not think of the ‘story’ or ‘narrative’ of my paintings,” says Hoag.  “That being said, these paintings truly reflect the feel of the moment that I was in this beautiful place.”

Liz Hoag

The Choice Art Show will continue at Maine Art Shows at 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk though June 30.  We are open everyday from 11am – 5pm.  Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture at 14 Western Ave. is also open every day from 10am until at least 6pm, with later hours starting today for the summer.

As always, all of our artists and their work can be seen online at www.maine-art.com. Some specific links to check out:

Liz Hoag –  Artist Page

Choice Art Show

Maine Art Blog- Liz Hoag

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The Birches – Liz Hoag

10/29/2015 0 Comments
 

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Liz Hoag’s show, Tangle, opened last Saturday at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture. The gallery was filled with jovial banter and familial intimacy. Liz discussed the finer points of her technique and her inspiration. Each piece in this show brings the outside in by way of branches and sky. Locals and tourists alike have commented on what a presence this collection of work gives. To have an entire collection hung in this space is stunning.

Many variety of trees are represented in this collection. However, there are three distinct pieces that bring the birch tree to the forefront. These images are all available for view in the on-line show, and when seen on screen the question of paint vs. photograph immediately comes to mind. The answer… paint. These are paintings; images discovered in acrylic. These trees are captured in such exquisite detail it takes a moment to be sure. The black and white blur of bark, the multitude of greens playing in the leaves, and the lightest of blue in a perfect sky. It is all here. Up In the Birches 2, Birch Tangle, and Square Birch Tangle hone in on the wonder of the birch tree and bring it to life.

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It is here one can see those abstract ideas that Hoag loves to blend into her representational work. Whether it is your back yard, the local park, or last year’s vacation to Maine these pieces remind you of a place you have been before. Each would be a centerpiece for any room, and as a collection they would be incredible.

Tangle will be at Maine Art until November 25th. We welcome you to stop in at 14 Western Avenue. Autumn is a perfect time to visit the Kennebunks. If you can’t make it in, please have a virtual visit to Tangle, the on-line show. There are other pieces from Liz Hoag on the second floor of the gallery and on her Artist Page.

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Tangle – A Liz Hoag Show

10/22/2015 0 Comments
 

 Square Tangle, Orange and Red

Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture is pleased to announce our upcoming show, Tangle.  This one-woman show is an up-close look at some of Maine’s most intricate natural works of art- its trees. Liz Hoag, a Maine artist, has found beauty in the most simple of pleasures; looking at the amazing play of light and sky as it winds around, in and through the branches of the incredible trees that decorate our entire state. We have all spent time looking up and watching the light play in the web of branches overhead.  Liz has captured these moments perfectly in this collection of work.

Hoag describes these works as, “cutting it out.” “It is just the branches and the sky and the light,” she says. “It’s balance and shape.” Liz began the collection the winter before last and has added to it this summer. After taking photographs on walks around her neighborhood or local trails, she comes back to her studio.  This is where the magic happens.  Starting with a dark canvas, or negative space, she builds up by adding light.  The result is a “stained glass” image that is both abstract and representational.

The online preview for Tangle opens today, Thursday, October 22nd.  Liz does have other work on display in the gallery, which may be viewed on her Artist Page. Please take the time to look into the wonderful world of Liz Hoag.

Tangle by Liz Hoag will run from October 24th to November 25th.  We will have an Artist Reception on Saturday, October 24th from 5-7 pm at Maine Art, 14 Western Ave in Kennebunk.  We hope you will be able to stop by and meet this amazing woman and check out this intriguing new show.

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Liz Hoag – A New Maine Art Artist

10/16/2015 0 Comments
 

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The family at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture is growing.  Artist Liz Hoag has recently joined the gallery, and we are excited to introduce her.  Liz has been living in Maine for over twenty-five years. Presently, she resides in Portland, but her studio space is in Westbrook. Much of her work is focused, or sometimes unfocused, on the Maine outdoors.

The misty broken spaces in Hoag’s present collection at Maine Art has that “unfocused” appearance. It brings you to the edge of the woods and invites you in. It makes you question what lies beyond.  When viewing her work, you get a sense of a shift in the air. The first light of day, the slight haze before the snow flies, or the steam-filled moments after a cooling summer rain. It is difficult not to stand and wonder while taking in her landscapes.

“It seems I have always leaned toward realistic work, but I like abstract. It’s looser,” says Hoag when asked about her style. “I am trying to work more abstract ideas into my representational work.” She describes the work as “misty” when she discusses the pulling of light color over dark. “It is a limited palette, grayish. These pieces are more of a narrative,” Liz says.  “They tell of the place you are – the specific place.”

In her upcoming show, Tangle, Liz takes a closer look at these places. Much closer.  The landscapes disappear, and the branches fill the canvas. We are left looking directly into the trees. To say these new works are amazing is an understatement. We can’t give away the entire show, but here is a sneak peek.

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Tangle by Liz Hoag will run from October 24th to November 25th.  We will have an Artist Reception on Saturday, October 24th from 5-7 pm at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, 14 Western Avenue in Kennebunk.  Please stop by and chat with this interesting new artist at Maine Art. As always, you can visit the gallery to see Liz’s work, or visit her Artist Page on-line.

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