First Lives – Margaret Gerding

02/08/2018 0 Comments

“I always knew I was an artist. I also knew I was blessed to have a large family who supported my path, which makes the struggles and challenges a little easier.”

View From Pier Road I View From Pier Road II

At nine years old Margaret Gerding’s father cleaned out a portion of their family garage in order to create a little studio space for her. However, even with unconditional support an artist often has to find other avenues first. Gerding has held many other jobs in her life which have allowed her to be where she is today.

“Starting right out of art college I worked in banking. I even started my MBA at Northeastern,” shares Gerding. “Next I moved to a position as art director for an advertising firm. Finally, I opened my own communications company.”

Parsons Beach Road View From Granite Point Yellow of the Goldenrod

The journey for Gerding was definitely linear in growth, but the line started in a very different place than where it ended.  The ten years Margaret spent in the corporate world gave her great insight as to who she is, and who she is not.

“Most days I woke up around four in the morning just to run directly to my studio in order to get a few hours in,” explains Gerding. “I had to go into the office and put in a ten or twelve hour day, so it was the best way for me to guarantee studio time.  The next day I woke up and did it over again.”

Gerding realizes this doesn’t make her special. “Many people put in long days, I know that. What it did show me was how much I wanted it. How much I wanted my art,” she says.  “I was good in my other world. I handled the high demand deadlines and working with clients to achieve goals, but I got nothing from it. I needed to paint every day. It was the priority for me.”

Measured Moments VI Measured Moments IV

When Gerding finally left the corporate world at age thirty-three, she had to find a new balance, the balance of being a single mother and artist. “It was actually much easier. Having my daughter nurtured my creative juices. I believe being around children reminded me what art is all about—the simple joy of expression,” shares Gerding.

Margaret was also a nanny, which she claims is a very convenient job for a single mother. It may have been convenient, but many of us know raising children, especially someone else’s, is not easy. Throughout the years she has also used her skills and talents as an artist to teach, which she still does today.

“I remember my daughter coming home from a playdate. She was so sad. She looked up at me and asked, ‘How come my friends’ homes don’t have studios?’ This simple statement was confirmation that I was doing it right.

To read more about Margaret Gerding, her work, and her stories, click this link. Margaret Gerding – Insights and Stories

To view our complete collection of her work click here: Margaret Gerding – Artist Page

As always, we welcome you to visit the gallery to see work in person.  Our hours for February are 10 am to 5 pm, Thursday – Monday. Come and see us!

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Three Views of Maine

08/21/2017 0 Comments
Three Views of Maine

When your business is called Maine Art, people come looking for images captured not only in the spirit of Maine but often times in the places of Maine. The three artists currently featured at Maine Art Shows do just that.

Philip Frey, who lives and paints on the midcoast of Maine, views his home through a lens of abstract realism. His works are of places and things we know and love, but his loose strokes and beautiful blocking create works even Mother Nature can love.

Fluid Sky Tidal Plane by Philip Frey Water, Island, Sky by Philip Frey Near, Far by Philip Frey

His landscapes represent the forest and the mountains, the sea and the fields. Each holds a memory of a vacation once spent or a childhood never forgotten. They are the places we will visit soon enough or sometimes they are the view from our window. Frey captures Maine as he sees it; his home.

With Ellen Granter, we move to the shore. Granter has a family home on Goose Rocks Beach, practically right next door to Maine Art’s galleries. It is where her mother and father call home, where her brothers and sisters gather in the summer, and where aunts and uncles and cousins congregate. Kennebunk and Kennebunkport are visited often and Ellen finds her solitude in the harbors here.

Dories 1 by Ellen Granter Galaxy by Ellen Granter Docked by Ellen Granter

The peace and quiet in these pieces are similar to the tranquility found in the landscapes and bird works that Granter has produced in the past. They show a side of the coast that is separate from the hustle and bustle of town and village. The beauty of the moored sailboat, the docked dingy, or the floating dory are landscapes of our area many take for granted until we are reminded of what a true part of our culture they are.

Our last view of Maine is a different side of coastal life – the marsh.  Margaret Gerding lives on the marsh in Cape Porpoise in Kennebunkport.  Through her studio windows, she watches the light change and often drops everything to go “be” in it.  No matter the time of day, the magic of the marsh is a painter’s paradise.

Seeing Forever by Margaret Gerding Aqua Cleansing by Ellen Granter Soft Colors of the Marsh by Margaret Gerding

Margaret loves to paint outside and is often found in the “secret” places of the coast with either her sketch pad or easel or both.  Occasionally, you will even find her teaching.  Now that she calls Maine her home, her art classes take place here.

So no matter what side of Maine you are looking for, you will find it here at Maine Art Shows up on Chase Hill. This Three Artists, Three Rooms show will run through Labor Day.  We are open from 11-5 every day.  Come visit or check us out online.  Click here for the virtual 360-degree tour  – it is the next best thing to being here.

Philip FreyEllen GranterMargaret Gerding

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A Gallery of Flowers – Studies by Margaret Gerding

08/14/2017 0 Comments
A Gallery of Flowers  – Studies by Margaret Gerding

Margaret Gerding is not only a painter, she is also a teacher. Spending many days in the marshes or on the beaches of the Kennebunks, she shares her gift of art with her students. It was during one of her recent sessions that she asked her students to stretch themselves a little further. She issued the 30-Day Artist Challenge, a test to push the artists’ skills beyond their normal comfort zone. Not only did Gerding issue this challenge, she joined in.

For Gerding, the landscapes and seascapes of Maine are her love. She paints them every day with a smile. However, part of this challenge was to paint something that isn’t a “normal” subject matter. “It is an exercise that reminds the artist to really examine a subject, while at the same time staying loose with the short amount of allotted time,” says Gerding.

After a bit of deliberation, she chose flowers.

Due to this, not only did Margaret bring a season’s worth of amazing work with her for this show, she brought a very special gift, the gift of her flowers.

As you enter Maine Art Shows, each room is designated to one of the three featured artists. Gerding has a room near the front of the gallery. Adjacent to it is a small entryway that presently houses her “garden”. Here you will find many of the small studies Gerding completed during this challenge. With more than fifteen small flower paintings, they are a must-see part of this show.

Over the course of the next few weeks, Maine Art Shows’ three rooms are each filled with a different artist. One of those artist, of course, is Margaret Gerding. She has recently become a Kennebunkport resident and is incredibly happy to be back in the place of many happy childhood memories. With her home and studio in Cape Porpoise, she is able to capture the beauty of our area every day.

We welcome you to come visit. Maine Art Shows is open every day from 11am to 5 pm. It is also viewable with our virtual tour by clicking here. The show will run through Labor Day. Please call or visit us online to see details or get more information. 207-967-0049 or

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Three Rooms, Three Artists, Three Shows in One

08/11/2017 0 Comments
Three Rooms, Three Artists, Three Shows in One  

It‘s going to be three for three at Maine Art Shows in Kennebunk. A three-artist show, featuring the works of painters Philip Frey, Margaret Gerding and Ellen Granter, will be on display for three weeks, beginning with an opening reception tomorrow, Saturday, August 12th. The artists will attend the reception, which is 5 to 7 PM.

“All three artists have strong ties to Maine and capture the true essence of the state,” says gallery owner John Spain.  “Though each has distinctively different styles and subjects, the show as a whole is a wonderfully cohesive body of work.”

Philip Frey, a Maine native, lives and works near the central coast.  He often travels to Acadia National Park, where he finds inspiration in the rugged environment. Primarily an oil painter, Frey’s subjects and styles vary. “I have a need to explore and discover, to stretch my limits so as to become a better painter,” Frey says.  “Cityscape, abstract, interior and figurative genres are ways for me to do that.”

Philip Frey

At one time Frey considered himself a landscape painter, but that has changed. “I think the variety (of subject and style) influences my landscapes in a positive way. Working with pure abstraction, in particular, helps me break down what good composition and a dynamic palette could be. In turn, my landscape composition has become more dynamic and has allowed me to home in on what is most important in each painting.”

Margaret Gerding has recently moved to Maine after spending many summers here as a child. Her new home and studio in Cape Porpoise give her complete access to the marshes she loves. Gerding says, “Even after having visited Kennebunkport my whole life, I am still surprised every day with new places to paint and explore.”

Margaret Gerding

Margaret’s collection of oil paintings, whether on panel or canvas, were inspired by what is right outside her doorstep. “These paintings are my recording of the quiet moments on the marsh — a touch of light, a pop of color or a connection with the land,” says Gerding.

Ellen Granter

The solitude and quiet Gerding finds in the marsh, Ellen Welch Granter finds in the harbor. Once known for her bird paintings, Granter is now focusing on boats, from sailboats to schooners to dories. “I began painting boats because I love the way they evoke a sense of peace and calmness,” she says. “Whether they are in the fog, in the sun, or in a busy harbor, their curvy lines and sense of possibility are always an invitation to paint.”  Granter’s compositions, peaceful symmetries of boats and their reflections, incorporate Maine’s distinctive and nuanced soft blues and grays.

We open Saturday, August 12th at 11am. Our artists’ reception starts is from 5-7 p.m. Please come by and visit. All three artists will be present and look forward to discussing their work and process.

To see the show online, including a 360 degree virtual tour click here.

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6th Annual Choice Art Show – “Marsh Sky IV” by Margaret Gerding

06/12/2017 0 Comments

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

Marsh Sky IV

Margaret Gerding lives locally and is able to truly capture the southern Maine area. Margaret’s Artist’s Choice in this year’s Choice Art Show, Marsh Sky IV, was inspired by an early morning jaunt down the road to Goose Rocks Beach.

“The clouds held a multitude of colors, yet somehow remained gentle and soft. It is this sense of calm that I hope is portrayed here,” says Gerding. “After my first full year living in Kennebunkport, I have realized my love for the salt marsh is so dependent on its connection with the sky. Until I experienced it day after day, I didn’t recognize how different and strong the coastal light is. Each day offers something new.”

The locals and the tourists alike recognize these marshes and have fallen in love with them as Gerding has. “I have always been drawn to this area where the meandering waterways change with the tides, the long grass shows its golden colors, and the protective stance of distant trees is forever present.”

When Margaret Gerding begins to look forward to spring each year, she gives herself a “push” to get excited again. Whether it be through color, especially yellow, or exploring different subject matters like strong clouds and flowers.

“I have always loved painting flowers. They give me a burst of color and subject matter I can have in front of me,” says Gerding.  “After working the winter months from sketches and pictures this is very welcome. By April I miss painting outside and the flowers remind me of things to come.” Gerding has also traveled extensively, and recalling those memories continues to inspire. “I loved France and the lavender fields, and the sunflower fields of Italy,” she says.

While most people are running to the store for milk and supplies for the March/April snow storms, Gerding is scurrying off to the grocery store in search of flowers in order to keep painting. Her teaching schedule is geared toward the winter months, so she can leave warm weather open for lots of plein air and studying.

Marsh Sky IV is one of three pieces from Margaret Gerding in the 6th Annual Choice Art Show. 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

Margaret Gerding

Click the logo below to see the complete show online.

To view our complete collection of Gerding’s Work – Margaret Gerding – Artist Page

To read more about Margaret Gerding, her process, and her work – Margaret Gerding – Artist Insights

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Fall in the Kennebunks

10/07/2016 0 Comments

October is here. The leaves are starting to change, the air is growing cooler, and Margaret Gerding has once again delivered a stunning body of work to Maine Art. Though Margaret is known for her marshes and seascapes, she, like so many Mainers, has found a love of the trees in this part of the state – especially the birches.

“I try to capture the beauty of branches. The strong autumn light is so intense by the coast,” says Gerding. “The negative spaces and patterns required me to look at shapes differently. It becomes a puzzle I have to put together.” Gerding knows her brush strokes must mix, mingle and change with each gust of wind. “The colors and light dapple not only the birch trunks, but even spaces between,” she says.

As realistic a painter as Gerding is, she truly enjoys some artistic license when it comes to her trees. “In painting the birches, the sketchbook and reference materials become less important,” says Gerding.  “The colors take on a life of their own.” These works still hold her traditional realistic view. Yet, the fine papery bark of the birch reflects both the color in the foliage and the autumn light thus producing a truly etherial scene.

Gerding will admit these trees sometimes became challenging. “I wanted to make them hold vibrant colors, but still read as birches,” says Gerding. This is an example of the continuous push and pull between what the eye sees and what the artist interprets. Regardless, what Margaret has created is magic, so grab your sweater and come visit the Kennebunks this fall. There is beauty to be found both inside and out.

Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture is open every day from 10am – 6pm, and Friday and Saturday until 7pm. After Columbus Day, hours will change to 10 – 5 daily.

Margaret Gerding

Stop in for a visit or view Margaret Gerding’s work online at

You can also read more about Gerding and her work on our blog at A Look Inside Margaret Gerding and Maine Art.

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The Process of the Painter – Margaret Gerding Shares

09/11/2016 0 Comments

“The more I paint, the more knowledge is etched into my movements. Every painting is a stepping stone to the next work. Every mistake teaches.” ~ Margaret Gerding

Gerding_Island Road

Margaret Gerding may be new to Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, but she has been painting for thirty-two years. It is in her blood. Even after graduating from UMass, Dartmouth with a printmaking degree, she still found her passion in paint. Most of her work is oil and canvas, but there are a variety of ways Margaret keeps her artistic juices flowing.

“I experiment to keep fresh. I have worked in encaustic and pastels in order to give myself a change. I even quilt,” says Gerding. “Yet, when all is said and done, and it comes to being inspired, I could not be the painter I am without painting directly outdoors.”

Whether she is out on the Bridle Path in Kennebunk with students or pulled over on the side of the road, Margaret is sketching. “It’s a quick way to capture the moment instead of bringing out the whole canvas,” she says. “I still bring out canvases sometimes, but I always have a sketch pad with me.”

These sketches become her inspiration for studio works. Once a painting begins, the pencils get tucked away. Gerding is a firm believer in not sketching directly on her canvases.  She will use anything to make a mark with paint though. With rags and pallet knives, and even her hands which are usually covered in color, the outline for each piece is laid out.


“My finished work is very smooth, but it certainly is not in the beginning of my process. I often start with a big house brush to block out my ideas. Large strokes mark up a painting in its early stages,” says Gerding. “The work has a very abstract look. For me, it needs to work in its simplest form. If I can’t get the composition and color and tone to work in three elements, I begin again.”

Margaret has taken some artistic license as she explores southern Maine through her work. Yet there is no doubt that she has captured the beauty of this area. Please come and see for yourself.

Margaret Gerding’s show is at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture at 14 Western Avenue in Kennebunk until September 22. Her new work fills the first floor of the gallery. We are open every day from 10am – 6pm, and Friday and Saturday until 7pm.

Stop in for a visit or view the show online at

You can also read more about Gerding and her work on our blog at A Look Inside Margaret Gerding and Maine Art.

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Time for a Change – Insights from Margaret Gerding

09/08/2016 0 Comments

Gerding_Great Hill Road

At a young age, artist Margaret Gerding came to southern Maine for the first time and found her happy place. Since then she has spent pieces of her summers here, from Granite Point to Goose Rocks Beach. Now, years later, those memories have brought her back to the Kennebunk area and her new home in Cape Porpoise. With this new location came many other changes, as well.

“I sold my house in Massachusetts in November and began looking for a place in the southern Maine area. I moved in with family, but knew I at least needed a studio space,” says Gerding.  “The Biddeford Mill was perfect – all light and brickwork and close by. Soon after that, I leased a winter rental and finally began to feel settled. I was relaxed and could take my time looking for a place to call home.”

In January, Gerding found that home in Cape Porpoise. By February, she was moved in and happy to call herself a Mainer. “I used to come to Maine for vacation as a child. Even at that age, solitude was important to me. The marsh near the cottage was one of the few places I was allowed to explore alone. My parents thought I was safe there. Quickly, it became my escape,” says Gerding. “It still is.”

On the way to her studio Margaret often stops at the marshes near Goose Rocks Beach to sketch or take photos. With a four or five o’clock wake-up time, the morning light and peace has become addictive. These small “sketches” she creates have become part of her studio and her process.

“This winter, I would pull over and sit in my car and do studies. These became a reference for me, not even paintings really. They are what I go to to remember the colors, how they worked together, how they blended,” says Gerding.


“I may be having a problem with how pink I want a sky. Looking at the studies, I realize what worked, what I really saw. Sometimes they aren’t colors I would choose, but mother nature did, “ she says. “If I have a new color I want to try, I will put it on one of these to see what happens, so they are constantly changing.”

All of the scenery that surrounds Kennebunk and Kennebunkport is part of Gerding’s new works.  She was drawn here for the way the fog rolls in and changes the landscape. She came for the green of the marsh and how it changes over to warm ochre in autumn. It has always been about nature and quiet and peace. With that said, there has been a new addition to her canvases since coming back to Maine.

Gerding_Mousam River

“For the first time, I’ve included man-made structures in my work. Somehow, the paintings just ‘called’ for it,” says Gerding about her work with views of Great Hill Road. “The Kennebunk area has given me a wonderful sense of community and what it means to be a part of a seaside village. As my new world evolves with my changes, I believe my work will, as well. This is just the beginning.”

Margaret Gerding

Maine Art is celebrating Margaret Gerding’s changes and new beginnings in our gallery at 14 Western Avenue in Kennebunk. Her new work fills the first floor of the gallery. We are open every day from 10am – 6pm, and Friday and Saturday until 7pm.

Please stop in for a visit or view the show online at

You can also read more about Gerding and her work on our blog at A Look Inside Margaret Gerding and Maine Art.

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Communication of an Artist – Margaret Gerding Shares

09/04/2016 0 Comments

Gerding_Morning Solitude

“For me, there are three steps to my communication as an artist,” says Margaret Gerding. “First examine, next interpret, lastly share.”

Visual artists have a different way of communicating with the rest of the world. Each has a lens they look through that changes what is “seen” to what is “perceived.” These perceptions become their art.

“I want to take time to examine what is in front of me. It’s about the moments spent, and a need to witness, explore and really see,” says Gerding. “Then, I am ready to begin my own interpretations. This is my time to paint. During this process my thoughts and reactions come through in color. Last but certainly not least, I share. It’s not only about the finished piece, it’s the act of being viewed.”

And so the cycle repeats. As outsiders we examine what an artist has presented us, often making our own interpretations on what being conveyed. Then, we too share these thoughts, sometimes verbally, sometimes through the written word.

“When something inspires me, I stop and sketch. There is always a sketch pad in my car and even in my purse,” Gerding laughs.  “I do take photographs, but I usually use them only as a reference for color or structure. The final painting is never what I actually see; it’s my response to the inspiration.”

Margaret Gerding

Maine Art is celebrating Margaret Gerding’s inspirations and communications in our gallery at 14 Western Ave in Kennebunk. The first floor is full of the marshes, ocean views and pathways that southern Maine is known for. We are open everyday from 10am – 6pm, and Friday and Saturday until 7pm.

Please stop in for a visit or view the show online at

You can also read more about Gerding and her work on our blog at A Look Inside Margaret Gerding and Maine Art.

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Margaret Gerding – New at Maine Art

08/31/2016 0 Comments

Gerding_Patterns in Nature

A once ‘plein air only’ painter, Gerding’s oils embody the natural landscapes of coastal Maine. Her realistic interpretation of these unspoiled settings reflect a single moment in time. Her warm palette and textured brushwork, for which she is known, capture subtle changes of light and fleeting moments of color.

Gerding says, “Each piece is based on a real place, a moment I have experienced and been inspired by. There is something about being alone with nature—a quiet that connects me like no other. It is only this solitude, whether outside or in the studio, that allows the landscape to reveal itself to me.”

Plein air painting is how Margaret began, and it is still very much a part of her process. But with the birth of her daughter, the need for studio time became necessary and changes began. Now she has the best of both worlds. Her plein air painting keeps her work loose, while her studio time allows her to refine her art to a more finished state.

“My studio gives me more time to examine my work. It’s more intellectual, and the final pieces are polished. When I work en plein air, it is fast and intuitive and exploratory,” says Gerding. “Now, with both spaces as part of my process, I have the time to develop a piece and push my understanding of atmosphere and abstract simplifications in the landscape.”

In the recent months, it is not uncommon to find her along the Kennebunk Bridle Path sketching the marsh grasses or wetland waterways. With her recent move to Cape Porpoise, she is spending more and more time surrounded by the beauty of the area. “I no longer have to travel but am immersed daily in the area of my greatest inspiration. It is a place where nature provides a lifetime of exploration and study.  I had the good fortune of vacationing here every summer as a child. I grew up wandering in the marshes, exploring the greenness and the vast skies. It was a puzzle to traverse the waterways, an escape,” says Gerding. “Now, it’s home.”

With her move, she was also looking for local representation. With galleries throughout CT and MA, including Boston , she still wanted something close to home. John Spain, owner of Maine Art says, “As with many artists, it was important to Margaret to find a local gallery. She was looking for an audience who has an understanding of her subject matter and her story. We are thrilled she found it with us. In a way, this isn’t a show opening, but more of a welcome to the neighborhood.”

Gerding, a graduate from UMass, Dartmouth, had her first major show at the age of twenty-five on Newbury Street in Boston. Her early success and continued hard work lead to her paintings being included in the book, 100 Artists of New England by E. Ashley Rooney and New England Paintings (14th ed.), published by The Open Press.  Many private and corporate collections also contain her work, including L.L. Bean in Freeport, Maine Medical Center in Portland, Fidelity Investments in Boston and the Westin Hotel in Boston.

Margaret Gerding

This show of new works opens Saturday, September 3 and continues through September 22. There will be an Artist’s Reception from 5 to 7 pm on opening night. Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture is located at 14 Western Ave and is open everyday from 10 AM to 6PM. The show can be viewed online beginning Wednesday, August 31 at FMI call 207-967-2803.

To see all of Margaret’s work visit her Artist Page. Margaret Gerding – Artist Page

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