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 http://www.maine-art.com/paintings/Margaret_Gerding/43752/.

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

Please click the links below to share this on you own social media.

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 www.maine-art.com/shows.

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

Click the icons below to share this on your own social media.

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 www.maine-art.com/shows.

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

Please click the icons below to share this on your own social media.

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 www.maine-art.com/shows.

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

Please click the icons below to share this on your own social media.

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 www.maine-art.com/shows. FMI call 207-967-2803.

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

Please click the icons below to share this on your own social media.