When an artist loves and is inspired by her subjects, the joy and passion is evident in the work. It emanates from the canvas and the room is filled. Beginning Memorial Day weekend, the entire first floor of Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture will be filled with the joy and passion of artist, Rebecca Kinkead.
John Spain, owner of Maine Art says, “This is Rebecca’s second show with Maine Art. We were incredibly happy with the success of her first show with us last summer. The gallery was visited by collectors from across New England. Kinkead’s work is like no other artist we represent. There is an energy and life she creates with her medium. It simply must be seen to be appreciated.”
Kinkead’s process is a bit different from classic oil painting. With the addition of chalk powder and linseed oil, she creates a concoction she can seriously get her hands into. For her, it is more than just a physical process, it is a feeling.
Kinkead explains, “Paint and wax are layered, dripped and scraped to create a sense that the subject is still emerging…still ‘becoming’. When I begin a painting, I often start with my fingers in the wax/paint mixture. I feel the form with my fingers. The more familiar the form, like my dogs, the easier it flows. Working with my hands allows me to find the form faster, easier, and more naturally.”
Her dogs, all three of them, are featured in one of her many series, aptly named, Fetch. This year’s show will also contain works from her Traveler and Cannonball collections, which feature children. The inspiration for these pieces is a personal one, as well.
“A few years back I received a Christmas card from a friend. Her daughter was on top of a mountain leaning into the wind. I remember that feeling, that freedom. It reminded me of trust – trusting one’s self and trusting one’s environment,” says Kinkead. “I think some of my best paintings have come from trusting my gut, letting go, and not thinking too much, the same way children often do.”
Kinkead’s first degree was from the University of Vermont. Yet it was while she was working on her Master’s Degree in Experiential Learning at Minnesota State University, Mankato, that she found her love of ceramics. Soon after that graduation, however, when in a tiny studio apartment in Boston with room for an easel only, she tucked away her clay and picked up her paintbrush.
“I have painted professionally since 1999. In 2009, I made the move to my present studio in Vermont,” says Kinkead. “I had worked in acrylics for seven years. In the past, I didn’t have the open space or ventilation for oil. Once I moved to Vermont, this was no longer a problem. It took me almost six years to get to know this new medium, but I will never go back. Oil is just delicious to work with.”
Rebecca Kinkead’s one-woman show opens Saturday, May 27, with a an artist’s reception that same evening from 5-7 pm. The show runs through Thursday, June 17. Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, at 14 Western Avenue in Kennebunk, is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm. FMI call 207-967-2803. Kinkead’s show can be viewed online beginning Thursday, May 25, at www.maine-art.com/shows.
To see all of our collection of Kinkead’s work click here. Rebecca Kinkead – Artist Page
To read more about Rebecca, her process, and her craft click here. Rebecca Kinkead – Artist Insights
In art, the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can imagine.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
When an artist loves and is inspired by her subjects, the joy and passion is evident in the work. It emanates from the canvas and the room is filled. When you walk into Maine Art Shows, it is immediately obvious that Rebecca Kinkead loves her subjects and her art.
“I’m happy, and I believe that shows in my work,” says Kinkead. “I am surrounded by so much life. My animal works embrace the intense connection I feel with them. I am inviting the viewer to feel the same interaction. It is a personal experience.”
Kinkead coexists happily with wildlife near and around her Vermont home and studio. She claims the ratio of animals to people surrounding her has a direct correlation to the amount of each found in her work. “When I was in Boston, people appeared in my work much more often than animals, now it seems to have flipped.” says Kinkead. “I love spending time with my animals, both domestic and wild. Just being out in the backyard and going on hikes – there is a bond with nature.”
Kinkead is also inspired by the people in her world. Her studio has many shelves dedicated to her favorite artists. Their books line the walls, well read and well loved. “I have always loved the abstract expressionists: Pollock, Rothko, Rauschenberg, De Kooning, for the physicality of their scale & surfaces. I love Milton Avery for the beautiful simplicity of his forms. Guston, Alice Neel, David Hockney, Kiki Smith, Amy Sillman… honestly, there are hundreds, and they are constantly shifting in order of importance,” says Kinkead. “I go to New York and just stand there and take it in.”
Part of Rebecca’s inspiration for process and color theory come from Tad Spurgeon. His work and discussion with medium has moved her to push her own. “ He is a self-taught painter and one of the most generous people,” says Kinkead about his willingness to share what he has learned on his own journey.
Last but not least is Kinkead’s husband, Jamey. He has allowed her to become a full-time painter. He takes care of all the nitty gritty unglamorous details of life, so that Rebecca is free to paint. “He believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. Our partnership has been invaluable to me as an artist. Making art is an all-consuming practice,” says Kinkead. “Having a partner who understands that and who will give you uninterrupted hours by yourself day after day, AND take care of everything else for you is an incredible gift.”
The root of inspiration is often a blend of past and present. The people and things that move through an artist’s life leave impressions that last. Rebecca has been blessed with more than she ever imagined.
“My success has been a skyrocket, and no one is more surprised than I am.”
Rebecca Kinkead’s one-woman show runs at Maine Art Shows in Kennebunk until August 11. The gallery is open from 11am -5pm daily. Please stop to visit and experience these artistic wonders in person.
If you cannot be in Kennebunk this summer, there are a variety of ways to stay in touch with Maine Art and Rebecca Kinkead. The show is available for viewing online at www.maine-art.com, as well as her Artist Page and our blog.
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In 2009, Rebecca Kinkead moved from a little apartment in Boston to the wide open space of Vermont. Her now husband and partner, Jamey, convinced her to make the move and take six months to focus on painting. This is when her medium changed. This is when many things changed.
“I was happy,” says Kinkead. “I had worked in acrylics for seven years. I didn’t have the open space or ventilation for oil. Once I moved to Vermont, this was no longer a problem.” It did take almost six years to get to know this new medium, but she will never go back. “Oil is just delicious to work with.”
Kinkead’s process is a bit different from classic oil painting. With the addition of chalk powder and linseed oil, she creates a concoction that she can seriously get her hands into.
“The old masters would put chalk in their paint. It stabilizes the paint and gives it more luster, more body. When you have it in your medium it tightens everything,” says Kinkead. “I use a soft wax paste called Dorland’s Wax Medium. I mix it with linseed oil and chalk powder. Its consistency is like soft frosting and mayonnaise. Then I mix in the color.”
This medium is flexible when dry, and gives her work its texture. However, it has only an 18-24 hour window to continue to be contributed to and manipulated. This may seem like a long time, but the use of the word “only” tells us that Rebecca feels differently. The sculptor in Kinkead emerges during this window.
Donna Speirs, a sales consultant at Maine Art, says, “There is so much joy and movement and energy in Rebecca Kinkead’s work. I have the overwhelming need to touch it.” This feeling is the end result of the process that Kinkead is famous for.
“When I begin a painting, I often start with my fingers in the wax/paint mixture,” says Kinkead. She feels the form with her fingers. “The more familiar the form, like my dogs, the easier it flows. Working with my fingers allows me to find the form faster, easier, and more naturally.”
“I like to paint by feel. I am better able to search for the form on a larger canvas. I can really move the paint around and figure things out in a way that is much more difficult for me on a smaller canvas,” she says. “I want my work to have a physicality to it. It just feels better to me on a scale that is closer to life-size.”
With her change in medium came changes in her tools as well. “I constantly shop for tools. The kitchen store, the hardware store, the art store,” says Kinkead. “Floor squeegees, putty knives for plastering, palette knives, rubber wedges and more big window squeegees – its all fair game.”
Rebecca Kinkead’s work deserves to be seen in person. The texture and scale is difficult to capture in digital form.
We welcome you to come in and see for yourself. Her show runs through August 11 at Maine Art Shows in Kennebunk. We are open from 11am to 5pm every day.
If you cant make it in, please peek at the complete show online at Rebecca Kinkead – Maine Art Shows.
Interested in more background on Rebecca and her work with Maine Art? Read Artist Insights – Rebecca Kinkead and Maine Art
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Rebecca Kinkead has a very busy summer this year. Not only has she put together a fabulous show at Maine Art Shows in Kennebunk, she has been awarded a Baer Art Center Residency. This means she will be spending four glorious, uninterrupted, weeks of her summer painting in the land of the midnight sun.
Baer Art Center is located on a beautiful seaside farm in Northwestern Iceland, approximately a four-hour drive from the capital, Reykjavik. It sits on the east coast of Skagafjördur, a large fjord facing the Arctic Circle. Kinkead will have access to the ocean, a freshwater lake, extensive birdlife, outdoor activities and Icelandic farm life. The summer months at Baer offer the midnight sun and sublime light conditions during the long hours of daylight.
“We provide visual artists and architects with the opportunity to deepen and develop their creative spirit in a selective group of internationally diverse and professionally established individuals. It offers it’s residents the unique experience of remoteness, seclusion and sublime nature within a modern society,” says the Baer Art Center.
The Baer Art Center Residency is quite the honor among artists and the art community. With only ten artists being selected each year, this was an invitation Kinkead could not refuse. As much as we missed not having her at the opening of her show, she is in the company of five other fabulous female artists from around the world: a sculptor, two painters, a photographer and an urban planner.
We can’t wait to see the new work Rebecca produces during her weeks tucked away in this artist’s paradise. This is something many artists only dream about.
“I have been given the gift of time and space,” says Kinkead. “The two traveler pieces in the show are definitely about going to Iceland. I haven’t left the country in twelve years, so I’m excited and also anxious.”
To learn more about The Baer Art Center check out their website. http://www.baer.is
Remember, Kinkead’s one-woman show is open now at Maine Art Shows on 10 Chase Hill Rd. in Kennebunk. We are open from 11-5 everyday. To view the show on-line: Rebecca Kinkead at Maine Art Shows.
To read more about Rebecca Kinkead and her work with Maine Art, click here.
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“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.” — Rachel Carson
Rebecca Kinkead is one of those adults. She has held onto the child inside her. In her work she captures the exuberance children have for life; especially the little things, like cannonball splashes and skipping stones. These are favorite moments for children of all ages. These are Kinkead’s children.
“A few years back I received a Christmas card from a friend. Her daughter was on top of a mountain leaning into the wind. I remember that feeling, that freedom. It reminded me of trust – trusting one’s self and trusting one’s environment,” says Kinkead. “I think some of my best paintings have come from trusting my gut, letting go, and not thinking too much.”
And so, Kinkead’s Stella in the Wind series was created by trusting her gut. The piece Stella in the Wind is one of many of Kinkead’s children in her show at Maine Art. This same childhood trust and freedom is found in her Starry Night series. Pieces like Traveler (Starry Night) and Wish (Starry Night) bring back summer memories of staying up late and making wishes. Not only do we remember these moments, we want to relive them with our own children.
“I leave the faces of my children open and ambiguous. It’s up to the viewer to fill in the blanks,” says Kinkead. “For me, if I add facial features, they become someone else’s child, strangers. The ambiguity allows them to become yours.”
John Spain, owner of Maine Art, says, “There is a strange feeling of gratitude in Rebecca’s voice when she speaks about her work.” She is quite quiet and still a bit overwhelmed with her success. Her eyes light up when she looks around at what she has created. Being able to make someone happy with the stroke of a brush is a true gift.
“When I was young, there was only one time I remember considering what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was about six. I decided I wanted to be a masseuse or a craft-person, something with my hands,” says Kinkead. “Then I spent the next two and a half decades of my life having no idea what I wanted to do. I didn’t find art until I was thirty.”
But even at thirty, that child was there, and lucky for us, still is.
For all of you who have children in your world or still embrace your inner-child, we welcome you to come in and see Kinkead’s work in person. This one-woman show will run until August 11. Maine Art Shows is open daily from 11am until 5pm.
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The nationally acclaimed paintings of Rebecca Kinkead have arrived in the Kennebunks. Her love of animals, children in motion and the outdoors is celebrated in this one-woman show at Maine Art Shows in Kennebunk. Whether you are a collector or viewing her work for the first time, this dynamic show is an intimate step into the heart of the artist.
“I want my work to welcome you in. It’s open. Art should be a portal for your own stories,” says Kinkead. “The most important thing for me is to be authentic. I tap into the direct link between my gut and the canvas.”
Kinkead has been painting professionally since 1999, finding increasing success in galleries across the United States. Her work has no geographic constraints. She captures moments and memories for all.
“I paint energy or a feeling more than depicting something that is perfect. I need it to feel alive, but not necessarily look life-like or photographic,” says Kinkead. “I love slinging paint in a way that mimics the actual movement of wind or a wet dog shaking. Somehow the arm knows what to do. It can feel it better than the eyes sometimes.”
Her studio in Vermont is surrounded by foxes, owls and songbirds. She claims there is more nature than people. For over a decade, she tried painting wildlife, especially the owls, but struggled to do it in a way that felt authentic. Then she moved to New England. She has flowed with the give and take of nature for years, learning the language of these creatures. With this immersion comes the ability to capture them on canvas.
“The wildlife is abundant. For me, it’s the moment I make eye contact with an animal. It’s exhilarating. I wonder if they see me as a threat, or if they know better. The connection with something wild, even if it is just for an instant, is so intimate.”
That same intimacy connects the artist with her not-so-wild animals. “We hike in the backyard and take our dogs for walks,” says Kinkead. Her dogs have quickly become her greatest muse. She has a Yellow Lab, a German Pointer, a Beagle and the possibility of a new puppy soon.
“I have codependency issues with my dogs. I love them so much. They teach me how to live and how to be a better person. Our Beagle in particular could have a party all by herself with a ball of lint,” says Kinkead. “I want to be more like that; more in the moment, always finding the joy.”
This same joy is on her canvases that feature children. For Kinkead, they are the keepers of memories for us all. Whether wishing on stars or dandelions, there is magic. Her subjects emerge from the paint. The surface appears sculpted rather than painted. “I prefer slinging paint in a way that mimics the actual movement of the wave or a wet dog shaking. Somehow, the arm knows what to do… it can feel it better than the eyes sometimes,” she says.
John Spain, owner of Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, says, “I love the interaction of the medium with the surface of the canvas. There is an energy, a presence in her work. I can see a sculptor in everything she does.”
This is not a surprise considering her BA in Ceramic Arts. Once she received her first BA in Political Science from UVM and a Masters Degree in Experiential Learning at Minnesota State University, Mankato soon followed. During this time she found her love of ceramics, adding another degree.
“After I finished school, I moved to a small place in downtown Boston which I shared with another person. Large studio space was expensive, so I settled for a 4’ x 5’ corner of the apartment. Sadly, ceramics need space, and I no longer had any. In frustration, I turned to painting for a creative outflow. I could paint anywhere, and it was so immediate,” says Kinkead.
After ten years in Boston, and now seven in Vermont, Kinkead has found her space, and with it, her success. “It is such a compliment that people want to live with my work,” says Kinkead. “Every piece I sell allows me the time to paint and create and learn. It is a complete circle.”
Rebecca Kinkead’s show opens at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 23rd at Maine Art Shows, 10 Chase Hill Road. There will be an opening reception that evening from 5-7 p.m. The show runs through Thursday, August 11, and is open daily from 11 am to 5 pm. FMI call 207-967-0049. Kinkead’s show can be viewed online beginning Wednesday, July 20th at noon: www.maine-art.com/shows.
To read more about Rebecca and her work with Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture click Maine Art and Rebecca Kinkead – Stories and Insights.
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Last fall, Rebecca Kinkead, a graduate of the University of Vermont and Minnesota State University, joined the Maine Art gallery family. Over the course of the winter, our collection of her work has grown, and we are extremely excited to add more. On July 23rd, we will host a one-woman show at Maine Art Shows on Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk. This show will run for three weeks. Until then, we wanted to share a bit about Rebecca and some of the work we presently have of hers.
“These paintings are an exploration of energy, transience and time; The residue of a fleeting moment; The seen, and unseen vibrations of a living being,” says Kinkead. Every word of this description rings true in Cannonball (Yellow and Blue). The motion is captured in the fragments of water which surround the child as the sunlight reflects on the splintered surface. There is no gender, no age. It is a memory so many of us share; not only a moment from our childhood, but also one we have recreated with our own children. It is timeless.
When asked about her process Kinkead provides more than just the physical process. She also tries to explain the phenomenon she knows happens as she works. “Paint and wax are layered, dripped and scraped to create a sense that the subject is still emerging… still ‘becoming.’” In the painting, Roost, we can see how this works. The owls have a depth and dimension which draws not only the eye, but the hand. They beg to be touched. However, it is not just about the beauty and love of the animal; there is a sense of family and community present. That is the “becoming.”
Kinkead has been painting professionally since 1999. She has found success in galleries across the United States. Her work has no geographic constraints. She is able to capture moments and memories for us all, no matter where we live or where we grew up.
We welcome you to come into the gallery and see her work for yourself. We are open until five everyday. Remember to save the date for her show at Maine Art Shows on July 23rd, as well. As always, all her work can be viewed online on her Artist Page at www.maine-art.com.
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