After last week’s winter storm, we have our fingers crossed that spring is truly on her way. Soon the grass will be green, and the branches on the trees will succumb to that lovely glow of new growth. Once spring has started, she usually rolls right along, which means the flowers are sure to follow. These are our favorite signs of the season here at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, and the favorite of many of our artists, as well.
If you, like us, are a bit impatient and want to fill your home with the brilliant flowers of Maine’s warmer seasons, come and visit. Our flowers are always blooming. Whether it be the poppies and delphiniums of Sandra L. Dunn, in Royal Purple Delphinium and Profusion of Poppies, or the simple strokes of Philip Frey’s Blooms, these up-close, still lifes bring color and light to any room.
If you prefer the beauty the blooms bring to the exterior of your home and the way your yard comes alive, works like No Thyme Farm from Karen McManus and End of May from Abbie Williams will help remind you that springtime is upon us.
Even Lyman Whitaker is in on the fun with his very popular, Tulip. There are few buds that can stand winds up to ninety miles per hour and look glorious covered in snow. This is a flower for all seasons; always in bloom and no watering necessary.
Of course, with the flowers come the birds and the bees. Spring would not be the same without them. Both Trip Park and Ellen Granter celebrate these little creatures. Lilac Lover is a fun and colorful portrayal of one of our favorite pollen spreaders, and Bonita and Soon Soon are beautiful reminders of the wonders Mother Nature is about to unfurl on us.
So — if you need a little pick-me-up, and flowers make you happy, find your way to 14 Western Ave. in Kennebunk. You can always find a hint of spring in the air. Until then, we can settle for Lobsters and Champagne and its little pot of blooms, much like William B Hoyt, as he too waits for spring to blossom.
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The coast of Maine is dotted with vessels of every sort. Sailboats, lobster boats, fishing boats, yachts and the occasional cruise ship. People come from all over to visit Boothbay Harbor for Windjammer Days or plan trips to Portland to see the Tall Ships. Of course our own Kennebunk Harbor boasts a variety of trips and an array of boats for visitors and locals to have a chance to be out on the open ocean. When in town try The Pineapple Ketch or The Schooner Eleanor for starters. Also, the Kennebunk Chamber of Commerce is very helpful.
Now some of us love the feel of the sea air, some of us the love the feel of the ocean spray and some of us love the feel of solid ground under our feet as we stand on shore and watch from a distance. Regardless, the beauty of the ships of Maine is alluring. One of our artists, Sandra Leinonen Dunn, is in the latter category. However, she has recently produced a collection of tall ship pieces which are wonderful part of our Holiday Show.
“I’m not sure ‘from whence’ this series comes since I don’t even like boats!” says Sandra when asked about this group of work. “My husband, who is a photographer, recently spent four days on a schooner and came home with some lovely photographs. I asked him to print me out some images to use as photo references.” With opportunity being the mother of invention, the small vertical canvases she already had in her studio seemed an ideal format for a tall ship painting. “I kept the palette and background simple. This seemed to create a very peaceful feeling to the paintings,” says Dunn.
The series kept growing, upward of a dozen to date. With this came the need to investigate the the structure of old sailing vessels. Bilges and booms, masts and main sails, she immersed herself in this world. “These ship paintings feel like a fantasy,” says Dunn. “I think psychologically the ships somehow encapsulate the feeling I have at times of wanting to just ‘sail’ out of my life!”
In the works, Emerald Sea and Misty Harbor, it is easy to see what Sandra L. Dunn means when she talks about escaping. Fantasy, history and folklore are easily intertwined and allow us to sail away right along with her. In this years Holiday Show, Sandra has offered four pieces from this series. All are oil on canvas and only twelve inches by four. Individually they are stunning; as a collection they are captivating.
If you haven’t had a chance to come in to see the Holiday Show in person, we encourage you to add Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture to your “to-do” list. The show will be open until the end of December. If you can’t find time to visit, please check out our website to see the complete Holiday Show. The entire gallery is available to view at www.maine-art.com, along with our Holiday hours.
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This abstract style is new for Sandra. “It feels like ‘weaving’ with brushstrokes,” she says when talking about Hope Springs II. Sandra is incredibly modest when it comes to her work. “This painting practically painted itself, since I’d been walking around with the ‘thought’ of it in my mind for several weeks.”“I did this piece in February of this year,” Dunn says. Inspired by the endless winter that wrapped around New England, she had to find spring underneath the cold blanket of snow. Ever the optimist, she focused on the “tiny seed buried deep in the cold, dark ground”. She had more hope than most to be able to see this scene in her mind while being buried in a winter landscape. “It was a burst of color as the sprout rose up and reached above the ground,” Dunn claims, describing the crisp and clean colors that cover this canvas. This piece is the second in a pair. The first, Hope of Spring, can be found at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture on 14 Western Ave, Kennebunk. Sandra also has two others in the Choice Art Show. Magenta Glads & White Rose and Monhegan Delphinium. The show will run until June 25th. We welcome you to stop by either gallery to see her work in person, or you can visit at www.maine-art.com. Please share on Facebook or Twitter by clicking the links below.