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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