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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