Over the last couple weeks, the first floor at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture has been immersed in Craig Mooney’s Show, “From A Distance.” These paintings encompass the theme of distance, both physically and mentally, as they encourage the artist and the viewer to use both space and time to reflect on the beauty of the ocean and its shoreline.
Standing in the middle of the gallery, it is difficult to not let your eye wander from one painting to the next. There is a flow and a peace that connects each painting into a single moment and allows the viewer to float uninterrupted. That is, until your eye reaches Evening Sky.
The burst of orange light that flows over the marsh reflects in both water and sky. The contrast of the deep green grasses and the glow of the last rays of sun is startling, but the process to take it in is completely subconscious. It demands a step backward, a slight tilt of the head, and begs for the smallest squint in an attempt to see more clearly: as if looking into something luminous. You must instinctively pull back in order to be pulled back in. Brush strokes of gold and grey and a faint remnant of sky blue cover the canvas, but it’s the orange. Burnt and bright. Deep and daring. “It’s all about the light and shadow, the contrast. It sets the mood, and the orange is really a combination of warm hues that draw the viewer in,” says Mooney when asked about this piece.
The companion to Evening Sky is Quiet Haze. It has those same orange tones, but this time they are settled down and snuggled into the land. They have seeped into the waters and clouds and appear as mere remnants of what once was. As Evening Sky sings, Quiet Haze whispers.
Mooney’s show, “From A Distance,” is at Maine Art in Kennebunk until October 23rd. We welcome you to see it for yourself. We will be open until eight o’clock Friday, October 9th for the Village Art Walk, and Craig will be here to help us celebrate. Come in to chat and enjoy.
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