A Day in the Landscape of Charles Bluett

12/07/2017 0 Comments
 

Gathering Skies

“I work from my studio, tucked away in the secluded, usually leafy part of my garden in Vermont,” says Charles Bluett, one of Maine Art Painting and Sculpture’s artists. “I watch the seasons as they come and go outside my windows—from deep, rich spring and summer greens to the majestic colors of autumn to the blankets of pure snow and ice.”

Bluett typically works from early afternoon deep into the late evening. He paints nearly every day and believes this to be important for any artist. It has allowed his work to consistently evolve and mature. However, sometimes a break is necessary.

“For me, everything is created in fits and starts with blocks of time where life gets in the way and prevents my brushes from doing as I always wish them to do. At these times, I will simply head for a few days or hours to the outdoors. Maine is one such place for me,” Bluett shares. “There I can unblock my thought process and allow a freedom or abstraction to take over, influenced by what I see and sense.”

It is on occasions such as these, he finds his work swinging in unexpected and untried directions. This is when, for example, his work can move from soft ethereal landscapes to a far bolder use of primary colors. Bold abstract color works are where he started as an artist and still feature heavily in his output, but they contain a softness and flow of his representational landscapes.

“I also work on numerous pieces at any one time. As I mix my paints and mediums, I find new colors that inspire me. I have multiple canvases on the go to accommodate this,” says Bluett. “Experimentation, as I see in the outdoors, with color and the blends of combining color, fascinate me.”

The Bluff Beyond the Dune Grass Low Tide at Early Morning

Charles did not start out as a landscape painter but became one as people asked him to take his use of color from my pure abstract work to create scenes that were clearly marked by this color use, but that had a representational aspect also.

“Initially I struggled with the concept,” Bluett admits, “but I have discovered I have an enormous affinity with landscape painting. I can now achieve it in a way whereby my love of the abstract and blending of color and tone is not affected by the need to create an actual scape within the work, yet does so at the same time.”

The Breakers

Bluett works with acrylics mainly. As a self-taught artist, he was never exposed to using oils. As a medium, acrylic gives him the versatility he desires. “Although some people may consider acrylic to be the ‘poor cousin’ to oil, I find I am able to create work that contains exactly the same depth and effects I feel oil would afford me,”  states Bluett. “And so, I am in no rush to make a change for the foreseeable future.”

Working with brushes, sponges, pallet knives and his fingers themselves, he achieves the effects he desires. “I have been known to literally sand down works which contain multiple layers of paint, to achieve underlying layers of color applied beforehand and allow them to subtly come forward into the work and layers of paint above them,” Bluett says. “At the end, I typically varnish my work but normally only with a matte finish. This allows the natural colors to do as they must.”

Summer Moon

Bluett feels blessed to find himself in an environment of passion, color, and peace, regardless of the ups and downs of the process and the final results he creates. He puts everything he has into a days work of painting.

“There, in a second, is something in front of you, over which you have no control, that is so splendid that you can’t help chuckle to yourself at how effortless and beautiful what you see has in-turn taken to create compared with that day’s huge efforts with one’s own painting. This is how I gauge success with my work in a real sense and excites me hugely upon my return to the next canvas I work upon.”

Charles Bluett

Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture is thrilled to have a variety of works from Charles Bluett. We welcome you to stop by to view each in person during this holiday season. They may be a bit large to stuff in a stocking, but we would be more than happy to help you wrap one up for someone special. Check our website for holiday hours or call with any questions.

To read more about Charles Bluett – Charles Bluett – Stories and Insights

To see our entire collection of Bluett’s work – Charles Bluett – Artist Page

Time at the Beach with Alex Dunwoodie

11/30/2017 0 Comments
 
Time at the Beach with Alex Dunwoodie

Alex Dunwoodie grew up in Buzzard’s Bay, Massachusetts. The sea, the sand, and the shore are where she was raised and are very much a part of who she is. When we first came to know Alex, her paintings were a product of her study of ordinary things collected from this place she loves. She painted small works focused on the treasures found near the shore but placed in collections scattered around her home.  In the last two seasons, she moved her study to the water, and we marveled at the detail and photo-realistic quality of her work. Recently, however, her attention has shifted to focus on the treasures Mother Nature, she herself, collects at the water’s edge.

Rocky Shore 2 by Alex Dunwoodie Rocky Shore 3 by Alex Dunwoodie

Dunwoodie shares, “Painting the shoreline was something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. It was a natural progression from studying the water. Spending time there, I couldn’t help but become interested in the beach rocks gathered where the dry land ends.”

Dunwoodie still spends as much time as she can in Buzzard’s Bay and has been “meaning to” paint these treasures in their natural habitat for some time. They are a stretch for her, as it the larger size canvas she has been working.

“A goal this past year was stepping out of my comfort zone. This included painting larger, and trying some subjects I’ve been contemplating and meaning to get to, especially the beach rocks,” says Alex. “The larger scale allowed me to loosen up, and I can breathe in the spaces working larger. I realize my idea of “larger” is still others’ small works, but for me, these 12 x 12’s, Rocky Shore 2 and Rocky Shore 3, and especially the 20 x 16, Wading, Looking West at Dawn, feel big.”

Wading, Looking West at Dawn by Alex Dunwoodie

For those of us who never leave the beach without a pocket full of glass, shells, and stones, these paintings hold great meaning. “The paintings of rocks are for the people, like me, who spend as much time looking down for treasures as looking out at the water when walking the beach. Simply put, to me, the rocks along the New England shore are fantastic. I just can’t help that they find their way to my home all the time.”

Obviously, time at the beach has had a significant influence on Dunwoodie’s new works.  However, on a side note, she attributes the new work to something else, as well. Something she feels every artist, professional or amateur, can benefit from.

“This past year I spend one day each week volunteering at the RISD Museum,” Alex shares. “It has driven home the immeasurable benefits of spending any time you can with art.”

If you are in the Kennebunks for the holidays and are interested in “spending some time with art,” please stop in and see our wonderful collection of Alex Dunwoodie’s work, and many other artists we are lucky enough to represent. Check our website for our holiday hours.

You can see more of Dunwoodie’s work on her Artist Page, and read more about her “Reverance of Ordinary Things” by clicking here.

A Mainer by Heart and Home – Artist Bethany Harper Williams Shares

10/26/2017 0 Comments
 

When artist Bethany Harper Williams was young she was introduced to Maine via a little spot just up the coast from us called Ocean Park. Even as a child she was drawn to the water and knew her first visit to our coast would not be her last. She, like the rest of us, knew that once Maine’s salt water gets in a person’s blood it never leaves.

Now she is back, and Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture is happy to have her. Bethany Harper Williams is a wonderful new artist we now have the pleasure of representing.

Let's Go Fly a Kite

Williams has always been creative, always sketched, and always drawn and painted, even as a child. “My parents have very amateur paintings of mine framed in their cottage,” Williams shares. “My grandmother passed down her old oil paint set when I was ten, and my grandfather built me an easel.”

She went to Concordia University in Montreal for Fine Arts and graduated with a BFA, with Honors in Graphic Design. “After graduating, I moved to Toronto and worked for a design firm. I stayed there for 15 years. I loved my job and the creative atmosphere.” After son number three in 1999, however, she left the firm to start her own small design business from her home. “I figured I could be more flexible, but still keep my creative side happy.”

“One Saturday afternoon everyone was occupied, a rarity in my house. I brought out my paints which I had purchased on a just in case whim. I had a photo of one of my kids running with a kite on the beach in Biddeford Pool. Big beach, big sky, little person. I was very nervous,” admits Williams. “I painted all afternoon. The time flew by. I was in a zone and on a high. I painted until midnight.” Even at this point, she knew this was the beginning of something bigger.

Red Umbrellas Yellow Beach Chairs

It was William’s husband who first brought her back to Maine. He had been coming to Biddeford Pool since the early ’70’s. “It started off taking a week or two of holiday. Then once I quit working full time, we spent the month of July and Labor Day weekend,” shares Williams.  “We rented for many years and finally bought five years ago. The community has become just as much “home” as Toronto.”

“I only painted a few paintings a year for the next few years but all were inspired by summers in Biddeford Pool. It wasn’t until 2011, I decided to have a show,” says Williams. “I knew I wanted to do something in Biddeford Pool, but I didn’t know what. We ended up throwing a cocktail party for all our friends. Many friends had no idea I painted. Needless to say, it was a big success.”  This inspired her to want to go further with her painting and changed her focus from graphic design to painting.

http://www.maine-art.com/paintings/Bethany_Harper%20Williams/63820/

We welcome you to come in and see Bethany Harper Williams complete collection of work. We open every day at 10 am at 14 Western Ave in Kennebunk. Please check our website for seasonal hours.

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John LeCours – An New Artist at Maine Art

10/17/2017 0 Comments
 

 Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture in Kennebunk is happy to introduce a new artist to the gallery

 John LeCours.

Nederzee Daydream #41

“I have been very fortunate and humbled by my success as an artist, and take none of it for granted,” says LeCours.

LeCours, who works mostly in oils, takes inspiration from the natural beauty of his native New England. “The first time I painted outside, en plein air, in Portsmouth Harbor, I realized that nothing can replace the excitement and energy of reacting to the elements and painting directly,” he says. “Feeling the sights, sounds and smells and reacting to them with ‘mark making’ was a true epiphany.”

Through plein air painting, the intuitive dialogue with the sea and the elements have allowed LeCours to produce his most authentic work and has enabled him to discover his true voice as a visual artist.

 Nederzee Daydream #19

It was three summers ago he visited the Peabody Essex Museum to view a JWM Turner show. “They had many of his works from The Tate Britain and the National Gallery on display for that summer. The show mesmerized me so much that I joined the museum and went to the show about ten times to absorb as much as I could,” recalls LeCours. “Turner was painting “the feel“  of the ocean and the elements. His work certainly was an inspiration.”

“My central aim in painting is to create beautiful imagery. My creative process centers on a direct and intuitive response to nature and its elements in the tradition of JMW Turner and James Abbott MacNeil Whistler,” LeCours explains. “I hope to evoke a response in the viewer to these experiences.”

Harbor Twilight, Cape Porpoise

LeCours grew up in Saratoga Springs, NY. He studied at the Rochester Institute of Technology and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Industrial Design. He currently maintains a loft/studio in his Townhome on the Lamprey River in Epping, NH, but has many collectors outside of New England.

“My paintings have allowed me to form lasting friendships with collectors from across the United States and Canada,” says LeCours.

Join us for an autumn afternoon on Saturday, October 21st. View the new works. Hot apple cider and fall bites will be served. Live music from local guitarist Beau Dalleo.

Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, at 14 Western Avenue in Kennebunk, is open daily at 10 am. Check the website for closing times as seasons change. FMI call 207-967-2803.

See our complete collection of John LeCours’ work by clicking his link. John LeCours – A Complete Collection

Bethany Harper Williams – A New Artist at Maine Art

10/16/2017 0 Comments
 

“I am completely inspired by water, sky, and beach, I love the big expanses of landscape. Couple this with the changing ocean light, and it’s magic,” says Bethany Harper Williams.

Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture is happy to introduce a wonderful new artist. We now have the pleasure of representing Bethany Harper Williams.

“I don’t like to paint the obvious. I like the viewer to look and find new things like the shapes of colors, textures, playful shapes and scribbles. The vast areas of sky or beach or water give me the room to play,” says Williams. “When looked at up close, all these interesting and unexpected shapes and subtle textures and colors can be found. Yet from a distance, it is clearly a sky or beach or water.”

Williams often has figures in her paintings. “I am trying to capture a moment in time. I’m not concerned with who the people are, but I’m trying to invoke a memory others can relate to,” shares Williams. “My people have become even more simplified, much less detailed.” In her latest series of Beach Days, the figures are simple strokes of color. But as simple as they are, she still captures the movement and interaction, the mood and activity.

Pink Hat Green Bucket Orange Bucket Blue Boogie Board

“I work mostly with palette knives, big and small. Always using a palette knife for my figures. It helps me to stay away from focussing on details,” says Williams. “Recently I have started to bring brushes back into my work to add texture, but I like using big brushes, like a broom!”

William’s work is often described as having energy but also a calmness and playfulness. “It is reflective of who I am. I am a doer. I’m very active. I love sports, tennis, golf, biking, swimming, and skiing. However, I’m also a very relaxed, calm person. I love to travel, especially adventure traveling.”

One gallery owner says this about Williams and her work. “Her work represents the youthful energy of the present day yet has peaceful and calm roots planted in nostalgia. This paradox is expressed beautifully in her simple yet sophisticated style of painting.”

Big Beach Walk Yellow Bikini Red Trunks

What does Bethany Harper Williams say about her own work? “It makes me happy that I get to do what I love and other people enjoy it too.”

“It makes me happy that I get to do what I love and other people enjoy it too.”

Bethany Harper Williams

Join us for an autumn afternoon on Saturday, October 21st. View the new works. Hot apple cider and fall bites will be served. Live music from local guitarist Beau Dalleo.

  Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, at 14 Western Avenue in Kennebunk, is open daily at 10 am. Check the website for closing times as seasons change. FMI call 207-967-2803.

See our complete collection of Bethany Harper Williams’ work by clicking her link.

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Witbeck and his Women – Artist Insights on Nudes

10/12/2017 0 Comments
 
Witbeck and his Women – Artist Insights on Nudes

“The human figure has been subject matter for art forever,” says David Witbeck.

Witbeck has been working on figure drawing almost every week for several years. The drawings and sketches, however, piled up in his studio, unseen by anyone but him. Then one day, that changed. “I thought it would be fun to turn some of them into paintings. An artist should paint what he loves,” grins Witbeck. ‘Nough said.”

Psamathe by David Witbeck

These pieces evoke the classic, whimsical Witbeck style but, because they are based on drawings from observation opposed to the iconic fishermen culminated from memories and imagination, they are more anatomically correct in terms of proportion, though ever so slight in some cases. Witbeck doesn’t draw particularly realistically and is not into making beautifully finished renderings.

“Even when drawing from life, the figure is a point of departure to have fun with making shapes,” says Witbeck.  “The genesis of most of my figurative paintings are rough, one and two minute sketches.”

Nude I - Wood Block by David Witbeck

Just as the model is the point of departure for the original sketch, his sketch is a point of departure for the finished painting. Each step is a little further removed from the original, what many refer to as simulacra.

“Even the most gorgeous young model can become an ordinary, maybe even slightly frumpy, middle-aged beach babe or a voluptuous Nereid by the time she gets to my canvas,” he laughs of his deliberately unconventionally sexy women. “My emphasis is, as always, simplifying and exaggerating shapes and composing the surface of the canvas in a pleasing way.”

Elizabeth by David Witbeck Sirens II by David Witbeck Barbara by David Witbeck

To fill out the composition and give a counterpoint to the main subject there are occasional figures in the clouds and little creatures nearby.

“They are there mostly just for fun, but they are necessary. Maybe a Freudian would say that I’m that little voyeur gull,” laughs Witbeck, “but seriously, a basic element of good composition is a repetition of shapes.”

Witbeck’s women range from nude woodblock prints to his bathing suit-clad beach babes to his Nereids, who are a Witbeck version of the classic sea nymphs.

“They’re all great fun to paint. I especially love when I don’t need to worry about what color to paint their clothes.”

Artist David Wibeck David Witbeck’s Solo Show will run until Thursday, October 19 at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture at 14 Western Ave in Kennebunk, Maine.  He has completely taken over the first floor, and his show is a must-see for the fall season. Please click the links below to learn more about David Witbeck and his work. David Witbeck’s 2017 Solo Show David Witbeck  – A Year Round Collection of Available Work David Whitbeck – Artist Insights and Stories      

Painting Maine – Thoughts from David Witbeck

10/05/2017 0 Comments
 
Painting Maine – Thoughts from David Witbeck

Even though David Witbeck now lives in Rhode Island, Maine still holds a large portion of his heart and his work. He has so many memories he has created here and visits as often as he can. “Last October I spent a couple weeks recharging my Maine batteries and explored,” says Witbeck. “I wandered amongst the pole wharves of Friendship and Stonington, and visited many bays and harbors along the coast.”

Noontide by David Witbeck Haunted Island by David Witbeck

“This year I seem to have developed a fascination with pole wharves,” shares Witbeck. “They often look so spindly and fragile, and yet they withstand the coming and going of the tide and the bumping of boats against them.”

Image from Maine Encyclopedia

Pole wharves are a classic style that are often found in the fishing villages of Maine.

Witbeck loves walking low tide mudflats around and under the pole wharves. He spends a great deal of time looking for whatever secrets the receding water may have revealed. “Even though the pole wharves I visited don’t look a bit like the ones I painted, they certainly provided me with inspiration.  My work has always been more about what it feels like than what it looks like,” says Witbeck.

Lumpers by David Witbeck (wood cut) Town Landing by David Witbeck (wood cut) Menemsha Gulls by David Witbeck (wood cut)

Witbeck’s Solo Show at Maine Art Gallery also has a few new harbor paintings. “These pieces are based on the view of Camden and Penobscot Bay from Mt. Battie and Mt. Megunticook. The day was spectacularly beautiful, like so many autumn days in Maine,” he says. “Like all my work, they are essentially big shapes based ever so loosely on reality.”

Archipelago by David Witbeck Blue, Blue Bay by David Witbeck

Witbeck captures the Maine coast and all its wonders in a fun and interesting way. We welcome you to come and see this amazing show and challenge you not to smile.

David Witbeck

Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture is at 14 Western Ave in Kennebunk. We open every day at 10 am. Please check our website for daily closing hours as they will change with the seasons.  We do showcase Witbecks work all year round, however, this solo show will only be hanging through October 19.

Click this link to see the 360-degree virtual tour of Witbeck’s Solo Show

David Witbeck – A Solo Show

Click this link to read more about David Witbeck

David Witbeck – Artist Insights and Stories

Click this link to see our entire collection of Witbeck’s work

David Witbeck – Artist Page

The Shape of Things – Thoughts from David Witbeck

09/28/2017 0 Comments
 
The Shape of Things – Thoughts from David Witbeck

“All my work is essentially big shapes based ever so loosely on reality,” says David Witbeck.

Morning Commute by David Witbeck

Witbeck is one week into a three-week show at Maine Art Gallery.  He has taken over the entire first floor and this new collection of work is fabulous. His subjects range from pole wharves to harbor scenes to his classic fishermen and lobstermen.

“Regardless of what the nominal subject matter of my work may appear to be,” says Witbeck,  “to me, my paintings are about making interesting shapes and composing the surface of the canvas in a pleasing way.”

Be it the larger than life Hank, the fisherman, or the harbor of Blue, Blue Bay, it is easy to spot a Witbeck original work once you have seen one.

Hank by David Witbeck Blue, Blue Bay by David Witbeck

“I start just about every painting by drawing one big shape, the “subject” directly on the canvas. By default that leaves a second shape, the “background,” explains Witbeck. “I try to refine the two shapes so they’re both interesting. Even my landscape, seascape, and harbor scenes are essentially a sky or water shape combined with a land shape.”

After that the subject gets subdivided into smaller shapes. in the case of his fishermen, for example, to suggest clothing and such. Then other small shapes are attached to the primary shape to suggest the fish or the lobsters, or even the clever little seagull that finds his way into many of Witbeck’s pieces. “I usually add some little details to the background to suggest a boat, a gull or a piece of land, which creates the illusion of a middle ground.”

Bellbuoy in the Night by David Witbeck Patrick by David Witbeck Blue Harbor

“A compositional thing I do, which adds to the two-shape idea, is when I add these little details to the background, I usually ‘attach’ them either to the figure or to the edges of the canvas,” he explains how he keeps his work connected. “Few of my paintings have more than a couple ‘free-floating’ shapes. “That is, the shapes are not attached to one another nor to the edge of the canvas.”

This is by far the most diverse collection of Witbeck’s work we have seen here at Maine Art Gallery. We love the variety of both subject and size. It is truly a wonderful show. The work is simple and clean, but never loses the honest feel of Maine and the way it should be.

Witbeck’s Solo Show is at 14 Western Avenue in Kennebunk. It will run through October 23. We are open every day at 10 am. Please check the website or call for closing hours as they will change later in the fall. You can also see the entire show virtually by clicking the show link here.  David Witbeck – A Solo Show 2017

Click here for the website – www.maine-art.com or call  (207) 967 – 2803 FMI

To read more about David Witbeck click here – David Witbeck – Artist Insights

To see our entire collection of Witbeck’s work click here – David Witbeck – Artist Page

 

David Witbeck – A Solo Show at Maine Art Gallery

09/21/2017 0 Comments
 
David Witbeck – A Solo Show at Maine Art Gallery

Fans of artist David Witbeck might quickly – and rightfully so – associate him with a particular subject. “I’ve been painting my signature fishermen for eleven years,” Witbeck says. “They’ve become my identity as an artist, but it’s not all I am.”

Abner by David Witbeck

Witbeck’s recent work, which includes figurative and landscape pieces, will be on display for three weeks at Maine Art Gallery in Kennebunk, beginning Saturday, September 22. The artist will attend the opening reception that evening, from 5 to 7 PM.

Witbeck’s larger-than-life coastal characters have earned him many ardent followers. During recent years, however, the Rhode Island-based artist has focused his energies on other subjects. For example, last October he spent time in Maine, in Friendship and Stonington, so he could focus on pole wharves. Witbeck is drawn to their spindly and fragile appearance, which belies their ability to withstand the constant barrage of the tides.

Time and Tide by David Witbeck

“I love walking low-tide mudflats, around and under pole wharves, looking for whatever secrets the receding water may have revealed,” Witbeck says. While his subject matter may shift, his loose, bold, expressive style has not. “The actual wharves in these harbor villages don’t look a bit like the ones I painted for the show,” he says. “As always, my work has always been more about what it feels like than what it looks like.”

Yellow Harbor by David Witbeck

John Spain, Maine Art’s owner, says that Witbeck’s work evokes joy. “I’ve had the pleasure of representing David Witbeck for eight years and one of the most enjoyable parts is watching peoples’ first reactions to his work,” Spain says. “It begins with the smiles on their faces, and then they stand and really study each piece, the amazing compositions, and the masterful execution.”

Witbeck looks forward to discussing his work and his process at the opening. Maine Art Gallery is at 14 Western Avenue in Kennebunk. The gallery opens 10 AM daily. FMI, visit maine-art.com or call 967-2803.

Click to see the new show in a virtual 360-degree tour.

Click to see our entire collection of David Witbeck’s available works.

Click to read more about David Witbeck.

Liz Hoag – First Life and the Law

09/14/2017 0 Comments
 
Liz Hoag – First Life and the Law

“People think that being an artist and being a lawyer are exact opposites, one, a left brain activity, one a right brain activity,” says Liz Hoag. “I disagree.”

Liz Hoag completed her undergrad at Cornell and received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Studio Art in 1983. She then earned her Masters of Fine Arts in Painting from Boston University in 1986. Thinking she had completed her “college life”,  she moved to Maine started a screen printing business, mostly on fabric, t-shirts and such.

“My boyfriend quit his urchin diving business and grew the screen printing business with me two years later. However, things change. Our relationship ended in 1994, and in 1997 I sold out my share of the business to him, as well.”

 

At that point, Liz decided on another change and opted for law school at the University of Maine. She met her husband in 2002,  earned her JD in 2003, clerked for a Justice on the law court and had twins in 2004, and soon after took a new job at Pine Tree Legal Assistance. We are fairly certain she took a few deep breaths in there as well.

When asked about her complete change in life work, this is often her answer:

“The biggest difference lies between the culture of art and the culture of law.  Art is generally a friendly and even collaborative field.  Law is neither,” says Hoag. “Law is designed to be adversarial.  Someone wins and someone loses; end of story.”

The second twist in the story…in 2010, Liz quit law and went back to art.

“It took a while for the decision to gestate.  Up until 2010, I didn’t have the courage or self-confidence to be an artist full-time.  I  had a husband.  I had children.  I had financial responsibilities,” says Hoag.  She also had the problem many of women have, she felt like a fraud. “I never thought I was as good as others thought I was.  So if I never really tried, I couldn’t fail, and people would still think I was good. There was no risk.”

However, with a fiftieth birthday coming up fast, Liz knew if she was going to do it, she had to do it soon. “I did my financial calculations. I had arguments with my husband. Then, I quit my job,” she says with a grin.

As an artist, one might not be as successful financially as another painter or might not have particular skills another has, but Hoag believes artists are not expected to face off against each other so that someone wins and someone loses.

“We find our places as artists. We change and grow and have open-ended possibilities,” says Hoag. She found after a few years of practicing law, she was just exhausted from spending her days arguing with other lawyers and always trying to “win”.

“There were certainly some good feelings that came with a win in court, but the feelings didn’t last. I worked with low-income residents of Maine and liked the idea of giving them quality legal representation, but in the end, I knew that I was better at something else, and I’d be happier doing that something else.”

The biggest difference between the two I think lies the culture of art and the culture of law.  Art is generally a friendly and even collaborative field.  Law is neither.  Law is designed to be adversarial.  Someone wins and someone loses; end of story.  As an artist, I might not be as successful financially as another painter or I might not have particular skills another has, but we are not expected to face off against each other.

Having found success in both fields Liz feels there are more similarities than many understand.

“The thought processes of both professions require both sides of the brain.  Of course, we think of art as being creative, but the fact is if I sit around in my studio and wait for inspiration to show up, I would never get anything done,” laughs Hoag.  “An artist and a lawyer need to focus, have goals, and plans to achieve them.”

Hoag knows we all need to work through the days of “I just don’t want to do this”. We all have to learn and we have to be creative. Law is no different.

“On an average day, I was rewarded for NOT being creative – that’s what “precedent” is all about.  The need to research and use what has gone before to help win a case,” says Hoag. “But then when a case with a novel issue comes, one that hasn’t been dealt with in Maine perhaps, this is when creativity is critical. I was able to take precedent and expand it. I loved giving the judge something new to think about,” says Hoag with a smile. “It’s rare and exciting working on a novel idea in law, but it does happen. So see, art and law both require hard work, critical thinking, and creativity.”

Law has also helped Hoag understand producing art is hard work like any other profession. It deserves respect and effort. “I still get comments about how being lucky,  about being talented and the lovely comment ‘I wish I could quit my jobs and just do art’,” Hoag laughs. “Me too, I want to say, but I simply say Thank you. Yes, it’s great.’ and move on.”

Hoag knows it’s not that simple and being lucky or genetically talented didn’t get her where she is as a painter today.  “Hard work, a lot of thought, and some middle-aged self-confidence got me here,” she says. “And I’m so glad I made the move. My possibilities are infinite.”

Click the links below for more about Liz Hoag. View her One Woman Show at Maine Art Gallery

Read more Artist Insights from Liz Hoag

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