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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Artists Insights – Words from Liz Hoag

09/07/2017 0 Comments
Artists Insights – Words from Liz Hoag

The entire first floor of Maine Art is currently featuring work from artist Liz Hoag. While she was here visiting, she shared a few words with us regarding her work and her perspective of Maine.  Her show will run through Thursday, Septemeber 21st.

From Liz…..

“You take a photograph of a sunset over a lake and realize later when you look at the photo that there were branches in your view.  You unknowingly wiped them from view when you were looking through the lens.  But they’re there; part of the landscape that gives depth and frames the beauty. They are an integral part of the beauty.  You take them in without thinking about them.

When you’re walking in the woods, you think “this is so peaceful” and look around at the “quiet.” It’s not just that the trees surrounding you dampen the sounds of nearby civilization, but the light and color around you also make the space “quiet. “ The warm light sifting through the trees, the colors of early morning or late afternoon, the cool blues and browns of the path all come together to give you that peace.  At any time of day, even at midday with the bright light washing away some of the color, the balance of the trees, branches, light and dark of the forest still creates calm.

You go to the edge of the sea in Maine to find “calm.”  Islands, boats, and seaweed break up the vast expanse.  Rather than wrapping your arms around yourself as you might in the closed quiet of the forest, you instead take a deep breath and spread your arms wide. You find a different sort of peace here.

Paths, trees, branches, color, light, air, open space, water; we have it all here in Maine.  Whether it’s looking up at trees in our suburban neighborhoods, driving down country highways, or walking trails to the lakes and sea; we have a visual peace and quiet within reach.  You can find calm and beauty right along the road almost anywhere in Maine.”

Artist Liz Hoag

We are open daily at 10 am. Please come visit or click here to see her entire show in a 360-degree virtual tour.  Virtual Tour and Online Show.

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Liz Hoag – A One-Woman Show at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture

08/31/2017 0 Comments
Liz Hoag – A One-Woman Show at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture

Artist Liz Hoag finds inspiration in the simple act of taking a walk in the woods near her Portland home. It isn’t just about what she sees – it is also about what she feels.

“When walking in the woods, the trees surround us. We cannot see the quiet, but we feel it,” says Hoag.

We are so excited to be featuring Hoag’s work in a three-week show beginning Saturday, September 2. We are also thrilled that she will attend the opening reception Saturday evening, from 5 to 7 PM.

Hoag, who has lived in Maine for about 25 years, has a studio in Westbrook. After taking photographs on walks around her Portland neighborhood or one of the many trails around the state, Hoag goes to work in her studio. “This is where the magic happens. I normally start with a dark canvas, or negative space, and build up by adding light. For me, the result is both abstract and representational,” she says.

Hoag blends the ideas inspired by her nature experiences into her work, using mostly acrylic paint on canvas. “It seems I have always leaned toward realistic work, but I like abstract. It’s looser,” Hoag says. She describes the work as “misty” when she discusses the pulling of light color over dark. “It is the light and color that makes a space quiet,” she says.

Hoag especially focuses on trees, as she feels they are the part of the landscape that gives depth and frames the beauty of the outdoors. “They are an integral part of nature. We take them in without thinking about them,” she says.

Besides the “treescapes” Hoag has become known for, she also paints seascapes and landscapes, which will be part of her upcoming show. Nature is constantly inspiring her to paint. “It’s balance and shape,” Hoag says. “For each of us, there is a need to find beauty and balance in the everyday. Much of what I paint is considered ordinary. They are things usually passed by, but if a second is taken to stop and see, it’s impossible not to notice how truly dramatic they are. The balance of the light and dark always manages to create calm.”

Although her work is an expression of her relationship to nature, Hoag ultimately is hoping to evoke feelings in those who view her work. “I personally do not think of the ‘story’ or ‘narrative’ of my paintings,” says Hoag. “That being said, these paintings truly reflect the feel of the moment when I was in this beautiful place.”

Hoag is looking forward to discussing her work and her process at the reception opening night. Please come in and visit at 14 Western Avenue in Kennebunk.

The online show is live Friday afternoon, Septemeber 1. Watch our Facebook page for the update.

FMI or 967-2803.  We are open daily – please check our website for times.

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Philip Frey and His Changing Landscapes

08/24/2017 0 Comments
Philip Frey and His Changing Landscapes

Philip Frey lives in a part of Maine where sea and shore meet mountain and forest. His studio and home are hidden away just minutes from the varied and beautiful landscape of Acadia National Park. When an artist is immersed in the beauty only mother nature can create, it is impossible not to capture it in paint.

“Painting en plein air and then moving into the studio to work is typically a matter of refining the painting in terms of subtle color and value changes to bring it to completion,” says Frey.

Philip has practiced in many mediums, from watercolor to acrylic to oil. The many landscapes that make up the lands of Maine welcome the artist in. “What interests me in most all my paintings is light and color; the sense of light coming through and infusing a locale,” says Frey. “The ephemeral quality of light, color, and shape is intriguing and draws me towards it.”

Frey borders a style somewhere between realism and abstraction. His work is familiar but has a composition that allows some leeway. “I’ve always been interested in abstraction, particularly the moving line between abstraction and representation. It’s a fun and fruitful place to explore,” he says. “I sometimes think about how can I paint the essence of something or a place through an economy of brush strokes.”

This collection of Philip Frey’s work will be at Maine Art Shows at 10 Chase Hill until Labor Day. We are open every day from 11 am to 5 pm. Please stop by and visit, or click here to see the online show with a 360-degree virtual tour. Click here to see our entire collection of Philip’s work.

  Philip Frey    


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Three Views of Maine

08/21/2017 0 Comments
Three Views of Maine

When your business is called Maine Art, people come looking for images captured not only in the spirit of Maine but often times in the places of Maine. The three artists currently featured at Maine Art Shows do just that.

Philip Frey, who lives and paints on the midcoast of Maine, views his home through a lens of abstract realism. His works are of places and things we know and love, but his loose strokes and beautiful blocking create works even Mother Nature can love.

Fluid Sky Tidal Plane by Philip Frey Water, Island, Sky by Philip Frey Near, Far by Philip Frey

His landscapes represent the forest and the mountains, the sea and the fields. Each holds a memory of a vacation once spent or a childhood never forgotten. They are the places we will visit soon enough or sometimes they are the view from our window. Frey captures Maine as he sees it; his home.

With Ellen Granter, we move to the shore. Granter has a family home on Goose Rocks Beach, practically right next door to Maine Art’s galleries. It is where her mother and father call home, where her brothers and sisters gather in the summer, and where aunts and uncles and cousins congregate. Kennebunk and Kennebunkport are visited often and Ellen finds her solitude in the harbors here.

Dories 1 by Ellen Granter Galaxy by Ellen Granter Docked by Ellen Granter

The peace and quiet in these pieces are similar to the tranquility found in the landscapes and bird works that Granter has produced in the past. They show a side of the coast that is separate from the hustle and bustle of town and village. The beauty of the moored sailboat, the docked dingy, or the floating dory are landscapes of our area many take for granted until we are reminded of what a true part of our culture they are.

Our last view of Maine is a different side of coastal life – the marsh.  Margaret Gerding lives on the marsh in Cape Porpoise in Kennebunkport.  Through her studio windows, she watches the light change and often drops everything to go “be” in it.  No matter the time of day, the magic of the marsh is a painter’s paradise.

Seeing Forever by Margaret Gerding Aqua Cleansing by Ellen Granter Soft Colors of the Marsh by Margaret Gerding

Margaret loves to paint outside and is often found in the “secret” places of the coast with either her sketch pad or easel or both.  Occasionally, you will even find her teaching.  Now that she calls Maine her home, her art classes take place here.

So no matter what side of Maine you are looking for, you will find it here at Maine Art Shows up on Chase Hill. This Three Artists, Three Rooms show will run through Labor Day.  We are open from 11-5 every day.  Come visit or check us out online.  Click here for the virtual 360-degree tour  – it is the next best thing to being here.

Philip FreyEllen GranterMargaret Gerding

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Ellen Granter on Sailing – A Love-Hate Relationship

08/17/2017 0 Comments

“I began painting boats recently because I love the way they evoke a sense of peace and calmness,” says Granter. “However, some of my fondest childhood memories of the sailing world were not on the water nor were they calm and peaceful.”

Boston Harbor November by Ellen Granter Galaxy by Ellen Granter Hazy Light by Ellen Granter

While speaking with Ellen about her newest collection, she shared some of her memories of her father, who loves sailing, and family and friends who also love the sea. Her favorite moments were not the day at sea, but more the riotous camaraderie that followed a great day of sailing.

“I survived several seasons of sailing in the Rochester Frostbite Association,” remembers Granter. “They were an intrepid group of fierce competitors who braved the brutal, bitter cold of a Lake Ontario winter and sailed no matter the conditions.” Granter laughs as she retells her story. “I immediately get seasick on the water, and these events began my reference to sailing as merely “The S Word”.  Even though I did not love being out on the boat, I did love the loud and often hilarious rules-protest arguments in the bar afterward. They made it almost worth the whole effort.”

With so many memories of this world and the bonds created with others who love sailing, it is not a surprise that Ellen found her way back to the water.  It is also no surprise that her favorite view is from the safety of the harbors of Maine and New England. Here is where she finds inspiration.

Dories 3 by Ellen Granter Dories 1 by Ellen Granter

If you are a boat lover, be it sailboats, dories, or schooners, Granter’s present collection of work is a can’t-miss opportunity.  Not only do they capture the love of the sea and harbors, many are small enough to be hung in the cabin of your favorite vessel.

Andiamo by Ellen Granter

Maine Art Shows is open every day from 11-5 at 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk. This show will run until Labor Day, September 4.  If you cannot make it in, please check out the online show and 360-degree tour on our website by clicking here.

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A Gallery of Flowers – Studies by Margaret Gerding

08/14/2017 0 Comments
A Gallery of Flowers  – Studies by Margaret Gerding

Margaret Gerding is not only a painter, she is also a teacher. Spending many days in the marshes or on the beaches of the Kennebunks, she shares her gift of art with her students. It was during one of her recent sessions that she asked her students to stretch themselves a little further. She issued the 30-Day Artist Challenge, a test to push the artists’ skills beyond their normal comfort zone. Not only did Gerding issue this challenge, she joined in.

For Gerding, the landscapes and seascapes of Maine are her love. She paints them every day with a smile. However, part of this challenge was to paint something that isn’t a “normal” subject matter. “It is an exercise that reminds the artist to really examine a subject, while at the same time staying loose with the short amount of allotted time,” says Gerding.

After a bit of deliberation, she chose flowers.

Due to this, not only did Margaret bring a season’s worth of amazing work with her for this show, she brought a very special gift, the gift of her flowers.

As you enter Maine Art Shows, each room is designated to one of the three featured artists. Gerding has a room near the front of the gallery. Adjacent to it is a small entryway that presently houses her “garden”. Here you will find many of the small studies Gerding completed during this challenge. With more than fifteen small flower paintings, they are a must-see part of this show.

Over the course of the next few weeks, Maine Art Shows’ three rooms are each filled with a different artist. One of those artist, of course, is Margaret Gerding. She has recently become a Kennebunkport resident and is incredibly happy to be back in the place of many happy childhood memories. With her home and studio in Cape Porpoise, she is able to capture the beauty of our area every day.

We welcome you to come visit. Maine Art Shows is open every day from 11am to 5 pm. It is also viewable with our virtual tour by clicking here. The show will run through Labor Day. Please call or visit us online to see details or get more information. 207-967-0049 or

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Craig Mooney on Being Ambiguous

07/13/2017 0 Comments
Craig Mooney on Being Ambiguous

Our long-time clients and visitors have come to love and recognize the works of Craig Mooney. No one captures the color and expanse of the Maine sea and sky the same way he does. Viewers love the fact that the places he paints can be anywhere, but he also holds this same standard to his figurative works.

“My landscapes are places only I have been. They are the epitome of New England’s perfection. There is a piece and part of each beach, mountain, or ocean I have visited, and they represent somewhere I found peace,” Mooney says. “But for you, it should be a memory from a place that makes you happy.”

Along this same line, his new figuratives are beginning to push the abstract, while still capturing the essence of the man, woman or child. Works like In the Bedroom, Evening Commute, and Afternoon Light have a much looser feel to them without losing the connection to place and person.

In The Bedroom by Craig Mooney Evening Commute by Craig Mooney Afternoon Light by Craig Mooney

“The way I do figurative work is the same way I do landscapes. My landscapes are not a specific place, but they are familiar. The trick with figures is to make them ambiguous, but with a sense of realism,” says Mooney. “I want you to put yourself or someone you love into the work.”

His rose window and woman in white are both popular motifs Craig has been working with. However, his newest concept is his ‘surf riders’. These works find a perfect harmony with his love of the ocean and his wave jumping four-year-old daughter.

Surf Riders and Tumbler are perfect pieces for this show. They force the art to be cohesive, and keeps a connection between the pieces,” Mooney says. “The whole show is about escaping and the variety of the work covers the variety of ways people find their own escape.”

Surf Riders by Craig Mooney Tumbler by Craig Mooney

Whether you are a collector of Craig Mooney’s, or you are a first-time viewer, this show will be a delight. We have been representing him for close to ten years, and this is by far some of his best work.

“I am trying to reimagine my image of Maine Art Gallery. It has become so much more than the traditional Maine gallery, and this show has so much more than the classic Mooney sky,” says Craig. “It is by far the most all-encompassing display of my work.”

Craig Mooney

If you still haven’t made it to Kennebunk we encourage you to make plans soon. Craig’s show runs until Thursday, July 20th. Maine Art Shows is found at 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk and is open every day from 11am to 5pm. If you cant make it in, please view the show online by clicking here. You can also experience the work in a virtual walk-through by clicking this link; Walk Through Craig Mooney’s Show. It is the next best thing to being here in the flesh.

To read more Artist Insights from Mooney click this link – Artist Insights from Craig Mooney

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“Celestial” by Craig Mooney – An Ode to William

07/06/2017 0 Comments
“Celestial” by Craig Mooney – An Ode to William

Craig Mooney has a variety of motifs he is known for. We love his skies, sails and coastlines. Normally, each motif is focused on separately. There was a special inspiration, however, that nudged him into bringing three of his favorites into one piece.

Celestial by Craig Mooney

“In my mind, the cornerstone of this show is the piece I originally called Ode to William. It is an ode to William Trost Richards, the 19th century maritime painter,” says Mooney about the piece now named Celestial. “Trost had a distinctive style and was specially known for waves crashing on beaches.”

Richards’ work is much more realistic and detailed than Mooney’s, but the inspiration is obvious for those familiar with Richards’ work. When speaking about a particular painting of Richards’, Mooney said, “It was so interesting. His piece looked like three different paintings I had done in the past, but they were combined into one canvas.” It was a combination of a sailboat, a large cloud with light hitting, and a rocky shore. “Richards’ captured light beautifully. It is the first piece I thought of doing for the show.”

Ode to William was soon renamed Celestial, but the inspiration stayed with Mooney throughout his work for his summer show at Maine Art.

Celestial is a little more tightly controlled and more detailed than my normal work. It began an ever-changing journey into subject matter for this show,” says Mooney. “The next few pieces were more expressive and abstract, but Richard’s work stayed with me throughout.”

Craig Mooney

To see our entire collection for Craig Mooney’s Solo Show visit Maine Art Shows on Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk. We are open seven days a week from 11 AM to 5 PM. FMI call 207-967-0049 or

Read more about Craig Mooney here – Craig Mooney – Artist Insights

See all Mooney’s work at Maine Art here – Craig Mooney – Artist Page

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Craig Mooney Opens at Maine Art

06/29/2017 0 Comments
Craig Mooney Opens at Maine Art

Artist Craig Mooney is stepping back to a time when art was an escape.

“People are always going to be in search of love. People are always going to be in search of adventure. People are always going to be in search of an escape,” says Mooney. “This show gives them all three.”

Celestial by Craig Mooney

Maine Art Shows is hosting Craig Mooney’s one-man show beginning July 1st. This show will run for three weeks and contain not only his classic semi-abstract seascapes and landscapes, but also some fabulous new figurative works.

Mooney says, “In this time and age we are entering, people are looking for an escape. This new series of work offers that. My recent works are more romantic motifs. I want to give people a place to go for a bit of peace. It’s that feeling found when spending time with a painting, then suddenly it captures you. It holds on, and you are there, even if only for a while. It’s more than just seeing it, it is feeling it. The work has to be sincere.”

Dory Calm by Craig Mooney Surf Riders by Craig Mooney

Born and raised in Manhattan, Mooney left the city in 1988 to attend Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, where he received a fine arts degree in 1992.  He secured his first large commissioned work from New York Hospital in 1995. “The work for the hospital turned into a series of works and more commissioned pieces for Cornell Medical College,” says Mooney. “Thanks in part to this early success, I was able move to rural Vermont and set up a studio.”

He is inspired by all the places he has called home – his native New York, the mountains and farms near his studio in Stowe, Vermont, and the beaches of Maine and Massachusetts where he spends as much time as he can.  Mooney imbues these semi-abstract renderings of place with emotions he feels are universal and timeless. “I love my studio in Vermont, but with all the time I spend in Kennebunk and the weekends I spend with family on Cape Cod, I have become a ‘coastal painter.’ I am not sure when it happened, but it is part of who I am now,” says Mooney.

The romance of his landscapes is also found in his figures. Amy Lewia, Maine Art’s Gallery Director, notes, ”I’m very excited about presenting some new imagery in this solo show. His figurative works and cityscapes are absolutely breathtaking, and we can’t wait to share more of them with our customers.”

Craig Mooney

Mooney looks forward to discussing his work and his process during his Artist Reception on Saturday, July 1st, from 5 to 7 PM.  This show runs though Thursday, July 20th. Maine Art Shows is at 10 Chase Hill Road and is open from 11AM to 5PM daily. If you can’t make it to town, please visit the show online by clicking here. FMI visit or call  207-967-2803.

To read more about Craig’s process and past – Craig Mooney – Artist Insights

To see Craig’s entire collection – Craig Mooney – Artist Page

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