Summer is all about being outside, enjoying the warm air, and often the late afternoon sun. The season is short here in the Northeast, and we need to enjoy every moment. This is especially true on the small islands off Maine’s coast, like Monhegan; the place that inspired Abbie Williams’ Summer Chairs.
“This image is so telling of summer on Monhegan Island,” says Williams. “Actually, it is true for almost anywhere along the coast of Maine.” Visiting Monhegan Island is a regular occurrence for many artists, including Abbie. It is a quiet little island village that celebrates the way life used to be. Artists find the peace and the surroundings a perfect place to work. It is not uncommon to find artists with their easels along the rocky coastline, in the harbor, or even on the wooded trails that weave their way across the island.
For Abbie the “choice” this year was an easy one. The small white house and the adirondack chairs are idyllic. “They just drew me in. Those colors and how they weave together; it is why I paint,” says Williams. “They are so luscious and inviting.” The brilliance of the sun practically sets fire to the sky, and Williams recreates it perfectly in oil. “I love how this piece turned out. The colors just work,” says Williams. “Besides that, I simply feel good when I look it.”
Abbie has been a part of Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture for almost five years, and has participated in multiple shows at Maine Art Shows. Her work embodies every season of Maine, from the ice shacks of winter to the summer chairs.
Summer Chairs is part of the Choice Art Show, and will be running until June 30 at Maine Art Shows at 10 Chase Hill Rd. in Kennebunk. We are open daily from 11am – 5pm. She also has a collection of work at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture just down the hill at 14 Western Ave. We welcome you to stop by to visit – please visit our website for directions and hours. www.maine-art.com
If you are interested in reading more about Abbie Williams and her work at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, please visit our blog. Maine Art Blog- Abbie Williams. Also, click her Artist Page to view our entire collection of her work online.
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Aldermere Farm is a traditional New England saltwater farm located in Rockport, Maine. It is nestled on the western shore of Penobscot Bay and has been an area landmark for generations thanks to the Maine Coast Heritage Trust. It is also in the home town of one of our artists, Daniel Corey.
“I love the cows. They are very sweet and curious,” says Corey. “I will sometimes hold up my paintings for them when I’m finished. They seem to look them over with interest.”
By January is Corey’s Artist’s Choice piece for the Choice Art Show at Maine Art Shows in Kennebunk. It is one of three pieces of his work in the show. “This painting represents me and my work to the best of my current ability. Everything I have went into it,” says Corey. “The Belted Galloways are one of my favorite subjects when I’m looking for a challenge. For such big animals they don’t seem to stop moving. This makes it tough when trying to paint them.”
Aldamere Farm is known for its Belted Galloways and is one of the world’s premier breeders. The Maine Coast Heritage Trust maintains Aldermere as a working farm and educational center, helping visitors deepen their appreciation for land conservation and sustainable agriculture. Corey enjoys spending time here with his easel, his camera or his sketch book, or more often all three.
“This painting came together from multiple references and plein air sketches I did while at the farm,” say Corey. “I took so many notes and even photos. I was continually checking my drawing against all these references.”
The title of this piece was Corey’s choice to leave open to interpretation. Leaving the viewer to wonder exactly what happens ‘by January.’ “I hate to take the wonder away from the wonderers,” says Corey. “I would rather let the viewer feel that sense of inclusion when they think they know. Ideally, they always do.”
To see the beautiful By January, as well as Ice Cream Night and Summer, come into Kennebunk and visit Maine Art Shows from 11am – 5pm any day. The Choice Art Show will run until Thursday, June 30. Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture at 14 Western Ave. also has a collection of Daniel Corey’s work. For summer hours and to view his work online visit our website at www.maine-art.com and Daniel Corey – Artist Page.
You can also read more about Daniel and his work with Maine Art on our blog. Maine Art Blog – Daniel Corey
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Once again, one of our artists has found inspiration in Acadia National Park. The only National Park in Maine, Acadia boasts beautiful ocean views, cliffs that tower over rocky coasts and even their own Sand Beach. Yet, for Liz Hoag, it is the freshwater of the park that lures her in. At 436 acres, Eagle Lake is the largest fresh water lake in Acadia National Park. Whether traveling the carriage roads or exploring the trails that encircle it, it is nearly impossible not to let the magic of this place slip into your soul.
During a visit over New Years, Hoag was cross county skiing here with friends and family. View from the Trail was inspired from a photograph taken on the shores of Eagle Lake during this trek. It is her Artist’s Choice piece for the Choice Art Show here at Maine Art Shows.
“I chose this painting because I believe it is far and away the best painting of the group. Period,” says Liz about her unwavering Artist’s Choice decision. “The two-dimensional balance worked out perfectly. The afternoon yellow light works flawlessly to create depth and quiet. The overall color combination gives the exact feel I wanted of a cool, but not cold, quiet winter afternoon.”
Hoag was not the only one that made this choice. A very happy customer, just hours after the show opened, chose it as well. Not to worry. If you love View from the Trail or have an soft spot for Eagle Lake, there are a few more pieces from Liz Hoag that you need to see.
Eagle Lake Reflection is Hoag’s Editor’s Choice piece, and another that features this national treasure. “Considering each piece in the context of a larger, related body of work brings an extra layer of meaning to the work,” says Susan Grisanti, the editor of Maine Home + Design, “but one piece usually rises to the top pretty quickly for me.” Grisanti has been the eye behind the Editor’s Choice since the show’s conception five years ago.
We also have a large collection of Hoag’s work at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture at 14 Western Ave. in Kennebunk. It is here you will find Eagle Lake Revisited, a small acrylic with a view through the branches to the lake in the distance. The rest of Hoag’s collection may not have the name “Eagle Lake” in their titles, yet it is a strong possibility that several others came to be due to this remarkable place.
For anyone that loves the woods, or has a spot on the lake, this collection of work from Liz Hoag is sure to awaken your own memories. For this artist, it is all about what her work brings to the viewer, what they feel, what they see. “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 that I was in this beautiful place.”
The Choice Art Show will continue at Maine Art Shows at 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk though June 30. We are open everyday from 11am – 5pm. Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture at 14 Western Ave. is also open every day from 10am until at least 6pm, with later hours starting today for the summer.
As always, all of our artists and their work can be seen online at www.maine-art.com. Some specific links to check out:
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Often times specific events happen in our lives to bring us a clearer perspective on our world as a whole. The meaning hiding behind and inside these moments is not always realized immediately, but eventually a ‘why’ is discovered. Artist Philip Frey is in tune with his world. He has a firm grasp on what he believes and who he is. For him, it was one of these moments that brought out this piece of work and a deeper look into this short life and what is most important.
“My dear friend Kiki recently passed away. Changing Light was influenced strongly by her. I had been meaning to paint this space for some time. Now I do it to honor her,” says Frey. “It is not in a sad way, but as a reminder to appreciate what I have. I need to keep things simple, and in some kind of cheerful priority look at what’s most important. I’m looking closer at how to organize and prioritize my painting, which is my work and my life, so they fit well and serve me better.”
When thinking about the structure of a painting, the formal issues of what works and what doesn’t, color relationships and surface and textural qualities are important. “My work begins with a feeling, a connection, to my everyday experiences,” says Frey, “an evocative color, unexpected light or a fleeting gesture.” For Philip, perceptions are the inspiration, but the act of painting is the real juice behind his work. “I do not attempt to capture a moment or a scene, rather I work with the inspiration as a means to experience the present moment.”
The formal elements; deliberate quick or slow brushstrokes, color dynamics, spatial relationships and the surface qualities of the paint, are his stock-in-trade. But when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, Frey feels when a painting is going well. “There is an unexplainable sense of being in the groove – an experience of being present and aware of the process.” He acknowledges that many artists, writers, musicians and athletes experience this state of being. It is where one is not overtly thinking about what came before or what is to come. “Essentially, in those carefree moments, there is ‘no painter’ and ‘no painting’. Yet, wondrously, a painting comes forth,” he says. “In that way, I have no agenda, nothing I want to tell you or make you see, other than the joyful process and its ripened fruit.”
Fairfield Porter, an American painter and art critic, speaks about the connection between art, artist and audience. He believes that as humans we connect ourselves to everything. In this case, not just the painting, but also the process of the painting. The person who looks at a piece of art gets it vicariously. Frey agrees with this philosophy.
“When you put it all together, it becomes clear that I am interested in evoking the essence of appearances and my experiences in an abstract realist manner,” says Frey. “There are definitely specific formal concerns and many artistic influences spanning a lifetime, but I don’t want to say too much about those, lest I spoil the mystery and magic.”
Philip Frey’s mystery and magic is found in every piece of his work. Though his subjects vary, this does not. Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture has a large collection of Frey’s work in our main gallery on 14 Western Ave. However, Changing Light, along with two others, are part of the Choice Art Show at Maine Art Shows, 10 Chase Hill in Kennebunk. This show will be running until June 30th.
We welcome you to come and visit both galleries and experience Philip’s work first hand. If this is not possible, please check out his Artist Page on our website. We have also posted several insightful pieces about Philip and his work on our blog. Click here to read more.
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“I’m off to go birding.”
This is how Ellen Welch Granter ends most of her correspondence. Each time, we never know if she is heading outdoors with binoculars or to her studio with a brush. Regardless, Ellen spends a great deal of her time with her birds.
“There is an excitement while watching birds in the wild,” says Granter. “My paintings are an expression of my desire to create beautiful and pure images of my favorite subjects.” When viewing her works, that same excitement comes through. There are many layers to her work which create interesting depths and shadows that change depending on light. “They are the textures, shapes and patterns of daily life. This work is all about that constant motion of the birds, their particular gestures and way of walking in the shallows.”
Granter has a large collection between Maine Art Shows and Maine Art Paintings and Sculptures. Her work in the Choice Art Show features three pieces. Begin and End was the Editor’s Choice. We owe thanks to Susan Grisanti from Maine Home + Design for her choice. This piece showcases Granter’s love for the sandpiper and incorporates her signature gold leaf, as well. “The gold shape is a sort of calligraphic stroke that represents the water’s edge and reflected sunlight,” says Granter. Her gold leaf is found in many others works hanging at our sister gallery, Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, down on Western Ave. in Kennebunk.
The Choice Art Show will be on display at Maine Art Shows at 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk until June 30th. Please stop in any day from 11am – 5pm to see the show in its entirety. It is also available to view online by clicking here; Choice Art Show.
To see our complete collection of Ellen Granter’s work visit her Artist Page. Also, if you are interested in reading more about Ellen and her work with Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture click here. Maine Art Blog – Ellen Granter.
For some artists, their inspiration comes from within. For some, it comes from their surroundings. For many, it is a blend of both. For Jill Valliere, one of our artists from Rockland, Maine, it is found everywhere, and occasionally, quite by accident. Such is the case regarding the story behind Wanderlust.
“I had decided to take a drive on a slightly foggy day last fall. I was in search of inspiration,” says Valliere. “I drove around to my favorite haunts for a few hours, but I didn’t find anything that made my ‘painting fingers’ twitch.” After giving up for the day, she headed toward home and began to daydream. Of course this led to a wrong turn – not an uncommon event for Valliere. “When I came back around I found myself in Lincolnville. In front of me was the scene that later became Wanderlust.”
Jill is lucky enough to have her studio in her home. She enjoys her time there tremendously, normally accompanied by her dog. “I immediately started the painting the next day,” says Valliere. “Not all of my paintings end up how I originally imagine them. This one did.” She wanted to capture the way autumn colors look behind the cover of a thin fog. It was the perfect morning and the perfect frame of mind for it. A thin filmy veil of fog covers the bright colors of fall. It increases the sense of peace without hiding the beautiful tones Mother Nature provided. “While I enjoy all the seasons, autumn is my favorite time of year. That love is captured in this work.”
This piece, along with two others from Valliere, are part of the Choice Art Show going on now through June 30 at Maine Art Shows. The gallery is located at 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk and is open from 11am – 5pm daily. You can view the show in person or online by clicking here. Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture’s complete collection of work from Valliere can be found at the group gallery at 14 Western Ave. in Kennebunk and on her Artist’s Page.
Click this link to read more about Jill Valliere and her work at Maine Art. Valliere and Maine Art.
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Monhegan Light is an inspiration as a symbol, as well as a physical structure from many views and perspectives. As visitors, we often come by day to view the lighthouse and the stunning coast surrounding it. Rarely does the iconic place have guests in the evening. Except maybe for one of our artists, Janis H. Sanders. Head Light and Shadows is the result of one of these visits.
“The very bright, nearly blinding, light casting across the facade of the buildings and boat contrasted with unequivocal shadows immediately caught my attention and imagination. I then had to translate the scene into paint,” says Sanders. “The vision is to portray a particular, singular moment of light on a surface.”
This is an experience for Sanders that is never to be repeated. The continually changing atmospheric conditions, light, humidity, cloud cover and myriads of other factors will not allow it. “Of course, my own perception, mood and interpretive state of mind comes into play,” he says, “as well as, my color palette selections.”
“With any endeavor, my aim is emotional; I want, and the mechanics determine, the shifting process to an outcome,” says Sanders. It is not always necessarily to a conclusion. The completion and achievement of a target finishes one phase, and simultaneously sets the groundwork and stage for the next. “To relish the surprises that happen along the way, in both color and compositional interactions, is a pure delight. If I let it be, if I let the painting paint itself, I become merely a guide, the conduit.”
In the beginning of his excursion into paint years ago, Sanders tried to steer the paint throughout the experience. “I had in mind a destination at the outset,” he says. Yet, the more he painted the more he realized the objective in paint is only a vague ephemeral outline. Sanders finds connection with Edward Hopper, a prominent American realist painter. “It is more about the interaction,” says Sanders. “If I allow myself to go for the ride, I always find satisfaction in the journey itself.”
Head Light and Shadow is the Artist’s Choice piece for Janis H. Sanders in the Choice Art Show, and will be on display at Maine Art Shows at 10 Chase Hill in Kennebunk until June 30th. Please stop in any day from 11am – 5pm. The Choice Art Show is also available to view online by clicking here; Choice Art Show.
If you are interested in reading more about Janis Sanders and his work at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture on our blog, click here. You can also visit his Artist Page at www.maine-art.com to view our entire collection of Sanders work.
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As a true introvert, Susan Wahlrab has always found her sanctuary in nature. “It is where I go to be recharged, nourished and inspired,” she says. “However, I purposely choose this place as one that is universal. It could be anywhere. It’s not important to me if anyone knows where Sanctuary is. Yet, it is my hope it will help in creating someone else’s.”
Susan finds herself particularly drawn to where land and water meet – more specifically, the coast of Maine. Her paintings come from a real place, for who is she, in her own words, “to create something that is already so perfect?” “Nature is so much more creative with variety of shape, color, texture and atmosphere. It is not something to make up. It is something to observe, to reflect and to connect. The pulse of nature has no boundaries. It is interconnected.”
Over the years, Susan has explored many techniques of mark making in an attempt to describe the sensation of her dialogue with nature. “Over time I notice and feel more and more. It’s an ever maddening process of attempting the impossible,” she says in reference to capturing nature. “It’s the artist’s journey to ‘the crazy.’ Sometimes I just cannot stop,” she laughs. “I’m an addict.”
The last year has brought some breakthrough with a process Wahlrab has essentially invented through her own experience and experiments. “I’ve used the information I gained from my MFA in printmaking, my investigating with monoprints and my practice in layered watercolor on paper.” All this led to the discovery of painting watercolor on clay panels that can be varnished. This is uncharted territory. “Well, lets just say it could fit back it the crazy category,” says Wahlrab. Since she started this adventure about 5 years ago, every day has been a dance between materials and vision. “One day I am in love, the next – well, it’s time to take a walk.”
Fortunately, she has time and place for these walks. In addition, she relies on a yoga and meditation practice to keep her balanced, and family to keep her grounded. Then, of course, there is her sanctuary.
“Sanctuary“ represents one of those days, really months, of the pure bliss of connection. Every step I felt guided and clear,” says Wahlrab. Not only did this piece come together, the process just let go. “I was in a relationship with how paint describes how nature is our resource to recharge full lives.” This sensation has stayed with Susan with her work even on the challenging days. “I am able to just let go and allow the painting to come in its own time. The whole process has become my Sanctuary.”
Sanctuary is part of the Choice Art Show, and will be on display at Maine Art Shows, 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk, until June 30th. Please stop in any day between 11 am and 5 pm to see the show in its entirety. The show is also available to view online by clicking here; Choice Art Show.
If you are interested in reading more Susan Wahlrab and her work at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture click here. You may also visit her Artist Page to see our entire collection of Susan Wahlrab paintings.
William B. Hoyt is an artist. He has always been an artist. He works with his hands and with his eyes and with his heart. His medium may change from the paint and brush we know and love, to film or digital photography, or even to a hammer and wood as he built his home and studio in Vermont. He has been fortunate in his life to be able to find and create and reproduce the beauty in the world around him.
Hoyt is a wanderer and an adventurer. He has more stories to tell than most, and he remembers in details as vibrant as his canvases. It is rare to find him without a camera around his neck snapping these moments that just cannot be forgotten. An artist sees the world through different eyes, and Hoyt has trouble not stopping to capture each scene he may someday commit to paint. “Images are everywhere,” says Hoyt with a grin. As an outsider, it is difficult not to wonder if his need to stop and snap ever gets in the way. However, Hoyt laughs when asked about it. “It never gets in the way,” he says perplexed. “It is the way.”
And so it was the way when the idea for Sunset at Cuttyhunk was born. ” I took a number of photographs on a friend’s boat last summer at the island of Cuttyhunk.” Cuttyhunk is the westernmost island of the Elizabethan Islands that stretch from Woodshole, Massachusetts. “We were relaxing in the harbor as the sun set after a day of boating. Shouts of joy, excitement, and surprise came from young islanders jumping off the town pier into the refreshing salt water,” Hoyt remembers. “They stood as if mounted on the pilings. They struck me as being like Greek statues of idyllic youth.”
This one painting is a combination of many photographs from this trip. Hoyt takes the best details of each, combines and overlaps until they become one memory, one work of art. “When the sailboat actually did glide past this scene in front of the old coast guard station,” says Hoyt, “it certainly was a time to be remembered.”
Sunset at Cuttyhunk is part of the Choice Art Show and will be on display at Maine Art Shows at 10 Chase Hill in Kennebunk until June 30th. Please stop in any day from 11am – 5pm to see the show in its entirety starting Saturday, June 11th. The show is also available to view online by clicking here. Choice Art Show.click here.
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“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” – T.S. Elliot.
Craig Mooney has been exploring. Not in a sailboat. Not out on the sea. He has been exploring in his studio in Stowe, Vermont, and he has invited us to join him.
“Ironically, I’m not a seafarer. My knowledge is from reading and skirting the coastline,” says Mooney. As a kid, he lived on a dead end street in Manhattan that overlooked the East River. He watched huge freighters and barges pass by en route to some unknown location, with the help of tugboats in many cases. “My father took me to the piers on the west side, and we visited the huge ocean liners,” says Mooney. On a good day, he and his father were allowed to step on board. Sometimes it was only for an hour as passengers readied to disembark. “It was exciting to me, even if I wasn’t really a passenger. It stirred something in me.”
In part and in pieces these memories resurface in Trade Winds. Daydreams of what it is like out at sea and wishes of travels that may one day come. Craig Mooney is proof you don’t have to experience the open ocean first-hand to find that connection and fall in love.
“I didn’t want to create a cloyingly sweet vignette of a romantic sailing voyage, but in some cases, ironically, it is where I ended up,” says Mooney. On a deeper level, he connects with the quote above he shares from T.S. Elliot and arrives back at the beginning with new eyes. “When I started this series based around Trade Winds, I was unsure what my motivation was. I do know it was a journey for me. The immense power of the sea, the endless heavens above and the lone vessel carried me along.”
Commanding a room, this six foot by six foot piece has a life of its own. It fills a space with a blend of the luminescent light of the sun and the deep blue shadows of the ocean. It pulls the viewer in yet still leaves enough space to enjoy one’s own personal journey.
As beautiful as the images are on the website, this piece is worth a visit to Kennebunk. Trade Winds was Craig Mooney’s Artist’s Choice for the Choice Art Show and will be on display at Maine Art Shows at 10 Chase Hill in Kennebunk until June 30th. Please stop in any day from 11am – 5pm. The Choice Art Show is also available to view online by clicking here; Choice Art Show.
If you are interested in reading more about Craig Mooney and his work at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture on our blog, click here. You can also visit his Artist Page at www.maine-art.com to view our entire collection of Mooney work.
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