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.
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.”
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.