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.
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.
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.
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.