It was just a little over a year ago that local artist, Jill Matthews joined us here at Maine Art Hill in Kennebunk. Now she is not only celebrating that year anniversary but also the opening of her first solo show at The Gallery.
On Saturday, May 25 Matthews is featured on the first floor of our 14 Western Avenue gallery with all new works. Please join us in celebrating her and her work at the Artist Reception at 5:00 pm on Saturday.
When a beautiful local girl opens in a beautiful local gallery, the theme of the show is undeniable, beautiful and local.
“This time around I focused on themes I feel the most comfortable with,” says Matthews about her most recent body of work. “Maine landscapes, most of the ocean and marshes, appear and reappear.”
Matthews works mostly in oil and is known for her peaceful recreations of the seaside area. The difference for her this time around is her focus. The close examination of a moment when looking at a scene brings her to the heart and core of her subject. Natalie Lane, our Gallery Director, says, “Jill is exceptional at capturing the tone and color of our Maine coastal waters. Kennebunkport is her home, and she makes it personal.”
Whether you are a local or a visitor, spending time in this area produces an emotional connection and energy. Be it in a single wave or an entire span of beach, Matthews captures that connection, and it brings her work to life.
“No matter the place, or how many times I have been there, I continually find something that strikes me. Then it’s my job to reproduce it,” says Matthews. “The weather this winter was constantly changing. It seemed always to happen quickly, a break in a rainstorm or a dense foggy day. It was a challenge to portray these various points of time in this body of work.”
Matthews, like many artists, allows her real life to filter through her brush strokes. With this, she has begun to explore a new subject matter- people. It is still essential, even more so in her figurative work, that nothing is staged. If the moments are something ordinary, she finds the feeling hidden within.
“My favorite pieces are individuals playing in the surf. It is something I see all the time, but it still brings joy just by watching. It is that joy I always strive to capture in my work,” says Matthews. “I want each piece to trigger something. When seeing that something through my work, it should connect. Whether it be late evenings on the marsh or when the sun has that beautiful light after a perfect beach day. It’s the emotion I’m trying to capture.”
For Matthews, this is what her life is. She is continually exposed to these scenes and is always in these elements. Each time, however, is different and new.
“I am truly excited about this round of work. It is still very Jill Matthews-ish,” she explains. “There are many marshes and oceans, but I dig a little deeper. In a way, it is a record of my life, and I hope people can connect it within their own lives, as well.”
The Jill Matthews Solo Show opens at 10 am on Saturday, June 25 at The Gallery on Maine Art Hill on 14 Western Avenue. The public is welcome to the Artist Reception from 5 – 7 pm. The show itself runs until July 25. All galleries on Maine Art Hill are open every day at 10 am. FMI call 207-967-2803 or visit www.maine-art.com.