Capturing Maine – A Jill Matthews Solo Show

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

Pop-Up Artist L.K. Sleat

Featured Artist, L. K. Sleat is the guest artist for Pop-Up beginning Tuesday, May 21 to Monday, May 27. Read on to learn more about her inspiration, her process, and her work.

May 21 to May 27

I have spent my entire life by the sea, whether it’s Kennebunk/port Maine, Provincetown Massachusetts, Cape May New Jersey, or the North Sea in the Netherlands. My happiest memories and moments are drawn from these times. The sea and its surroundings have become my muse. I typically work in gouache, oil pastel graphite and cut paper with a primarily bold and light palette as an abstract way of conveying feeling while leaving space for viewer interpretation.

My work is inspired by the great organic sculptures built by the elements – rain, water, wind, and fire. It also draws heavily from the natural shapes and forms we see in nature such as the shapes of river rocks worn down by waters gentle persistence, shadows cast by the moon, and the unpredictable movement of nature.


I work mostly on location and then move the works into my studio where I will work until completion. The scenes in coastal Maine have catapulted my vision to an abstraction of everyday imagery into whimsical scenes played out on the beach, in the dunes on the rocks, to sailing on Casco Bay, and many more, salt-water sanctuaries.

LK lives and paints in her studio on Goose Rocks beach with her labradoodle mix Sadie!


Let us know if you’re coming to L.K. Sleat’s show on Facebook!



LETS VOTE! 8th Annual Choice Show Voting

For the last few years, Maine Art Hill has opened their summer season with the Choice Art Show.  This year is no different. The 8th Annual Choice Art Show will officially open on  Saturday, June 8 at Shows on Maine Art Hill.  It, along with the Maine Art Hill Block Party, will help to culminate The Kennebunkport Festival.  However, we all know the Choice Art Show really begins on May 1st.

For those of you new to Choice, and a recap for the veterans, we begin with seventy-eight original works from thirteen artists; six pieces each.  It is then narrowed down to three pieces from each artist. These three are carefully “chosen” to be in the show. This is where it gets fun.  One piece, The Artist’s Choice, the artist chooses. One, The Designer’s Choice, is chosen by the designer, and local celeb, Louis Hurlbutt of Hurlbutt Design. chooses.  And then there is the third and final choice, The People’s Choice.

The People’s Choice is all up to you. By casting your vote for your favorite piece from each artist, you decide the last thirteen paintings that will be featured in this kickoff show.  Each and every artist represented in the show is one of the very best in the area. You can trust that no matter which piece you choose, many others will be in complete agreement.

All you need to do is click the link and let us know which one you like the best

BEGINNING MAY 1ST. Voting will be live until MAY 31ST.

Upon clicking, you will be directed to the 7th Annual Choice Art Show page. Here you begin voting.  Each screen shows the six paintings each artist has submitted.  All you have to do is tell us which one you love most by clicking it and then clicking  VOTE.  Once you decide, the site will show you what other voters liked and then move you forward to the next artist.

Watch for our Facebook, Instagram, website, and email updates on Sunday, June 1 for the announcement of the People’s Choice winners.

For those of you that just can’t wait to see this beautiful work in person, know that we will be opening a SNEAK PEEK of the show during the Maine Art Hill Block Party on Friday, June 7.  No sales will be possible on this day, but you can get a first look. Then on Saturday, June 8, at 10 o’clock sharp the 8th Annual Choice Art Show officially opens at Shows on Maine Art Hill at 10 Chase Hill Rd in Kennebunk.

As of this moment, no one knows exactly what the show will look like. Will your favorite make it to the walls of the gallery?  Come in and find out. The show is open until Thursday, June 27.  Remember – if you can’t find the piece you fell in love with, visit the Artist’s Page on our website or The Gallery at 14 Western Ave. All the works are far too beautiful not to showcase somewhere at Maine Art Hill, so they will be on display at one of our locations once the show opens.

The Maine Art Hill Block Party is a  Kennebunkport Festival event and is a ticketed event.  We welcome you to join us from 5-7 p.m. for an amazing street party full of art, music, food and the opportunity to meet the artists who created the work you voted on.

We look forward to seeing you soon and happy voting!

To see more work from each artist click their name below.

Claire Bigbee

Charles Bluett

Alex Dunwoodie

Jeffrey T. Fitzgerald

Ellen Welch Granter

Rick Hamilton

Liz Hoag

William B. Hoyt

John LeCours

Elizabeth Ostrander

Kathy Ostrander Roberts

Janis Sanders

Bethany Harper Williams

All of our artists share insights about themselves and their work. To read more about any of the CHoice Show artists you can click their name below to be forwarded to our blog and their stories.

The Artists: Claire Bigbee, Charles Bluett, Alex Dunwoodie, Jeffrey T. FitzgeraldEllen Welch Granter, Rick Hamilton, Liz Hoag, William B. Hoyt, John Lecours, Kathy Ostrander Roberts, Janis H. Sanders, Bethany Harper Williams, Elizabeth Ostrander

Please share this on your own social media by clicking the icons below.


Artist Christopher O’Connor

Ever since I was a child I wanted to be an artist. There was always something magical, alchemical about the process of conjuring up an image with the simplest of means. I loved how colors could be mixed and in the process create new colors. How brushes and pens could be wielded to create whole new worlds. How when you didn’t have the words to express yourself you had color and shape and light and shade. Drawing and painting seemed like the most natural thing in the world to do.

Coastal Waters No. 20

Over the years I have found myself drawn to a diverse range of artists and styles. I have played and experimented with many and in the process I have come to understand that the artworks that I am most captivated by all have similar qualities – a strong compositional sense, layered coloring, a vibrant surface quality, restrained intensity – add to these the dogged determination to work on a piece until it is finished and you have works of art that are enduring and endlessly engaging. It is with these considerations that I approach my practice of making paintings.

Coastal Waters No. 22

With my current body of work, my intention is to create works that elicit a quiet sense of balance and calm in the viewer. Pictorial compositions that contain a solid architectonic syntax have always made an impact on me. Through the use of vibrant coloring and rigorously constructed compositions, I strive to compose paintings that conjure up an immediate visual impact, one that slowly gives way to engage with the detail and structure implicit in each painting. It is through the surface quality of the paint and within the distilled composition of the painting that the intention of my work is revealed.

O’Connor will be showing his work at The Gallery on Maine Art Hill at 14 Western Ave. in Kennebunk. The gallery is open every day at 10 am. 

To see all available work from Chris O’Connor click below


Artist Wade Zahares

Maine Art Hill has been carrying Wade Zahares prints for the last year, so we are so excited to add him to our Pop Up schedule. What better time to feature this talented artist than during LAUNCH! (Yes, he created their amazing poster!) During the week of June 11 to June 17,  Pop Up on Maine Art Hill Studios is filling the walls with Zahares’s work, prints and new original works.

Remember we carry Zahares’s prints year-round at our Fine Art Prints at Studios on Maine Art Hill. Click here to see all of Wade’s available prints.

Both a fine artist and a children’s book illustrator, Wade has always loved to draw. But it wasn’t something that came easily. “In high school, I spent a lot of time in the art room,” he says. “Other students would just sit down and draw people or horses really beautifully. I would struggle to draw.” But Wade had passion, and the persistence to back it up. Recognizing this, his high school art teacher suggested he make a career of his art. The idea quickly took hold, and before Wade knew it, he was applying to art schools.

Since graduating from the Maryland Institute, College of Art in Baltimore, Wade has been a full-time, professional artist. He got his start doing corporate commissions; his captivating pastel paintings, sometimes as large as 3 1/2 by 6 feet, have been commissioned by Boston Duck Tours, Bank of America, McDonald’s, HBO, Cinemax, and Family Circle and Sesame Street magazines. His work is also in the permanent collection of the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts.

But it’s children’s books that really nudge Wade out of his artistic comfort zone. Before Wade did books, he preferred drawing landscapes, cityscapes, and buildings. His first book, Window Music, pushed him to paint people and animals. Critics liked the result. Both Time Magazine and The New York Times cited Window Music as among the best picture books of 1998. Since then, Wade has illustrated five additional picture books, each of which challenged him in different ways. He enjoys sharing his creative process, challenges and all, when he speaks and conducts workshops at galleries and schools.

Wade works exclusively in pastel; he is drawn to the intimacy of the chalk and the ease with which he can blend colors. The magic happens in his studio, a converted shed just off his main house. The studio, equipped with 15-foot ceilings and a house gutter to catch all the pastel dust, is set on 5 1/2 acres of farmland in Lyman, Maine, just a few miles from the Kennebunk farm on which he grew up. When Wade needs a break, he goes for a drive to soak up the New England landscape—his biggest inspiration—or tends to his flowers, gardens, and fruit trees. Then he returns to his studio, refreshed and ready to make more magic.

To learn more about Wade’s upcoming week at Pop Up on Maine Art Hill click here.

New Artists at Maine Art Hill for Summer 2019

Last year was full of growth and change as Maine Art Hill, the brand, and the new buildings took shape. The 2018 Summer Season was absolutely a crazy, fun and successful adventure. So now here comes the summer of 2019, and we are sure you are wondering what exactly can be expected up here on the hill.

First thing…. too much to put into one blog post, so we are going to split it up. Stay tuned.

This week we want to feature all the fabulous new artists that joined us since May of 2018. Our family has grown.

Rick Hamilton lives in Portland and joined us full-time mid-summer last year. His story is an interesting one and his work is like nothing else you have seen here on Maine Art Hill. This is one of the reasons we are so excited to have him with us.

The motivation behind his work is making connections with people. “I love to talk about my work and to hear how it may affect someone,” shares Hamilton.  “I am a self-taught artist and all of my images are from my head. I may be having a conversation with someone and hear a saying or sentence that inspires a painting. Sometimes, it is a line in a song that puts an idea in my head.”

Hamilton joins twelve other artists as part of our summer kick-off, The 8th Annual Choice Art Show.  This show begins June 8 and runs through June 27. (Stay tuned for more details coming soon!)

Click here to see more of Hamilton’s work.

Click here to read more about Hamilton’s story.


Julie Houck is another local artist who joined the gallery mid-summer last year. Starting with a week at Pop Up on Maine Art Hill, her work never left.

As a contemporary landscape painter working in oils and encaustics, Houck has a  desire to capture the essence of the landscape.  Her work evolves into compositions that dissolve into only the barest, most minimal components—the sky, horizon, and land.

“As an artist, I approach each painting believing that it is not enough to paint the literal view,” says Houck. “My goal is to also capture the essence of the landscape and hopefully connect you viscerally to that place and time.”

Beginning June 29, Margaret Gerding,  Ingunn  Milla Joergensen, and Jule Houck form a fabulous all-female trio at Shows on Maine Art Hill.  Their show will run for three weeks, closing on July 18.

Click here to see more of Houck’s work.

Click here to read more of Houck’s story.


Another new addition is showing his work in The Works on Maine Art Hill. Sculptor, Kevin Keiser came to the gallery in November as part of a show in the Pop Up Gallery that featured local sculptors. Like Houck, his work never left, it just moved next door.

For this artist, it is the trial and error of forms and glazes that are part of the fun, and part of the heartbreak, of seeking new results.

“I’m not looking for the perfect piece, I’m savoring the path of discovery with all its challenges,” says Keiser. “The ethos of my ceramics is communicated through the work, and I hope my work inspires people to explore their creative energies.”

Click here to see more of Keiser’s work

Click here to read more of Keiser’s story.


Lastly, we have Kathy Ostrander Roberts. Another local talent that found her way to us through the Pop-Up Gallery. A Kennebunk resident, we love having her so close to home and look forward to her coming summer work.

The ancient medium of encaustic is a unique and interesting process. She combines beeswax, powdered pigments, and dammar resin into her ocean-inspired paintings. “Through layering and sculpting of the medium, I create depth and intrigue. My hope is to spark memories and longings for Maine’s rugged shores in the hearts and eyes of the viewer,” says Roberts.

Claire Bigbee, Bethany Harper Williams, and Kathy Ostrander Roberts bring together another all female, all local show. Wow! We have so much talent in this little part of the world. This show begins on August 10 and runs through Labor Day, September 2.

Click here to see more of Roberts’s work.

Click here to read more of Roberts’s story.

You can now see why the upcoming 2019 Summer Season needs to be covered in more than one post.  Look for more news of summer coming soon.

In the meantime,  all of the galleries are open every day.  Come in an check out these new artists, as well as the familiar works of all your favorites. We open at 10. See you soon.





Save the Date – Summer of 2019 Schedule for Maine Art Hill

This year’s show schedule is set, and we couldn’t wait to share the excitement with all of you. We know how quickly summer calendars fill up, so be sure to pencil us in.


In 2019, we are thrilled to start the season with our 4th Annual Spring Show featuring artist Jill Matthews. Matthews can be found on the redesigned first floor of The Gallery on Maine Art Hill from May 25 through June 25.  Jill lives and paints right here in Kennebunkport surrounded by views that inspire the fabulous beach scenes and classic Maine ocean.  Her soft palette is perfect to kick off a lovely summer of art in the Kennebunks.

On June 8, Shows on Maine Art Hill opens for the summer with the 8th Annual Choice Art Show, the only show curated by you. This is our eighth year combining this show with the Kennebunkport Festival. Twelve Artists. Thirty-six works. We always love seeing your choices. Click here for information on which artists are participating. Remember voting begins in May!

Beginning June 29, Margaret Gerding,  Ingunn  Milla Joergensen, and Jule Houck form a fabulous all-female trio at Shows on Maine Art Hill.  Their show will run for three weeks, closing on July 18.  All three of these talented women live and paint locally. We truly enjoy filling Shows on Maine Art Hill with this work and are anxiously awaiting the arrival of this show.

On July 20, our show gallery at 10 Chase Hill will again host the much loved and respected work of artist Craig Mooney.  This solo show will feature all new work from Craig and many beautiful surprises that only Mooney can provide.  This show will run until August 8.

The second of our trio shows features Claire Bigbee, Bethany Harper Williams, and Kathy Ostrander Roberts. Another all female, all local show. Wow! We have so much talent in this little part of the world. This show begins on August 10 and runs through Labor Day, September 2.

Last, but certainly not least, our season wraps up back at The Gallery with an incredible finale of four artists, two painters, a sculptor, and a glass artist.  Richard Remson is a Maine artist who works with primarily glass, highlighting some pieces with copper and brass. Ellen Welsh Granter and David Witbeck,  both longtime favorites at Maine Art Hill will be joining Remson.  David Riley Peterson, a Maine sculptor who brings clay sculpture to a whole new maritime level will round out this quartet of talent and fill the first floor at 14 Western Ave for Labor Day Weekend starting Saturday, August 31.


So with all of that said, please keep us in mind while deciding on which weeks to visit us here in Kennebunk. Of course, we would love to have you with us all summer, but we know for some of you that’s not possible. We do our best to keep you up to date on all the goings-on, but there are a few things you can do to make sure you stay connected. Please add your name to our email list for reminders if you don’t get them already. We keep your information private and will not inundate your inbox. Also, follow us on social media Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest and of course keep an eye on our Calendar on our website.

The Gallery at 14 Western Ave and Studios at 5 Chase Hill Road are both open all year round.

Stories and Insights from each of these artists can be found on our blog.

Click the links below to read more.

Jill Matthews ~ Margaret Gerding ~ Ingunn Milla Joergensen ~ Julie Houck

Craig Mooney ~ Claire Bigbee ~ Bethany Harper Williams ~ Kathy Ostrander Roberts

Richard Remson ~ Ellen Welch Granter ~ David Witbeck ~ David Riley Peterson


2018 Show Schedule with Links to Artist Pages

Jill Matthews at Maine Art Gallery from 5/25 – 6/25

Choice Show at Maine Art Shows from 6/8 – 6/27

Margaret Gerding,  Ingunn  Milla Joergensen, and Jule Houck  at Maine Art Shows from 6/29 – 7/18

Craig Mooney at Maine Art Shows from 7/20 – 8/8

Claire Bigbee, Bethany Harper Williams, and Kathy Ostrander Roberts at Maine Art Shows from 8/10 – 9/2

Richard Remson, Ellen Granter, David Witbeck, and David Riley Peterson at Maine Art Gallery from 8/31 – 9/26

Pop-Up at Studios on Maine Art Hill in Kennebunk 2019


Studios on Maine Art Hill

5 Chase Hill Road Kennebunk, ME


Join us to celebrate the growth of Maine Art in The Kennebunks. The Pop-Up is one of six new galleries at Studios on Maine Art Hill, our brand new micro gallery space. Pop-Up features guest artists & artisans on a weekly rotating basis. To learn about each visiting artist or set of artists click their links below.

Pop-Up Artists 2019

LK Sleat 5/21- 5/27

Heather Blanton 5/30 – 6/10

LAUNCH! with Wade Zahares 6/11 – 6/17

Christina Thwaites 6/18 – 6 /24

Stephen Young 6/25 – 7/1

markpizzaArt 7/2 – 7/8

Stephen Young 7/9 – 7/15

Michael Goodwin 7/16 – 7/22

Lynn Ericson  7/23 – 7/29

Julia M. Doughty 7/30 – 8/5

Robin Swennes 8/6 – 8/12

Dina Gardner 8/13 – 8/19

Marcia Crumley 8/20 – 8/26

Christina Vincent 8/27 – 9/2

Dog Days with Gloria Najecki 9/7 – 9/23

Suzanne Anderson of Yikes Studio and Zeraph Dylan Moore of Grind Studio 9/24 – 9/30

Pop-Up Shows from Maine Art Hill 2019

Pop Up with The Pink Show – Real Men Wear Pink Benefit for American Cancer Society 10/1 – 10/31

PAINTING / SCULPTURE: A show series of unique pairings from Maine Art Hill

Pop-Up Artists for Prelude in the Kennebunks 2019

COMING SOON 12/3 – 12/9

COMING SOON 12/10- 12/16


Inquiring artists please contact Abby.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 207-204 -2042


Pop-Up Heather Blanton

Featured Artist, Heather Blanton is the guest artist for Pop-Up beginning Tuesday, May 28 to Monday, June 3. Read on to learn more about her inspiration, her process, and her work.

May 28 to June 3

Known for her graphite and acrylic works depicting the art of motion while celebrating competition and the human spirit, Heather Blanton is an American painter and photographer living and working in St. Augustine, Fla. Her latest series, “Sports,” depicts a wide range of subjects from golfers in mid-swing to cyclists peddling toward the finish line to hundreds of marathon runners racing to glory.

Born in Jacksonville, Fla. in 1973, Blanton studied art at the University of North Florida and The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. She spent three years living in New York City exploring hand-manipulated and distressed Polaroid SX-70 film images. As analog film teetered on the edge of extinction, Blanton turned to fine art painting as her next medium. Today, she has created hundreds of large and small sports paintings influenced by Abstract Expressionism and conflicted by a blend of animation and whimsy.


“My works are focused on the energy of the race,” Blanton explains of her “Sports” series. “They are easily distinguishable by compositional elements of color and form. By creating a dialogue between the viewer and the subject matter, this series is a cohesive collection of flat images with a chaotic, pattern-like style where the lines and negative spaces are almost as important as the subject matter.”

A professional artist since 2004, Blanton has successfully shown in nearly 50 exhibitions and her work can be found in public and private collections around the globe from Amsterdam and Atlanta to Manhattan and Miami. She has been featured in numerous publications and media outlets and continues to work as the conduit to capture her client’s passions of skiing, cycling, golfing, horse racing, and everything in between.


For more info about Blanton and her work, follow this link to her website.


Let us know if you’re coming to Heather Blanton’s show on Facebook!

Pop-Up with Christina Thwaites

Featured Artist, Christina Thwaites is the guest artist for Pop-Up beginning Tuesday, June 18 to Monday, June 24. Read on to learn more about her inspiration, her process, and her work.

June 18 to June 24

Christina Thwaites (1980) is a British painter, based in Orono, Maine, (USA). In 2014 she graduated from The University of Edinburgh (Scotland, UK) with an MA in French Literature & History of Art. Whilst living in Paris she attended the Ecole du Louvre and worked as an assistant to watercolorist Patrick Fouilhoux. Her painting skills developed in Italy where she attended La Porta Blu Art School in Rome. During 2010, she worked for some months in Amsterdam at Kanal 10 Guest studio and also in Walasiho, a remote village in Sulawesi, Indonesia.

In 2011 Christina was invited to Palestine to run art workshops and exhibit with Al-Mahatta Gallery during a residency period at Al Fara refugee camp. In 2011 Christina moved back to Italy and helped set up and run 33officinacreativa, an international artist in residency program in the medieval hill-top village of Toffia. Whilst living near Rome, Christina exhibited with private commercial galleries as well as showing work in public establishments including at Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome and the MACRO (Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome). In 2013 she moved to Canberra, Australia and was offered studio space at Australian National Capital Artists (ANCA.) She continued to exhibit in Europe with two solo shows in London and Rome, as well as a joint show with British Pop artist Peter Blake.

In Australia, she established herself with relative ease and had three solo shows in three different states. She moved to Maine in 2015 where she teaches and paints from her basement studio – when she is not chasing around after her two small children!

“My paintings address the familiar. Banal in subject matter, yet relevant. My work reflects the context and geographical location of where I reside at the time and, having moved and traveled a lot, my practice as an artist has been a means of grounding myself so as to feel part of and confident within each new setting.”

“I very much like old black and white photographs, and often work from them – usually sourced in library or museum collections. They provide a starting point for each work and before painting, I do multiple drawings from the photographs in order to ‘get inside’ the image and start my ‘conversation’ with it.”

“I am interested in the process and the transformation of the image from a documentary style photograph to a painting which recalls only elements of that original source. I want to present something clear and recognizable, yet without explaining or reasoning too much, in the hope that the viewer can also give meaning and emotional reflection. “

“The vibrant colors and shapes observed along the coast in Maine are spectacular and exciting and have provided the stimulus for this new body of work. “

To see more of her work visit her website 

 Let us know if you’re coming to Christina Thwaites’ show on Facebook!