Kevin Keiser – New to The Works at Maine Art Hill in Kennebunk

Kevin Keiser is a new artist for us here at Maine Art Hill. We are excited to be representing him and show off his ceramics year-round at The Works.

Keiser is experienced in many mediums all which seem to build and intertwine while supporting his natural skill and talent.

“My transition to ceramics from photography and graphic arts has allowed me to bring my skills of composition and design into the 3-dimensional medium of clay,” shares Keiser. “I’m fascinated by the way glazes interact with surface texture and other glazes. Each new piece pulled from the kiln is built upon an earlier idea and a piece I’ve completed.”

When Keiser walks the beaches of Maine, his eyes are drawn to organic and manmade materials that have been transformed by the sea. 

“The friction of waves wears down form and finish to reveal the hidden structure and burnished surfaces,” he explains. “My studio is crammed with bits and pieces of ceramic trials, failures and wins serving as jumping off points for new artistic expression.”

Many artists are often asked to pick favorites, to chose a piece or pieces of work that have a particular connection to their hearts. For Keiser, he always refers to a quote from photographer Imogen Cunningham, “Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.”

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 visit Kevin Keiser’s Artist Page and see his complete collection of work.

The Works at Maine Art Hill is open every day at 10 am. You can find us at 5 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk, Maine or visit us online at maine-art.com/studios/the-works/

The Pink Show – Real Men Wear Pink

Maine Art Hill is hosting  The Pink Show. This show will be held at the Pop-Up gallery space at Studios on Maine Art Hill starting October 11. You may view the show virtually starting October 1. Sales will start at 10 am on October 11.  The show will be open daily from 10 am to 5 pm.  To support the “Real Men Wear Pink” campaign, the gallery and the artists have partnered up to donate 20% of all sales from this show to the American Cancer Society.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE ENTIRE SHOW ONLINE (STARTING OCT. 1)

Real Men Wear Pink is an opportunity and an honor. Not only has cancer touched Spain’s world personally, but many of Maine Art Hill’s employees have fought with this disease, either personally or alongside family members.

Barefoot and Free by Bethany Harper Williams Pink Beach Chairs by Ellen Welsh Granter

“The fact that I am in a position to help focus awareness and offer support to our local community is overwhelming and impossible to resist,” says Spain. “This is everyone’s disease. Be it a survivor who continues to fight every day or someone who battled valiantly but lost the fight. My job in this is easy. My hope is to make the job of others that much easier.”

Pink Buoys by David Witbeck

The entire staff wholeheartedly supports the participation in this campaign. In addition, the gallery also represents several amazing artists who are breast cancer survivors.  They, along with many other artists, enthusiastically climbed on board to help with this cause that is so near and dear.

Gliding Light Over the Bay by Jill Valliere

It is such a privilege to be asked to participate in Real Men Wear Pink, and Spain is excited about being involved in this campaign. It offers him the opportunity not only to personally bring in awareness but to use his business to feature beautiful works art and use his huge network of clients and friends to raise awareness and money for this cause.  

Visit the Pop Up gallery space at Studios on Maine Art Hill beginning October 11. It will be open daily from 10 am to 5 pm.

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS

Rachel Altschuler

Claire Bigbee

Charles Bluett

Donna D’Aquino

Alex Dunwoodie

Margaret Gerding

Ellen Granter

Rick Hamilton

Liz Hoag

Julie Houck

William B. Hoyt

Ingunn Joergensen

John LeCours

Erika Manning

Karen McManus

David Peterson

Donald Rainville

Janis Sanders

Jill Valliere

Susan Wahlrab

Bethany Harper Williams

David Witbeck

Wade Zahares

Pop Up Artist Jeff Fioravanti

Featured Artist, Jeff Fioravanti is the guest artist for Pop Up beginning Tuesday, September 18 through Monday, September 24. Read on to learn more about his inspiration, his process, and his work.

September 18 to September 24

“Painting today, to preserve the past, for tomorrow!” This is my mission, it is my inspiration. It is what drives me to create pieces of tangible art. Art designed not just showcase the deep, physical beauty of our country, but art that tells the story of America itself, her people, their struggles, and triumphs. What I often call Painting the Soul of America.

When I stand or walk upon the great earth that is our nation, I am forever scanning the horizon, scanning how best to read and render the majestic landscape. From its’ swaying grass, sturdy trees, flowing rivers, translucent brooks and streams to how to catch the constant give and take between land and sea. The complex and the simplicity of color dancing across the countryside and the breathtaking vistas kissed and embraced by the sun are awe-inspiring unto themselves. Yet I find they become truly rich and magical, alive, when the extraordinary stories of our nation are intertwined with the natural beauty of these magnificent lands.

Though I work in other mediums, including oils and watercolor, it is pastels that are my medium of choice for the majority of my finished work. They are pure, immediate, and luminous, all important components in my interaction with and interpretation of the American landscape. They are durable and offer great flexibility, which I find, allows me the freedom to express and apply a wide range of techniques, necessary to capture the power and strength of the treasured lands, shores, and properties of our country.

Although many of my earlier pastels were created using Canson Mi-Teintes paper, today I find myself using more and more, the papers produced by Kitty Wallis. I often wash them with burnt sienna gouache or with an alcohol pastel wash. I am always looking for other substrates on which to create.

I tend to be blue-green sensitive. Toning or using toned papers that complement my senses really help to make the colors pop. I also find that the Wallis, Art Spectrum, UART and similar papers allow me a more natural feel to each composition. I use less blending of the pastels with my fingers, or other implements, which allows more of the pastels themselves to interact and blend with each other via multiple applied layers. I have also recently experimented with watercolor board and toned canvas, among other supports for my artwork.

My art, my focus, and my passion are my mission. Painting today to preserve the past for tomorrow. I am dedicated to giving a voice, a connection, a link, to those who no longer can speak, but whose spirit forever lives in the bosom of the plants, fields, and waters of our nation.

Fioravanti will be showing his work at Pop Up on Maine Art Hill at 5 Chase Hill Rd. in Kennebunk from September 18 to September 24. The gallery is open every day at 10 am. For more info about Jeff Fioravanti and his work, follow this link to his website. www.fioravantifineart.com

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Intuition Takes Over – Artist Insights from John LeCours

“I am an intuitive painter,” says artist John LeCours. “I have a lot of training, but at a certain point I need to put all that aside and grab what is around me and start making marks.”

After the Storm

LeCours joined Maine Art Hill last fall with a fabulously successful kick off show. Since then he has displayed his work at The Gallery at 14 Western Ave. Right now, we are excited to have him as one of three featured artists at Shows on Maine Art Hill, the gallery at 5 Chase Hill Road.

LeCours has a very distinctive style. Using oil paint and a graphite stick he creates one of a kind classic landscapes that are capturing attention daily. Of course with this new popularity comes the inevitable question, how does he do it?

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A few years ago, after a few months of prodding, LeCours caved and joined fellow artist Peggy Murray in a plein air session. It had taken Murray quite a bit of time to convince LeCours to change it up and come “paint outside.” She took him to Four Tree Island in Portsmouth which, by the way, is still one of his favorite places to paint.

Portsmouth Harbor, Four Tree Island View

“I admit to becoming a bit stale in the studio. I needed a change. I brought a 10×20 canvas with me and was throwing paint around, scratching with my palette knife, and using some pencil marks,” explains LeCours. “I don’t know what was getting into me. I don’t remember learning this. I believe I picked up bits and pieces from different teachers, but I was combining some weird things. I just said… ‘Why not?’”

At one point during this day, a man and his daughter stopped to talk and later inquired about purchasing the piece. This interest caused LeCours to take pause, especially once he returned to his studio and compared this work to others.

Piscataqua Buoy

“I had just finished this plein air sketch in an hour. Compared to my studio work that I had spent hours on, it just blew them away. There was no comparison,” says LeCours. “The plein air work had more energy, more vitality. It was more real than the studio work. Because it had come from a three-dimensional world and I was reacting to the elements, even the wind, it had more life. It had all fed into my creativity.”

To this day, for LeCours this is still the best way to paint. To be outside in the elements and to react. He lets those marks respond authentically. He still takes work back to the studio and adds layers, but often he finishes the entire piece outside.

Harbor Lights

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John LeCours is one of three artists with featured work at Shows on Maine Art Hill. This show runs through September 20. We are proud to represent LeCours and always have a collection of his work between all four of our gallery spaces.

Please stop by for a visit or see his work online by clicking this link. John LeCours – Artist Page

To read more from John LeCours click here – Artist Insights – John LeCours

Discovering the Landscape – Insights from Artist Ingunn Joergensen

Artist Ingunn Joergensen has a very distinct style and often a different subject matter. For her summer show at Maine Art Hill, she wanted to do something a little more.

“In this show, I have explored different landscapes, a subject matter I have not visited in a while,” says Joergensen.

With the new landscapes also come a pop of color of which even Mother Nature would approve. The peaceful and serene scapes hold swatches of purples and golds and blues that grab the eye and hold interest.

Homestead 2 Changing Seasons Homestead 1

“Color. It is truly is how I see many things, not so much in shapes or lines but in patches,” says Joergensen. “This may come as a surprise to many, as I am known for a somewhat neutral palette in my work.”

As someone who spends much of her time outside, landscapes were a natural choice. This spring and summer Joergensen spent many hours alongside the Kennebunk River observing the constant change of colors. 

Quiet by the River Kennebunk River Sketch 2

“I watched how deep indigo turns into a rich turquoise or the brightest of blue fades into a soft purple,” she says. “I have so many favorite spots right here in my immediate surroundings, whether it is the woods, rivers, marshes or by the ocean, it is here.”

Even though Joergensen does not strive to recreate the landscape in a photo correct way, she certainly captures it. 

“Instead of photorealism, I rather focus on the emotion the landscape brings out, the transparency or translucency of it,” she says. “I try to recreate my impressions in a simple, and hopefully to the viewer, peaceful and contemplative way.”   

For those of you who love Joergensen’s Barn Series, have no fear. In the show, there are several small works from her Barn Series. There are also a few more significant pieces in other galleries on Maine Art Hill. 

Belonging 1 Belonging 3 Belonging 4 Belonging 5

“I could not entirely let go of my passion for barns in this show,” shares Joergensen. “To me, they are more of a shelter or a homestead safely rooted or grounded. A sense of belonging to something deeper.”

To Read More 

Artist Insights – Ingunn Joergensen

Come to Kennebunk and visit Maine Art Hill. Many of our galleries are open year round, and Joergensen’s work can always be found at our main gallery. Her 2018 Summer Show will run through September 20 at Shows on Maine Art Hill, 10 Chase Hill Rd. Kennebunk. Open every day 10-5.

An Artist’s Retreat – Notes from Claire Bigbee

Every artist needs time away. Time away from their studio. Time away from their usual places. Time away from life. For artist Claire Bigbee, that time elsewhere was spent early this summer near a small state park on the coast of Maine.

Airy Blue Skies at Casco Bay

“I decided to rent a cabin at Wolfe’s Neck Center near Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park in June to work on my September show. I booked their senior cabin and off I went,” shares Bigbee. “I invited my friend and artist Ingunn Joergensen, and we escaped to a slice of heaven for a while.”

Pastoral views have been a theme in Bigbee’s landscape painting since she lived in Taos, New Mexico thirty-two years ago. The cow farm she lived next to was an inspiration. She observed them daily and often into the evenings. It was then her cow passion started.

Buttercup Pastures at Wolf's Neck Farm #1

 

“When I first drove into the state park camping grounds, the back-way by mistake, of course, I stopped the truck and was struck with the view. It was the same view I had been imagining,” says Bigbee. “I spent an hour watching the cows pasture up through the buttercups fields.  From a long way off to the fence, they came to greet me, just as Ingunn came rolling. Our favorite of the herd was Alice.” 

Around the turn of the century Perkins Cove in Ogunquit, where Bigbee grew up, was settled with fishing boats and farmlands along the sandy, rocky coast. Cows grazing along a backdrop of sky and ocean was a familiar sight. Now at Wolf’s Neck Woods State Park the organic farming and gorgeous views with rolling pastures of sheep and cows still have Casco Bay in the background. This scene is just what Bigbee loves to paint.

Buttercup Fields, A Quiet Escape by Casco Bay

“The one cow in the foreground of Buttercup Fields, A Quiet Escape by Casco Bay is the cow Ingunn patted. Her name is Alice,” shares Bigbee. “These creatures are so well connected to us.”

Artist Claire Bigbee

Presently, Bigbee’s show is at Shows on Maine Art Hill in Kennebunk with Ingunn Joergensen and John LeCours.The gallery at 10 Chase Hill is open seasonally but will feature Bigbee’s works until September 20. After which, her work can be seen at 14 Western Avenue in Kennebunk at the main gallery.  All galleries open at 10 am. Please check the website for seasonal closing times.

Click here to see the virtual show

Click here to read more about Bigbee

Lucie Boucher and Bernie Huebner – Artists at The Works

Bernie Huebner and Lucie Boucher are not only partners in business but partners in life.  We want to welcome them to The Works on Maine Art Hill and share a bit of their story with you.
From Bernie…
“I don’t recall just which year it was, though it must have been around 2006. We decided to turn professional and try to make a living as glass artists.  I do know it was winter because Lucie and I had to bundle up to drive to Solon. We were out to visit our friends Roy Slamm and Lihua Lei, a good cabinetmaker and a performance artist, who are friends of ours.  Lucie had been experimenting with glass, trying to see what she could do with light passing through edge-on.
I had used a skill saw to cut several grooves in an old two-by-four to help the pieces of glass stand up. I remember coming into Roy and Lihua’s kitchen clumsily carrying six feet of two-by-four and these fragments of glass. I stomped the snow off my boots and set the wood down on their washing machine.  By luck, Roy had clamped a large utility light onto the refrigerator next to the washing machine so that its light faced backward, reflecting off the wall behind.
All four of us, each a visual artist of one kind or another, saw “it” at the same moment. The potential of glass to be lit from behind by reflection while sitting upright in a wood base. Abstracts, representationals, portraits, manipulables, different colors overlapping and creating secondary and tertiary colors, shapes and negative spaces combining to make new shapes and spaces.
As they say, you could have heard a pin drop.  The rest, and dozens of designs later, is–as they also say–history.”
These two amazing artists share their creations at The Works, a new Maine Art Hill gallery at Studios on Maine Art Hill in Kennebunk. We are thrilled to have them with us and look forward to representing them year-round at this unique and exciting new space.
Find us at 5 Chase Hill Road, Kennebunk Maine. The Works on Maine Art Hill is open every day at 10. Check our website for seasonal closing hours.

Pop Up Artist Rick Hamilton

Featured Artist, Rick Hamilton is the guest artist for Pop Up beginning Tuesday, Septemeber 4  through Monday, Septemeber 17.  (YES THAT IS TWO WEEKS) Read on to learn more about his inspiration, his process, and his work.

This is not only Rick Hamilton’s two weeks at Pop Up but also his welcome to Maine Art Hill show.

After these two weeks, Rick will join The Gallery and show his work with us year round.

September 4 – 17

I was asked the other day about how I got started painting. I think it was 1999. I was living up on the Eastern Prom on Munjoy Hill in Portland Maine. There was a family in the apartment building below me that had a 10 yr old daughter. One day she had her paints out on the front lawn working. I started talking to her and she asked if I would like to try painting. I said sure and really liked it. I think within a week or so I bought my first watercolor paint kit. I just fell in love with painting. I started painting flowers. I have never taken any painting classes or sought out any training. I just think of what I want to paint and keep practicing till I get to a point I’m happy with. I started painting people at about 2012. It took a long time to get the hands and feet to a place I was happy with. Also, the eyes are hard for me. Oh and the hair. Damn, I guess every part is tricky for me. Necks were easy. I do love the way I represent people and that is part of the reason I do not want to take any classes or training. I don’t want to mess with my style. So this is some of how I got started.

My main motivation behind my work is making connections with people. I love to talk about my work and to hear how it may affect someone. I am a self-taught artist. I use wooden panels that I put together myself. When I am working on a piece I use multiple layers of paint. I use sanders, scrapers, and heat to create textures. I don’t paint from photographs or models. All of the images are from my head. I may be having a conversation with someone and hear a saying or sentence that inspires a painting. Or maybe I would hear a line in a song that puts an idea in my head.

Hamilton will be showing his work at Pop Up on Maine Art Hill at 5 Chase Hill Rd. in Kennebunk from September 4 through 17. The gallery is open every day at 10 am. For more info about Rick Hamilton and his work, follow this link to his website.   rickhamilton.art

   207-838-8375

 rickhamilton2003@yahoo.com

A Little Local Color – Bigbee, Joergensen and LeCours, A Three Artist Show

Capturing and celebrating the colors of Maine is one of the prime desires of a New England artist. It is both a skill and a talent artists Claire Bigbee, Ingunn Joergensen and John LeCours share.  

This talented trio is featured for three weeks at Shows on Maine Art Hill opening September 1. The artists will attend an opening reception at 10 Chase Hill on Saturday, September 1 from 5 – 7 PM.

When three artists together are grouped together, there needs to be a sense of cohesiveness, a thread that weaves through and connects. For this show, it is color.

Natalie Lane, the gallery’s director, says, “This upcoming show has three of Maine Art Hill’s newest artists. Even when painting different subjects these very talented artists have extraordinarily compatible color palettes. It seemed a very natural pairing of talent. This show is going to be stunning.”

For John LeCours, his soft, almost smokey palette is one of his trademarks. LeCours is an oil painter who paints in the tradition of JMW Turner and James Abbott MacNeil Whistler.

Nederzee Daydream #12

Artist John LeCours

“My central aim in painting is to create beautiful imagery. My creative process centers on a direct and intuitive response to nature and its elements.” LeCours explains. “I hope to evoke a response in the viewer to these experiences.”

Claire Bigbee feels much the same way. Even though she paints in both oil and acrylic, her colors and dreamy palette enhance what Mother Nature has created. There is a sense of energy. 

Serenity & Airy Skies at Casco Bay - Triptych by Claire Bigbee

Artist Claire Bigbee

“While the composition and light may attract me to a scene, it is the free use of color and expression that I love,” shares Bigbee.  “The sky is vast, and the pregnant clouds shadow the marsh and river. It is breathtaking and mysterious, and leaves me wordless.” 

For Bigbee, everything is interconnected and has a genuine feeling of oneness. Friend and artist Ingunn Joergensen often mentions that same connectedness with nature, her work, and her audience. 

Joergensen shares, “I still try to recreate my impressions in a simple, and hopefully to the viewer, peaceful and contemplative way. I do not strive to recreate the landscape in a photo correct way, but rather the emotions it brings out. The transparency or translucency of it.”

A Wider Horizon by Ingunn Joergensen

 

Artist Ingunn Joergensen

Joergensen is one of Kennebunkport’s own and another oil painter. She is well known for her barns and stark landscapes. They will undoubtedly have a part in this show, yet be prepared to embrace her color, as well. 

“I see many things just for their color. Not so much in shape or line but in patches of color. That may come as a surprise to many as I am known for a rather neutral palette in my work,” says Joergensen. “This spring and summer I spent many hours alongside the Kennebunk River just observing the constant change of colors, deep indigo turning into a rich turquoise or the brightest of blue fading into a mellow purple right before my eyes.”

No matter which style is favored, this show is sure to exhibit the dynamic color palette of Maine. 

The artists look forward to discussing their work and process at the opening, September 1. Shows on Maine Art Hill is at 10 Chase Hill Road. Open daily, 10 AM to 5 PM. FMI maine-art.com or 967-0049.

Click here to see the entire collection of work in this show as well as the virtual tour.

To see more work or read more about each artist, click the links below.

STORIES AND INSIGHTS

 Ingunn Joergensen 

 John LeCours 

Claire Bigbee

ARTIST PAGES

Ingunn Joergensen 

 John LeCours

Claire Bigbee

Pop Up Artist Donald Rainville

Featured Artist, Donald Rainville is the guest artist for Pop Up beginning Tuesday, August 28  through Monday, September 3. Read on to learn more about his inspiration, his process, and his work.

August 28 to September 3

While many children climb trees, as a young boy who grew up in Salem, Massachusetts in the 1960’s, I spent an inordinate amount of time in trees—little did I know the education I was giving myself at the time! Foregoing acceptance to art school at the Massachusetts College of Art, I parlayed my interest in the natural world by attending the Essex Institute of Agriculture in Hawthorne, Massachusetts, studying Forestry and Ornamental Horticulture. Upon graduation, I entered the world of high-end antique and art restoration. For twenty years, I was able to hone colorist skills and the ability to experiment with diverse materials; the consistent nature of such refined work is in direct contrast to how I approach my paintings.

Painting primarily on board with house oil paints, I employ action painting techniques. By utilizing house oils, there is less interruption between myself and the application of paint—I am able to achieve random and spontaneous effects and have more direct access to the fluidity of the medium; to “be literally ‘in’ the painting” to quote Jackson Pollock.  No brushes are used in my work, as brushes impede the ability to manipulate paint, and diminish the paint’s ability to dictate form—I work with torn shapes of lightweight cardboard, and at times, actual plant material to apply paint. The dynamic nature of the paint, in addition to utilizing organic materials, links me to the textural nature of real and imagined landscapes with a sense of place, volume, and depth. While my work most often starts with abstract intensity, eventually there is a concentrated focus on refinement. In truth, the last 10% of any painting—the final refinement—takes 90% of the time to complete.

Primarily, my work focuses on “treescapes” and the never-ending inspiration provided by Maine and New England forests—I liken my paintings as orchestrations of visual music, much like jazz which is different from more formalized concepts of music. My paintings are invented as they proceed, and as each portion of the composition comes forward on a moment by moment basis, the components are random and abstract, yet consciously orchestrated—the growth of a living forest works in much the same way.

I presently maintain my studio in Camden, Maine where I live year round with my wife Michele, our cat (“Kringle”) and a Welsh corgi (“Chauncey”).  We enjoy exploring the forests and coast of Maine, especially Acadia and Reid State Park in Georgetown. Time is also spent working on the restoration of our circa 1804 cape house, and conducting historical research of the house or on antiques we have purchased.

Rainville will be showing his work at Pop Up on Maine Art Hill at 5 Chase Hill Rd. in Kennebunk from August 28 to September 3. The gallery is open every day at 10 am. For more info about Rainville and his work, follow this link to his website. www.donaldrainville.com

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