Less is So Much More – Artist Insights from Jill Matthews

“I want to show less so we can see more,” says artist Jill Matthews.

This is the perfect description for her new works for her summer show. 

“My paintings have always been a representation of how I interpret the world,” Matthews explains. “My pieces hint at an exaggeration of simplicity. The process is often a removal of unnecessary elements, leaving strength to what remains.”

 

Matthews has always had a calm and peacefulness about her paintings. However, her recent works have taken the feeling to a level where simplicity gives these emotions breath.

   

“This process and the “why” of how I approach my work has never become more apparent to me, especially given the current times,” says Matthews. 

Narrowing down what is essential, what can stand alone without distractions.

“When the extra fades into the distance, it allows something stronger to move forward into clarity,” she says. “Often, we have to quiet the noise to truly see.”

Jill’s new work is available at 10 Chase Hill Road at the Show Gallery. Sales begin on August 8 at 10 am. 

To learn more about Jill Matthews and her work, click the links below. 

2020 Summer Show with Ingunn Joergensen and Janis Sanders 

Available Works from Jill Matthews

Stories and Insights from Jill Matthews

First Lives – Artist Janis Sanders Growing Up

All of our artists have fascinating stories of growing up and what eventually leads them to the path they are on now. Artist Janis Sanders is no different. As a child growing up in Syracuse, he found pleasure and inspiration in every part of his world. Diversity makes a creative man, and for this artist, it certainly holds true.

A list of shared stories from Sanders…

As a boy, I built model cars and hotrods, detailed to the nth with paint and decals. Was it an art? Absolutely.

I played touch and tackle football with no pads but with a helmet. All the neighborhood kids joined in, sometimes including a brave one from the fairer sex. We played through all four seasons, including upstate New York blizzards. This build character if nothing else.

Once, with scrap wood slats and hand tools, I singlehandedly built a small boat that had a float time measured in seconds. Impressive, I know. Not the career path I chose, but certainly helped build a love of the craft. 

As a child, I had a friend, who now is a big TooDoo with NASA and a published author on aeronautics. Together we invested our hard-earned allowances in buying 8mm film and set up and shoot slow-motion reels of assorted scenes set up in the lawn in the backyard. The Artist and the Astronaut. We certainly needed nourishment after all that hard work. So, we’d hop on the bike and with a couple of other buds ride off to the local Carvel for a chocolate milkshake to keep the energy going. We did this twice daily for a summer or two. It was a great workout in the hills of Syracuse, and a great chance to take in the steamy bright summer days in the upstate. Did it fuel my artist heart? Undoubtedly.

Along the way, I’ve had stints with men’s a cappella, light opera, musical theater, and rock opera as a singer as well as a dancer. Yes, definitely fueled my artistic side.

For respite, however, even as a child, I would just lay back in the lush lawn and gaze up at the forms in the billowy clouds, pure white cotton set against endless blue summer sky. The sky’s the limit! In your imagination, in absorbing nature in its full summer bounty! 

Did I immerse myself in daily life? Did I live creatively? Yes. I still observe my lavish surroundings, and through osmosis, processing is set. To this day, my reverence for a place called home has not changed one iota. It may have even become stronger.

Take care of home. I have intended to express and implicitly convey the beauty of this cherished, precious, delicate place where I grew up, in the process, gently remind people to treat Her well and concomitantly treat ourselves well. You get what you give.

To see the end result of this driven and creative man visit Maine Art Hill anytime, but especially in the next few weeks for his summer show. From August 8 to September 3.  This show also features works from Ingunn Milla Joergensen and Jill Matthews.

CLICK THE LINKS BELOW TO LEARN MORE

Virtual  2020 Summer Show

Janis Sanders Complete Collection of Available Works

Janis Sanders -Stories and Insights

 

Barns – A Thank You for Ingunn Milla Joergensen

If artist Ingunn Milla Joergensen had a signature piece, it would be her barns. They represent the past, the future, the quiet and calm, the strong and stable. Each one viewed is seen with new eyes that hold a history unique to the viewer.

From my desk, I am privy to many a story or comment as customers view the original art during our show seasons at Shows on Maine Art Hill. These snippets only confirm how art is individually seen and understood. It seemed only fair, that I let you in on just one of those moments.

Below is a letter from the new owner of Quiet Barn.  In it, she expresses the symbolism and meaning Quiet Barn held for her.

Quiet Barn by Ingunn Milla Joergensen

A Letter of Thanks to Ingunn

For all time, the pieces of my life are gathered into your beautiful painting. When I saw it, I forgot I was holding my breath. I searched all of your other paintings, which I loved for many reasons, but still, I returned to The Quiet Barn. I did not know why or how it has paused all of my existence into a moment of joy. I stopped, allowing the feeling to wash over me. How can such simplicity gather a lifetime?

Then I noticed on the left, two trees. It made me think of my husband and me as a young couple. In the right foreground, I saw three trees. Suddenly I was falling into the magic of our family triad of father, mother, and daughter. Another fragment of joy, that took me into another sanctuary, a family. My eyes soon moved to the four trees. I saw my daughter, married, and her twins, a boy, and a girl. All this and I still have yet to even comprehend the barn.

I grew up in Ohio with disappearing farmland and memory barns. But Maine, or wherever The Quiet Barn stands, represents that which cannot be lost or destroyed. The snow is quiet and always understated. The barn belongs to eternity. 

Although Quiet Barn now has a new home, we still have a few other Joergensen Barns at the gallery. Please visit Ingunn’s Artist Page to see them, and don’t forget about her 2020 Summer Show, August 8 to 31. 

FOR MORE ABOUT INGUNN FOLLOW THE LINKS BELOW

Complete Collection of Available Works from Ingunn Milla Joergensen

Stories and Artist Insights from Ingunn

 2020 Summer Show – Joergensen, Sanders, and Matthews

 

 

 

Getting By With a Little Help from His Friends – Artist Insights from Janis Sanders

For artist, Janis Sanders, each painting is an individual journey, much like a musical score, in which one leads the other in tandem to completion. Some directions are more familiar, others open the doors wide to new latitudes and longitudes. You find both in this show. But where does the inspiration the drive, the desire come from? The Masters? Other creatives?

“It would have been great to paint with Monet,” shares Sanders. “In a very loose sense, I do. Every time I look at his work, especially Water Lilies, I roam through his layers and brushwork. I imagine his hand moving and making marks and wondering if we in sync.”

Sanders did have the honor and pleasure of meeting Wolf Kahn a few times in Vermont. Talk about inspiration.

“His colors are so bold, bright, forceful, honest, and direct, similar to the snippets of the personality I was able to engage with,” remembers Sanders.

 

When asked who else Sanders would love to share a studio with, even if only for a day…

“Caravaggio, solely for that Force of Nature. I’d also love to paint with Tony Bennett. I have made overtures, but I am still waiting for the telephone to ring,” Sanders laughs. “So that leaves Mick Jagger.”

To see the end result of this driven and creative man visit Maine Art Hill anytime, but especially in the next few weeks for his summer show. From August 8 to September 3.  This show also features works from Ingunn Milla Joergensen and Jill Matthews.  

CLICK THE LINKS BELOW TO LEARN MORE

Virtual  2020 Summer Show

Janis Sanders Complete Collection of Available Works

Janis Sanders -Stories and Insights

 

Pop-Up with markpizzaArt 2020

Featured Artist, Mark Pizza is the guest artist for Pop-Up beginning Tuesday, August 4 to August 10. Read on to learn more about his inspiration, his process, and his work.

August 4 to August 10

“Growing up in New England, I have always been drawn to the power of nature but after moving to New York City, the city lifestyle had an enormous impact on my creative process. Creating a visual that can capture energy in a fleeting moment is what I hope to communicate. My work is rooted in photography with a contemporary approach; I incorporate a digital overlay technique of layering multiple images that results in a collaged effect.  I produce my images by using various traditional and digital photographic processes which are then printed on materials such as metal, acrylic, canvas, watercolor paper, and textiles.”

“The work I create represents my life, my experiences, and my evolution as an artist over the years. My work incorporates visuals of both city and rural landscapes with personal touches applied throughout each scene. My inspiration is based on capturing moments in time which are interpreted with the use of color, texture, shapes, light, and motion. Each piece reflects an influential moment or feeling that has occurred during my life and I hope to inspire my viewers to engage with their own moment of reflection.”

Mark Pizza is an expert in combining multiple photographic memories to create multilayered, surrealistic experiences. Pizza aims to evoke multiple responses, questions, and emotions from his viewers; calling his process a digital overlay technique to create a collage effect. Pizza’s final compositions range in size and are printed on a variety of materials, all dependent on the narrative and message of his work.

Pizza’s work is inspired by life events, as well as deep-rooted memories. Having lived in both rural and urban environments, Pizza translates his experiences into each piece which then represents an influential moment or feeling that occurred; his hope is to hold onto his memories, even as time passes, and to provoke his viewers to reflect on their lives, as well as further understand their sense of self.

For more info about markpizzaArt check out the following links: 

markpizzaart.com

Facebook

Instagram

A Conversation with Artist Dina Gardner

Dina Gardner has been in the Pop-Up Gallery as well as in our 2020 Choice Art Show. She has a fascinating story and has put together this video to share a piece of herself with the art community.

Below are several links to learn more about Gardner

 Dina Gardner – Videos of Stories and Insights.

Dina Gardner- THE BLOG – Artist Insights and Stories

For more info about Dina Gardner check out the following links: 

Website

Phone

Email

Facebook

Instagram

Pop-Up with Artist Dina Gardner

 

Featured Artist, Dina Gardner is the guest artist for Pop-Up beginning Tuesday, July 28 to August 3. Read on to learn more about her inspiration, her process, and her work.

July 28 to August 3

“Carpe Diem” 

“ I’ve always been fascinated by how artists, whether they are painters, musicians, writers, or anyone who uses their gift of creativity,  work through their creative process. I’m fascinated that the process of creating art is different for every artist, regardless of their medium. 

My process for painting with pastels looks like this:  I start by turning on some music.  My musical tastes are wide and varied and they set the mood for my day at the easel.  There is a lot of singing that happens while I paint (somewhat on key but that is debatable) and dancing too (not bad for a white girl.)  Once the music is on, I then select a photograph I’ve taken and then create a thumbnail sketch.  It is usually a very simple sketch, just enough to capture three to five large shapes that I see in the photo.    I take a lot of creative licenses here, often adding or deleting objects in the photograph.  Then I re-draw my sketch on my ‘canvas’ which is a  gritty piece of pastel paper.  Next,  I lay down my first layers of color with both hard and soft pastels and then paint over these layers with a paintbrush dipped in alcohol.  And yes, vodka, gin, or tequila do work in a pinch!  The alcohol sets the first layer in place and forms the ‘underpainting.’ Once this layer dries,  I lay down layer upon layer of color,  often letting the underpainting peeking through. Once in a while, there are happy accidents.  Sometimes there are tragic outcomes. But all the time I am grateful that I found this creative outlet at this stage of my life.  

My paintings reflect the things that I am drawn: to oceans and water, skies,  forests, marshes, and meadows.  I’m also inspired by my travels and I love cities and architecture. When I paint, from a photo reference or even when I paint plein air, I’m not painting what the subject looks like but rather I am painting what my response is to the subject. 

For me, the most fascinating ‘accident’ of painting is that I now see the world in an entirely new light…literally.  I see light and shadows like I never did before and I see color very differently.  I’m constantly asking myself how it is that I’ve never really noticed the shadows cast by a tree at 2:00 pm versus the shadows at 10:00 am.  And who knew there were so many shades of green in a meadow or a forest?     Now when I look at objects in nature, I look at them through a very different lens than before I started painting.  I am constantly asking myself  ‘if I were to paint this or that, what color would I use for the underpainting?’ or ‘how would I go about painting that bright spot of light behind that cloud?’  This newfound perspective has helped me to see everything around me in a totally new light (cheesy pun but true) and I now have a much deeper appreciation for colors, light, shadow, the way the sky reflects on the water, color harmony….all of which I work to express in my paintings.   

 

For more info about Dina Gardner check out the following links: 

Website

Phone

Email

Facebook

Instagram

Pop-Up with Artist Diane Beem

Featured Artist, Diane Beem is the guest artist for Pop-Up beginning Tuesday, July 21 to July 27. Read on to learn more about her inspiration, her process, and her work.

Modern Fauvist

The following exchange between professor and student marked a pivotal point in Diane Beem’s artistic journey. The class was Abstract Expressionist Painting with New York Abstract Expressionist, Pat Lipsky at Hartford Art School in 1992.

After walking around and silently taking in what we were working on in the studio, Pat walked by my easel and pronounced, “You’re a Fauve!” 

“….a …what?? …What does that mean?” the student, Diane Beem, stammered. 

“Let that be your homework then. Go look up the Fauves!” , Lipsky insisted.

After graduating from Franklin and Marshall College a few years earlier with a Major in German and a minor in Fine Art, Beem threw caution to the wind and decided to pursue her love of painting. She had landed in Connecticut by chance and chose this school by chance as well.

Having had a pretty traditional art education up until this point, Beem was not at all familiar with Abstract Expressionism. Like many who are not educated about it, she thought it might be an “easy, fun class”. Her experience was anything but easy. It turned out to be the most challenging, enriching and intellectually stimulating experiences of Diane Beem’s art journey. It also determined the trajectory her art career would take for decades to come.

It is well known that with Pat Lipsky, painting class is never  just a painting class. You were to become a student of Art History, Philosophy, Literature, Culture, along with all the esoteric phenomena that create an art movement. You were to paint, critique, read, study, write, speak, and breathe fine art. Exhaustive writing assignments, oral presentations, copious reading assignments, along with prodigious art production were expected. 

Although the academic part of Lipsky’s class was something that Beem relished and enjoyed, the actual art production was for the first time in her life, extremely difficult.  “I was in such uncharted territory trying to paint non-objectively. It was humbling, embarrassing, and at times excruciating – especially the critiques!” Says Beem of the experience. And although she  never fully clicked with the Abstract Expressionism for her personal artistic expression, she feels extremely fortunate to have had a teacher who was able to really see into the strengths of individual students and become their personal champion. “I couldn’t even spell Fauve……I was so embarrassed that I had to ask her to spell it so I could go to the library and look it up!”, admits Beem.

She was so intrigued that she went right after class and looked up the movement. Sitting on the library floor, with about a dozen art books open and splayed out all over the floor, an entire new world opened up to Beem, and she was hooked!

Diane Beem never remembers not making art. She always seemed to be working with her hands. As a small child she drew and painted with watercolors, stringing up clothes lines in her room on which to hang her paintings to dry. School was something to “get through”, so she could come home and do her “real work” of painting and drawing.

When she was around even or eight, she wanted to take a “real” drawing class. She begged her parents to find a “serious” class, not to be confused with a “kid art” class. To her good fortune, her parents obliged, and as luck would have it, their small town had an art institute, then named the Wyomissing Institute of Fine Arts, now known as the Yokum Institute for Arts Education, in West Lawn, PA. Taking this “real” art class along with adults was a complete thrill. Beem admits, “To this day I have no idea how my parents pulled that off, but I’m so grateful that they did!”

Diane Beem grew up in a very rural area of Pennsylvania, between Reading and Lancaster. At around age five, her family left the suburbs for a hilltop house surrounded by many acres of forest. Her father built a large tree house, and she and her brothers enjoyed endless hours playing in and exploring every inch of their new wilderness. She remembers also learning to love being alone in nature, and relishing the relationship to the natural world. Beem believes that it was these early formative times spent in the woods that helped form her ability to observe, and to enjoy the long hours of solitude so necessary for producing art. Today, the landscape, trees, and subjects related to nature feature strongly in her work.

Although Beem’s parents were not artistic, her maternal grandfather, her “Opa” was. One Christmas, she had been gifted a very detailed oil paint-by-number set depicting a scene in Venice. At the age of ten, the kit just stumped her. When her Opa visited and saw how she struggled to mix the colors and add them to their tiny pre-defined shapes, he said to her, in his heavy German accent, “Vee Vork on zis togesah…Ya!” And for the next few weeks, she watched in amazement as he not only mixed the colors, but took off on his own, creating an amazingly beautiful water scene depicting the canals, gondolas, and houses of Venice. “Every day was a new adventure watching him paint!” Beem says. “To me it was pure magic!”

Although Beem had many opportunities in school art classes, she found the school assignments restrictive, and not much of an outlet for free expression. She continued to take classes and the Art Institute, and found real encouragement there.    Diane Beem went to high school outside of Philadelphia, to Westtown School, and was very fortunate to have had wonderful art classes and teachers there who encouraged her very much. The school had a very strong art department, and the facilities provided lots of room for experimentation from print making to sculpture. Her art teachers encouraged her to move forward with more formal training.

During high school she became fascinated with another subject, the German language and culture. Her mother grew up in Berlin and came to the US after World War II. Not only was Diane Beem extremely curious about her German ancestry, she learned the language easily and became quickly fluent.  She began traveling to Germany every chance she got. Beem eventually majored in German, in at Franklin and Marshall College, but also kept up with art classes. Even while studying in Germany, she found time to take art and photography classes, and enjoyed seeking out art museums in the major cities.

After leaving Hartford Art School, Beem concentrated on spending as much time painting as possible. At this time she realized she was at a crossroads, and found it difficult to pursue more schooling. She really felt that she needed to retreat into the studio and just concentrate on trying to emulate her beloved Fauves, and see if anything could come of it. She worked temporary office jobs for a few months at a time, then would take off a few months to paint full time. This pattern continued until she and her husband started a family. In the solace of her studio, Beem began an intense study of the Fauves and how their paintings worked. She was fascinated with the composition, and how they seemed to flatten the picture plane using geometric chunks of space. Also, using what she had learned from Lipsky, who insisted she study Joseph Albers, she continued her in depth study of color relationships.

In her style today, you can see these elements drawn from both Abstract Expressionism and Fauvism. For example, she begins each piece with a colored ground, which sets the mood for the entire piece. This ground color is meant to be seen through the points of color that make up the complete image. That way it sets a mood or a feeling for the overall piece. Then it really becomes a puzzle of color relationships, as the individual points of color have not only relationship to each other and the whole composition, but the ground color as well. Beem keeps the goal of abstract expressionism, for the piece to be “synoptic”, or seen all at once without a central focal point. Beem  works hard to balance this with the fact that her works are subjective, so she must also have the goal that all her points of color will come together and elevate the subject matter to something new and inspiring.

During the next decade Beem continued to paint and hone her “Modern Fauvist” style. A breakthrough came one day in 2004 when she felt like everything she had learned from both Abstract Expressionism and Fauvism collided together in one piece. She had painted a canvas with a bright red “ground”, and the next day came in and painted in short strokes of saturated color, letting the ground show through, and being very cognizant of how these points of color related to both each other as well as the ground color, and having the goal of the entire piece being “synoptic”, taking from her Abstract Expressionist training, but at the same time delighting in her subjective themes of the landscape and other themes of nature.

While she was raising her four children, she began to market her work through direct mail and the internet. This worked very well for her and allowed her to work while being home with her children. Diane Beem has worked both independently and through galleries, and her work is currently in private collections throughout the United States.

For more info about Diana Beem check out the following links: 

Website

Email

Facebook

Instagram

 

 

A Coupling of Paint and Place – Margaret Gerding and William B. Hoyt

Making mental connections is our most crucial learning tool. The essence of human intelligence; to forge links; to go beyond the given; to see patterns, relationships, context. ~ Marilyn Ferguson.

Shows on Maine Art Hill in Kennebunk features a dynamic duo of talent and color, painters Margaret Gerding and William B. Hoyt. This show opens at 10 AM on Saturday, July 18, and runs until August 6. 

This summer, Hoyt and Gerding come together for three weeks. They may have separate bodies of work, but they share a place of inspiration and love for an area that holds not only beauty but memories.

“Both artists have strong ties to Maine, either having visited or lived here for years. They capture the true essence of the state,” says gallery owner, John Spain. “Hoyt celebrates the incredible precision of his paintbrush, where Gerding’s strokes are looser and less defined. Yet when the two come together to represent our state, magic happens in full color.”

Margaret Gerding, once only a childhood visitor of Maine, has called Cape Porpoise her home for quite some time now. Her canvases are filled with the landscapes of close to home, some easier to recognize than others.

“This show offers marsh, ocean, woods, and rocks. If you are familiar with the area, Timber Point is one of my favorite places for painting,” says Gerding. “It holds an emotional attachment for me. I vacationed in Maine as a child, and it was a rite of passage to be old enough to go to the island during low tide. Somehow being out on that island makes me feel like I’m standing on the edge of the land.”

William B. Hoyt has also stood on the edge of the land, and has sailed there as well. Hoyt’s work is an incredibly realistic representation of the same places as Gerding but captured in true Hoyt style, detailed and delightful.

Hoyt says, “There is a challenge and a joy in seeing something ineffably beautiful or moving and resolving to make a painting of it. The threads of the canvas, the sea, family, friends, and Maine have woven themselves inextricably into my psyche and my work.”

If you love Maine, all aspects of Maine, this is a show worth a visit.

 

To see the show virtually click this link

MARGARTET GERDING AND WILLIAM B. HOYT

Shows on Maine Art Hill is housed at 10 Chase Hill Road .

Open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM. FMI maine-art.com or 967-0049.

 

To read more about each artist and see their entire collection of work, click links below.

Margaret Gerding – Our Available Collection of Works

William B. Hoyt – Our Available Collection of Works

Margret Gerding – Stories and Insights

William B. Hoyt – Stories and Insights

The View of an Artist – Plein Air with Margaret Gerding

It is a rare treat to watch an artist paint. Many prefer not to be seen, and to hide in their favorite spots out of sight. Wether it is outside painting plein air or in their studio privacy is important.

In these lovely real view vs. artist view images, we get a special inside peek into the world of artist Margaret Gerding. All of these pieces were created for her show, here on Maine Art Hill. This show runs until August 6. See the links below for more information.

Close to Home Day 8 (8×8)

Close to Home Day 9 (8×8)

Close to Home Day 17 (8×8)

Close to Home Day 20 (8×8)

Close to Home Day 21 (8×8)

Close to Home Day 22 (8×8)

Close to Home Day 24 (8×8)

Close to Home Day 30 (8×8)

Granite Point II (16×16)

 

 

We are open every day from 10-5 at 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk.

This show runs from July 18 – August 6.

LINKS

READ MORE ABOUT THE 30-CHALLEGE

VIRTUAL TOUR OF MARGARET GERDING AND WILLIAM B. HOYT SUMMER SHOW 2020

A COMPLETE COLLECTION OF MARGARET GERDING’S AVAILABLE WORKS

A COLLECTIONS OF ARTIST INSIGHTS AND STORIES FROM MARGARET GERDING