Pop Up Artist Robin Swennes

Featured Artist, Robin Swennes is the guest artist for Pop Up beginning August 6 to August 12. Read on to learn more about her inspiration, her process, and her work.

AUGUST 6 to AUGUST 12

I am an artist who enjoys pushing color boundaries and expanding my work to include more than one style of painting and many different collections.  My non-abstract paintings ride the fence between realistic and impressionistic; my goal is not to recreate an exact, tight, photographic scene because I find that paintings are more relaxing to the eye.  

I hope to eventually do more abstract pieces, but am continually applying my creative energies towards other design avenues as well. I recently designed a house and some coordinating furniture for it. That 3D work put a heavy demand on my artist’s brain, but I felt strongly about creating a unique vision and somehow knew that I could do it. I believe that true Artists are born with some innate ability that can be expanded and put to use in a broad range of scenarios—whatever the chosen media. We Artists can’t help that we are attracted to color, shape or texture; it’s just a natural response that produces some sort of ‘tickle on the brain’ that we live to repeat as we seek new opportunities to create.

Swennes will be showing her work at Pop Up on Maine Art Hill at 5 Chase Hill Rd. in Kennebunk from August 6 to August 12. The gallery is open every day at 10 am. For more info about Swennes and her work, follow this link to her website. www.designchoc.com

Let us know if you’re coming to Robin Swennes’ show on Facebook!

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Pop Up Artist Dina Gardner

Featured Artist Dina Gardner is the guest artist for Pop Up beginning August 13 to August 19. Read on to learn more about her inspiration, her process, and her work.

AUGUST 13 to AUGUST 19

“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 license 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 peek 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 Gardner and her work, follow this link to her website.

dinagardner.com

Pop Up Artist Marcia Crumley

Featured Artist Marcia Crumley is the guest artist for Pop Up beginning August 20 to August 26. Read on to learn more about her inspiration, her process, and her work.

AUGUST 20 to AUGUST 26

The colors, patterns, and textures of the natural world are the source and subject of my art. My primary focus is on landscapes, driven by my lifelong love of being outdoors, no matter what the season. I never tire of Maine’s fast-moving weather or of watching the clouds and light dance across the sky, water, mountains, and woods. I spend a lot of time outside, sometimes painting en plein air, sometimes just observing or taking reference photos. When I put paint to canvas, I always feel free to rearrange objects and intensify or modify their colors and shapes to best capture the essential feeling of a particular moment.

My contemporary landscapes capture the spirit and mood of a place through lush colors and rich textures. They aren’t meant to be accurate illustrations. When I paint a scene, I freely change the light, color, and physical layout to heighten the mood. In the end, it all boils down to my love of color, and of nature, and the pure joy I get from sharing these twin loves in paint, pastels, or inks.

 

Many artists say they knew they wanted to be an artist at the age of three and spent their childhoods obsessively drawing and painting. Not me. As a child, I was a cross between a tomboy and a geek and loved math and science more than anything else.

I stumbled upon painting an adult, and it quickly became an all-consuming passion. I immersed myself in studio art classes at some of the best art schools around, including the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and Massachusetts College of Art. I entered juried national competitions and was accepted into several, which led me to more advanced study and exploration of new mediums.

  

In addition to national juried shows, my work has now been exhibited in group exhibitions in Boston landmarks including City Hall, International Place, the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, and the Prudential Center. Solo exhibitions include Imagination and Memory at the Landau Gallery in Belmont, MA; Sacred Spaces at the Acton, MA, Public Library; and Expressive Landscapes at the Harris A. Berman Diversity Gallery at Tufts Health Plan in Watertown, MA. I was named one of five “standout artist to keep an eye on” in Maine Home + Design’s September 2017 issue, was a featured artist in artmaine’s 2017 annual guide, and was named one of Maine’s most collectible artists in artmaine’s 2019 annual guide. My art is in homes across the U.S and Canada, as well as in Europe, Australia, and Saudi Arabia, and is also in several corporate art collections, including Boston Children’s Hospital, East Boston Community Health Center, and American Tower Corporation.

If you live in the Boston area and would like to see my work in person, my SoWa study is open from 5-9 p.m. on the first Friday of every month. I’m also open by appointment. Please stop by 450 Harrison Ave, studio 225, to say hello!

A large selection of my paintings is also on view in the Boston, MA, Natick, MA, and Concord, NH showrooms of Pompanoosuc Mills furniture. With New England roots, a focus on custom, handcrafted fine furniture, and a commitment to green manufacturing, Pompy is a perfect place to show my work. Stop by to see my paintings in their showrooms at 419 Boylston Street in Boston, Route 9 in Natick, and 100 N Main Street in Concord, NH.

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

marciacrumleyart.com

Let us know if you’re coming to Marcia Crumley’s show on Facebook!

Dog Days on Maine Art Hill with Artist Gloria Najecki

Featured Artist, Gloria Najecki is the guest artist for Pop Up

Septemeber 7 through September 23*

*Currently still accepting commissions for this well anticipated show. Contact [email protected] for more information .  

Read on to learn more about her inspiration, her process, and her work.

When I was a young girl, I brought my dog Muffin with me wherever I could, ran to her to soothe my emotional upsets, and confided in her all of my deepest secrets.  Never mind the cliché — she was my best friend.

To this day I remain in love with, and deeply connected to, dogs. Pooches, pups, mutts … call them what you will.  These creatures’ individual personalities, rich histories, and unquestioning devotion to their human companions, inspire and thrill me.

As an artist, I am fascinated by the incredible variety of canine characteristics.  Their differences in head shapes, body sizes, eyes, noses, jowls, ears, paws (not to mention facial expressions, temperament, and propensity for drooling) continually tickle and intrigue me.

I guess you could say I’ve been an artist pretty much from the time I could hold a pencil.  My full-time painting career, however, didn’t start until I shared my life with an incredible being named Trucker.  I do not have adequate space here to describe this brawny American Bulldog, but I submit the following:  strong and confident, all chiseled muscle and bone, my fearless protector and bodyguard, Colonel Bighead, dignified, gentlemanly, a man’s man among dogs.  Oh, to be fair, I will add incessant scrounge and avid chippie-chaser.  Trucker was always by my side, even at my very first solo art exhibit.  In 2007  my dear friend transitioned from this life leaving a permanent mark on my heart.

I currently share my life with a 100-pound American bulldog named Dozer and an incredibly supportive partner named Jim.  When I am not in my studio, you will find me out and about in NH usually with a camera strapped around my neck looking for fascinating subjects to paint.

 

Pop Up Artist Zeraph Dylan Moore

Featured Artist, Zeraph Dylan Moore is a returning guest artist for Pop Up beginning Tuesday, September 24 through Monday, September 30. Read on to learn more about his inspiration, his process, and his work.

September 24 to September 30

My artwork emulates industrial decay, archaeological artifacts, and processes of geologic change. As a child and teenager, I loved building things out of abandoned materials and exploring ruined houses and strange, forgotten places. I loved old things, deeply worn with texture and meaning.

In the past several years, I’ve become disabled with a chronic illness called CFS-ME. I no longer explore a lot of abandoned buildings and am mostly housebound. Much of my work is created in bed. For this reason, working at a small size – usually just 5” x 5” – is ideal.

My artwork has been represented in many private collections throughout Maine and the world since I was 16 years old.

Moore will be showing his work at Pop Up on Maine Art Hill at 5 Chase Hill Rd. in Kennebunk from June 12 to June 18. The gallery is open every day at 10 am. For more info about Moore and his work, follow this link to his website Grind Studio

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Pop Up Artist Suzanne Anderson

Featured Artist, Suzanne Anderson is back for the fall of 2019 as a guest artist for Pop Up beginning Tuesday, September 24 through Monday, September 30. Read on to learn more about her inspiration, her process, and her work.

  

SEPTEMBER 24 to SEPTEMBER 30

I work in a wooded lakeside studio in Maine. It’s the perfect place to become immersed in creative exploration.  In the incredible beauty of my surroundings, I find myself powerfully drawn to the landscape. In 2016 I began a series of drawings at a micro scale. Closely examining and recording with drawings and photographs the tiny colorful lichen and fungus that abound in the forest and field. These drawings have been used in my enamel work, in my textile design work and in a further series of drawings that incorporate natural elements and sometimes humanoid characters. This continuing series is undertaken with an underlining response to worries over human rights and environmental issues. My work is a continuance of study along the lines of developing a symbolic language of expression that walks the line between abstract form and recognizable, though unusual, elements.

The drawing process is often started on an iPad with a stylus.  After roughing out, my work is completed on a larger screen and finally printed in small editions on high quality, acid-free, Epson Velvet paper. I work back into the prints with hand embroidered line, wool roving and sometimes found objects. The use of the sewn line introduces the hand back into a digital drawing and hearkens back to traditional “women’s work”.

While centered around lichen, mosses, and fungus, this work also explores the inner and outer landscape through the abstraction of the natural forms.  The tiny little arrangements and the incredible variety of these lifeforms offer lovely surprises to the senses. The life cycle through to decay creates endless fascination. These observations come back to me in my studio not only through my 2d work but also through the medium of jewelry.  My jewelry work has a natural, casual, organic feeling. It relates to color and form to the tiny worlds of nature that I am so captivated by.

The beautiful vitreous (hot glass) enamel colors and edges promote a feeling of transition, a going back to nature, a beautiful decay. In my jewelry, I use a variety of enameling techniques in the creation of my pieces. Sgraffito, sifting, painting, graphite drawing, and gold leaf are a few of the techniques I employ in my enamel work. I use hand formed and forged sterling silver, copper, and brass in my chain and findings. Each piece is finished on the edges. The non-enameled metals are either left with a satin finish or have a patina applied and are sealed with a museum quality protective wax.

To see more of Suzanne Anderson’s work, visit her webpage www.suzanneanderson.me

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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 1. You may view the show virtually starting October 1. Sales will start at 10 am on October 1.  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.

“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.”

The entire staff wholeheartedly supports 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.

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 1. It will be open daily from 10 am to 5 pm.

Something Small for the Holidays

Even though Kennebunkport’s Christmas Prelude is all wrapped up, there are still many retailers here in the Kennebunks who are still celebrating this holiday season. Restaurants and shops throughout Kennebunk and Kennebunkport are open for business with fantastic sales and smaller crowds. We would love to see you before the new year strikes.

Tree Line I Tree Line II Tree Line III

In the past, there has been interest expressed in smaller works for the holidays, so that’s what we have done. Over the last few weeks, The Gallery at 14 Western Avenue has been rearranged to help you find just what you need. Much of the first floor is dedicated to “Small Works.”  Most pieces are 20” x 20” or smaller and have been grouped by artist. They are easy to find and offer a variety of styles and mediums to meet your tastes. Prices start at $100.

Rick Hamilton Minis $100 each

These may not be stocking stuffers by definition, but they certainly would be a pleasant surprise to anyone who finds one under their tree.

As always, we have our entire collection of works from all your favorite artists available. Many new pieces have arrived throughout the fall and certainly deserve a visit. The Works and The Printing and Framing, at Studios on Maine Art Hill, are also open, both with a variety of ideas for holiday gift giving.  Phos Art is also open most days with a wide range of pieces.

There is a great deal of parking available for all of our galleries so don’t hesitate to pull right in, especially if the weather is frigid.

For those of you who can’t get to Maine and need some assistance, please check out our website. It is updated daily with new work. We are available daily by phone, as well. 207-967-2803 for The Gallery and 207-204-2042 for Studios. Be sure to check the website for Winter Hours.

Happy Holidays to All!

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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 has 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/

 

Pottery at Pop Up on Maine Art Hill- Three Local Artists in November

A show of sculptural and functional ceramic works by three local Maine artists celebrating their work in clay takes place right here in Kennebunk.

Beginning November 9, Kevin Keiser, Brenden Roddy and Richard Winslow are featured in a three-artist show at Pop Up on Maine Art Hill located at 5 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk. An artist reception is planned for Saturday, November 17 from 5 to 7pm. Please stop by and chat with the artists and see their work in person.

Even though Kevin Keiser hails from Ohio, he began his love affair with Maine when he and his wife honeymooned in Kennebunkport forty years ago. They have been back every year since! 

“I summer in Moody, and we plan to make the move there full time in a year or two,” shares Keiser. “Many of the vessels I create are inspired by nature, and my beach walks in Maine. These sculptural pieces are not necessarily intended to be functional but can be.”

Keiser is represented by Maine Art Hill and his pieces can found at The Works Gallery year round.

Brendan Roddy, the second potter in this triad, teaches Fine Art at the Middle School of the Kennebunks as well as courses at River Tree Arts. He creates hand-built and wheel-thrown ceramic work.

“I am greatly inspired by all things water and ocean related. Being new to coastal Maine, I find the shape of shells, crashing of waves, flowing of water, and oceanic life both beautiful and organic,” says Roddy.  “I strive to interpret these forms and gestural lines in my ceramic sculptures and pottery.”

Roddy collects driftwood and other natural material from various locations and combines them with clay to create abstract landscapes influenced by each place and experience. 

“I enjoy working with texture and highlighting those textures with simple glazes and underglazes. When creating hand-built or wheel-thrown work, I find myself lost in the feel of clay,” Roddy says. “I love following flowing edges and contours and appreciate the raw nature of the material.”

Richard P. Winslow, our third potter, is an artist from Waterboro, Maine specializing in functional works. He uses earthy glazes and various textures. He is a member of the Society of Southern Maine Craftsmen.

“I primarily do most of my pottery working on the wheel and use multiple methods to add texture and design to many of my shapes,” says Winslow. “I have explored many firing and glazing options.  Currently, I mostly fire to cone 5/6 and consistently use glazes that have been certified as food safe.”

Winslow started pottery many years ago in his college years. The world of work distracted his art and pottery output for several years, but later he was able to get back to his arts and crafts interest. Now they are primary in his life.

“Currently, I both paint and do pottery. I belong to several arts and crafts associations as well as participate in numerous shows in the southern Maine area,” says Winslow.

The work of Kevin Keiser, Brendan Roddy and Richard Winslow can be found from November 9 to November 26 at the Pop Up on Maine Art Hill located at 5 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk. The gallery is open at 10 am six days a week (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.) An artist reception is being held Saturday, November 17 from 5 to 7pm. Please stop by and chat with the artists and see their work in person!