Marsh Glow and Others – Janis Sanders, Artist Choice.

“Each one of the paintings is my favorite of this bunch. Each for its own different reasons,” says Janis Sanders one of the thirteen featured artists in the 8th Annual Choice Art Show at Maine Art Hill. “I aimed for a broad spectrum of method, and the result was this new body of work.”

Sail by Janis Sanders

In one direction, the loose abstraction of  Sail allowed and demanded flowing expression in reality, and as a symbol of a bright care-free summer day at the beach. Yet, Bay Fish Shacks challenged Sanders’s perceptual and paint application aptitudes with ever so subtle late daylight, and the subsequent feather touches nuanced painting of this scene.

Bay Shoreline by Janis SandersBay Fish Shacks by Janis SandersBay Lupines by Janis Sanders

Bay Shoreline is a close cousin of Bay Fish Shacks, but with a gentle restrained yet energetic application of paint to indicate a bright light summer day at the ocean,” shares Sanders. “Bay Lupines, as it developed in front of me, evolved to have something of a loosely guided life of its own. It happily and not quite intentionally spills beyond the edge of the painting itself, leading to a sense of vast space, though painted on a fairly small format.”

Then there is Marsh Glow, the Artist Choice piece for Sanders. He and his wife Vizma were roaming around the North Shore one Sunday afternoon last fall, following the road never traveled. After rounding a curve in the road, Marsh Glow’s inspiration was seen.

Marsh Glow by Janis Sanders

“This beautiful house and scene with warm enveloping light smiled at us from across the tidal river. The little nook at the ocean’s edge felt like I had just walked back in time,” shares Sanders.”That beautiful moment then translated into River Shore, which is the house in Marsh Glow.”

Marsh Glow presented Sanders with the broadest range of challenges of this collection of new paintings, all of which he relished. There is an array of texture, color, and form in the trees that is both interesting and demanding to portray in an engaging, attractive, compelling way on this large scale.

“The varied textures, shadows, and colors of both the grass and bending river areas are a challenge to keep the paint fresh, varied and unified all at once, requiring assorted direction and application of the paint,” explains Sanders. “And last but certainly not least, and the thing that drew me to this scene this time, is the entirely placid low tide waters in the river, then the still reflection.”

Sanders has three works at Shows on Maine Art Hill for the 8th Annual Choice Art Show.  The Choice Show can be seen every day from 10 am to 5 pm at the 10 Chase Hill Road address, as well as online at The 8th Annual Choice Art Show.

To learn more about this artist follow the links below

William B. Hoyt’s Artist Insights and Stories

William B. Hoyt’s Complete Collection at Maine Art Hill


Distant Dune – Charles Bluett, Artist Choice

This year Charles Bluett’s submissions for the 8th Annual Choice Art Show are focused on the great outdoors and the ethereal and barometric elements that go to make up this great gift we all live in and share.

“At a time when the planet we live in is under the spotlight, I respect its resilience and ability to transform in so many ways,” says Bluett. “I never cease to wonder at its supreme beauty and the differing delicate environments.”

Bluett’s Artist Choice is Distant Dune, a painting capturing light and shadow and quiet in a world that seems to be so filled with noise of all kinds. It is places like this that bring Bluett the peace he needs to recharge his soul on a regular basis.

Distant Dune was inspired by the time after, what the old-timers refer to as, a proper winter. The winter of 2019 was definitely a ‘proper winter’,” says Bluett. “I painted this piece looking forward and the ability to return to soulful dunes, fescue grass and long walks along the beaches and varied shorelines.”

Bluett has captured the distant view to a grass-lined dune with an endless sky above and soft sands below. It is a view that is both specific and general. It is seen often and just for that one fleeting moment.

“As with all my works, I try to capture the barometric powers that are such a huge part of any outdoor environment. Although the works are not of any specific place, I want the viewer to instantly connect to the sense of having been there before,” says Bluett. “ I strive for an immediate feeling of a place in the memory of my viewers and of the joy being there brought.”

Bluett is fascinated by distance and what lies ahead, and he captures the perspective of that view within each work.

“I am blessed have these views, feeling the place, taking in the smells, the movement of the breezes, the patterns of the clouds and the sounds of the sea, or rhythms of the water ahead,” explains Bluett. “For the viewer, the place may be different but the feeling is the same.”

Charles Bluett has three works at Shows on Maine Art Hill for the 8th Annual Choice Art Show.  The Choice Show can be seen every day from 10 am to 5 pm at the 10 Chase Hill Road address, as well as online at  THE 8TH ANNUAL CHOICE ART SHOW

To learn more about this artist follow the links below

Charles Bluett ‘s Artist Insights and Stories

Charles Bluett ‘s Complete Collection at Maine Art Hill




I Want to Feel Pretty Again! – Rick Hamilton, Artist Choice

Rick Hamilton chose, I Want to Feel Pretty Again, for his Artist Choice piece. With an effort to focus on the variety of beauty represented not in art but people. Hamilton gives us a peek through an artist’s eyes and displays a beauty rarely seen in the mirror.

“This is a woman putting a flower in her hair in order to feel pretty again,” explains Hamilton. “What she doesn’t realize is the rest of the world can already see how beautiful she is.”

Self-esteem, as we age especially, can take a severe hit. Receiving the gift of our own beauty reflected back through paint, is an incredible one.

“I painted this piece to acknowledge how hard we are on ourselves. Maybe we are all similar in that way,” says Hamilton.  “It was a hard one to pick, but an important piece for me!”

Hamilton has three works at Shows on Maine Art Hill for the 8th Annual Choice Art Show.  The Choice Show can be seen every day from 10 am to 5 pm at the 10 Chase Hill Road address, as well as online at The 8th Annual Choice Art Show.

To learn more about this artist follow the links below

Rick Hamilton’s Artist Insights and Stories

Rick Hamilton’s Complete Collection at Maine Art Hill


Only Us, Maine – Jeffrey Fitzgerald, Artist Choice

“For decades, I look out from shore to rocky haven, with content I have climbed upon and also foraged for periwinkles, starfish and precious stones,” says Jeffrey Fitzgerald one of thirteen artists in the 8th Annual Choice Art Show.

Only Us, Maine by Jeffrey Fitzgerald

Only us, Maine is a painting about a specific rock formation and cove that for Fitzgerald is home. Each time he returns to this piece of work, he travels a different course, from the color that suggests objects to two hues that are so compatible that together they evoke emotion.

Fitzgerald, a part owner in Oarweed a restaurant in Perkins Cove in Ogunquit, spends a great deal of his day looking over the cove that houses large rocks and crashing waves. “This garden has brought me wonder, security and sustenance,” says Fitzgerald. “For decades, while working at the Oarweed, I have been blessed and charged by this giant. The worked hours at the restaurant aren’t averse, the actions and interactions there feed a painterly battery.”

Unassumingly, of course, Fitzgerald knows he has robbed from this grotto to create this piece of work. “I play to and off the surf, I use the tide and the sun. They round out my memory and being,” says Fitzgerald. “Only Us, Maine is about color and brushstroke on raw linen, it is illustration and expression. The act of painting, for me, is intentional at times, even strategic, but at others, it just happens or is a lucky break.”

Fitzgerald’s work often borders on the abstract. However, when the story of time and place, or even title are given, images surface and a landscape can be seen.

For Fitzgerald, this composition of brushstroke and pigment is an altar or bouquet. “I paint a totem of what my eye and senses catch, often for us, sometimes, for just me. At slack tide, this painting is building and construction as a panoply of ‘my Maine.’”

Jeffrey Fitzgerald has three works at Shows on Maine Art Hill for the 8th Annual Choice Art Show.  The Choice Show can be seen every day from 10 am to 5 pm at the 10 Chase Hill Road address, as well as online at The 8th Annual Choice Art Show.

To learn more about this artist follow the links below

Jeffrey Fitzgerald ‘s Artist Insights and Stories

Jeffrey Fitzgerald’s Complete Collection at Maine Art Hill

Dinghy – Alex Dunwoodie, Artist Choice

“I know I’ve found a subject that I want to paint when I’m stopped in my tracks.”

Whether it’s stopping to take in the impact of a sunset or to sit and study the interesting rocks that characterize areas of the New England shoreline. Dunwoodie enjoys the stillness in nature, the solitude, and the chance to explore and contemplate simply.

“My subject is often the water and beach stones. My eye travels over all of nature’s patterns similarly, stopping for a moment, but drawn away again over the surface,” shares Dunwoodie. “I find this especially with water, as its continually changing. A wave is only there for an instant.”

It is for these reasons, Dunwoodie chooses Dinghy as her Artist’s Choice.

“I love being close to the water’s surface. I love the bright white of noon sun on boats. My eye moves over the water, not stopping on any one area for very long,” explains Dunwoodie. “I want to spend time in that place and take in the details, remember them and take them with me.”

Alex Dunwoodie has become more and more detailed in her work. The realistic composition demands close inspection and attention to detail.

“When I ‘stopped,’ it is because I need to see something truly,” says Dunwoodie. “I spend time and enjoy quality — colors, light effects, textures.”

For her painting process, she always tries to have a camera at hand. Never knowing when she will see something that moves her. She quickly takes some photos that she refers to in the months-long process of completing an oil painting.

“It’s essential for me just to be still and take in as much as I can at the moment, to consciously study the colors, sensation, light, textures, and to enjoy what I’m seeing,” explains Dunwoodie when asked about using photography. “It’s the sensation I want my work to record, so I focus my energy there.”

Dunwoodie has three works at Shows on Maine Art Hill for the 8th Annual Choice Art Show.  The Choice Show can be seen every day from 10 am to 5 pm at the 10 Chase Hill Road address, as well as online at The 8th Annual Choice Art Show.

To learn more about this artist follow the links below

Alex Dunwoodie’s Artist Insights and Stories

Alex Dunwoodie’s Complete Collection at Maine Art Hill

Goat Island Lighthouse Reverie – John Lecours, Artist Choice

“This is the favorite of my new paintings for the Choice Show. All of my brushstrokes and mark making in this painting really pull at me. It just flew out of me intuitively,” says John LeCours one of thirteen artists in the 8th Annual Choice Art Show.

This is Lecours second Choice Art Show, and once again he was amazed. His landscapes have a mysterious and thought-provoking feel with views that are hard to resist. His love of local vantage points allows a look at familiar places but allows each a more ethereal appearance. Goat Island Lighthouse is the subject of many of LeCours pieces for the Choice Art Show and with good reason.

“Back in February I went to Cape Porpoise during a significant snowstorm,” shares LeCours. “I was there for the entire afternoon and absorbed as much as I could to see and feel the essence of the view towards Goat Island Lighthouse.”

Goat Island is often visited during the summer months but then forgotten when the snows come. LeCours explains perfectly, in paint, why this southern Maine landmark is a year-round beauty.

“I took many videos and well over fifty photographs. Cape Porpoise was quiet and peaceful, and I had the entire place to myself,” says LeCours. “I could sense the solitude, the tranquility, and peacefulness of this spot.”

Once home, LeCours spent time reading and studying the history of the island. When combined with the visit, Goat Island Lighthouse has been captured with skill, inspiration, and the love of a local.

John LeCours has three works at Shows on Maine Art Hill for the 8th Annual Choice Art Show.  The Choice Show can be seen every day from 10 am to 5 pm at the 10 Chase Hill Road address, as well as online at The 8th Annual Choice Art Show.

To learn more about this artist follow the links below

John LeCours’s Artist Insights and Stories

John LeCours’s Complete Collection at Maine Art Hill

Thirteen Artists. One Show. Their Choice.

Secrets of Summer - Bethany Harper Williams

Even though the Friday, June 7 opening will only be a preview, it will be the first time the 8th Annual Choice Art Show will be seen in its entirety.  As part of The Kennebunkport Festival, we love being able to give you the first peek during the Maine Art Hill Block Party, a fundraiser for Kennebunk High School Arts Scholarship. Know, however,  that the show opens officially Saturday, June 8 at 10 am.

Array - Ellen Granter Breakers and Waves - Kathy Ostrander Roberts

Many of the participating artists have long been a part of this fabulous opening show. Artists like Ellen Welsh Granter and William B. Hoyt set the bar high for what is expected at this one of kind show. They know this is their grand reveal for all their hard work this winter and can’t wait to showcase it with us.

Dinghy - Alex Dunwoodie

This year, we also have a few artists for whom it will be their first go at CHOICE.  Artists like Rick Hamilton and Kathy Ostrander Roberts, who are new to the gallery, have brought the best of their best and are sure to wow visitors to the gallery.

Banana Bread - William B. Hoyt Only Us, Maine - Jeffrey Fitzgerald Feeling the Sun - Liz Hoag

Strolling through the show, either physically or virtually, please note each piece has a label to let you know who made “the choice” to add it to the show. Designer’s Choice, People’s Choice, and of course, Artist’s Choice are all clearly marked.

Goat Island Lighthouse Reverie - John Lecours  Distant Dune - Charles Bluett

It is a rare occasion when we are able to stand next to an artist and have them share what they were thinking and feeling during the creation of a painting or sculpture. Luckily we have the inside track and all of our artists love to share their stories with us.

Marsh Glow - Janis Sanders

With that said, each artist has taken the time to put together a few words, insights, and sometimes whole stories about their “choice” piece and/or their body of work as a whole.  Often times this allows us to understand the work better or glimpse a detail that would have gone unnoticed.

I Want to Feel Pretty Again - Rick Hamilton Season of Solitude - Claire Bigbee Finding a Way Through - Elizabeth Ostrander

So enjoy, and welcome to the 8th Annual Choice Art Show.

To read what each artist had to say about their Artist Choice and in some cases, all of their Choice Show work, click each name below.

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


8th Annual Choice Art Show and Block Party 2019

Maine Art Hill opens the summer season with the 8th Annual Choice Art Show.  Like last year, we are offering a sneak peek into the show on Friday, June 7 during the Maine Art Hill Block Party. The show will officially open at 10 am on Saturday, June 8. Not only will you find many of this year’s Choice Show artists at the Block Party, but several will also be sticking around to welcome the first visitors to Shows the next morning.

This year we began with seventy-eight original works from thirteen artists; six pieces each.  Then, as most of you know, this is where the process began. Between the artists,  local designer Louise Hurlbutt from Hurlbutt Designs, and you the voters, the show was curated down to three pieces from each artist. These three works from each artist were carefully “chosen” to be featured in the show, and we so appreciate all the help we had making these difficult decisions. The three choices for each artist were just as arduous this year as in the past.

On Monday, June 3, we will announce the “People’s Choice” winners.

If you haven’t already, we suggest you go to and buy your tickets for our Block Party to be one of the first to see these selections in person. Remember this is a ticketed event. The site will give you all the details.


On Saturday, June 8, the 8th Annual Choice Art Show opens at Shows at Maine Art Hill on 10 Chase Hill in Kennebunk.   Will your favorite piece make it to the walls of the gallery?  Come in and find out. The show is open for three weeks, closing 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 visit The Gallery at 14 Western Ave. All the works are far too beautiful not to be showcased somewhere at Maine Art Hill.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

**To see the People’s Choice winners. CLICK HERE

To read more about the Artist Choices and insights into each artists’ submissions for this show, click each name below.

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

To see our entire collection from each artist click 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



Pop-Up Heather Blanton

Featured Artist, Heather Blanton is the guest artist for Pop-Up beginning Tuesday, May 28 to Monday, June 10. Read on to learn more about her inspiration, her process, and her work.

May 28 to June 10

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 pedaling 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!

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