A once ‘plein air only’ painter, Gerding’s oils embody the natural landscapes of coastal Maine. Her realistic interpretation of these unspoiled settings reflect a single moment in time. Her warm palette and textured brushwork, for which she is known, capture subtle changes of light and fleeting moments of color.
Gerding says, “Each piece is based on a real place, a moment I have experienced and been inspired by. There is something about being alone with nature—a quiet that connects me like no other. It is only this solitude, whether outside or in the studio, that allows the landscape to reveal itself to me.”
Plein air painting is how Margaret began, and it is still very much a part of her process. But with the birth of her daughter, the need for studio time became necessary and changes began. Now she has the best of both worlds. Her plein air painting keeps her work loose, while her studio time allows her to refine her art to a more finished state.
“My studio gives me more time to examine my work. It’s more intellectual, and the final pieces are polished. When I work en plein air, it is fast and intuitive and exploratory,” says Gerding. “Now, with both spaces as part of my process, I have the time to develop a piece and push my understanding of atmosphere and abstract simplifications in the landscape.”
In the recent months, it is not uncommon to find her along the Kennebunk Bridle Path sketching the marsh grasses or wetland waterways. With her recent move to Cape Porpoise, she is spending more and more time surrounded by the beauty of the area. “I no longer have to travel but am immersed daily in the area of my greatest inspiration. It is a place where nature provides a lifetime of exploration and study. I had the good fortune of vacationing here every summer as a child. I grew up wandering in the marshes, exploring the greenness and the vast skies. It was a puzzle to traverse the waterways, an escape,” says Gerding. “Now, it’s home.”
With her move, she was also looking for local representation. With galleries throughout CT and MA, including Boston , she still wanted something close to home. John Spain, owner of Maine Art says, “As with many artists, it was important to Margaret to find a local gallery. She was looking for an audience who has an understanding of her subject matter and her story. We are thrilled she found it with us. In a way, this isn’t a show opening, but more of a welcome to the neighborhood.”
Gerding, a graduate from UMass, Dartmouth, had her first major show at the age of twenty-five on Newbury Street in Boston. Her early success and continued hard work lead to her paintings being included in the book, 100 Artists of New England by E. Ashley Rooney and New England Paintings (14th ed.), published by The Open Press. Many private and corporate collections also contain her work, including L.L. Bean in Freeport, Maine Medical Center in Portland, Fidelity Investments in Boston and the Westin Hotel in Boston.
This show of new works opens Saturday, September 3 and continues through September 22. There will be an Artist’s Reception from 5 to 7 pm on opening night. Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture is located at 14 Western Ave and is open everyday from 10 AM to 6PM. The show can be viewed online beginning Wednesday, August 31 at www.maine-art.com/shows. FMI call 207-967-2803.
To see all of Margaret’s work visit her Artist Page. Margaret Gerding – Artist Page
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