A Sculptor in a Painter’s Medium

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In 2009, Rebecca Kinkead moved from a little apartment in Boston to the wide open space of Vermont. Her now husband and partner, Jamey, convinced her to make the move and take six months to focus on painting. This is when her medium changed. This is when many things changed.

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“I was happy,” says Kinkead. “I had worked in acrylics for seven years. I didn’t have the open space or ventilation for oil. Once I moved to Vermont, this was no longer a problem.” It did take almost six years to get to know this new medium, but she will never go back. “Oil is just delicious to work with.”

Kinkead’s process is a bit different from classic oil painting. With the addition of chalk powder and linseed oil, she creates a concoction that she can seriously get her hands into.

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“The old masters would put chalk in their paint. It stabilizes the paint and gives it more luster, more body. When you have it in your medium it tightens everything,” says Kinkead.  “I use a soft wax paste called Dorland’s Wax Medium. I mix it with linseed oil and chalk powder. Its consistency is like soft frosting and mayonnaise. Then I mix in the color.”

This medium is flexible when dry, and gives her work its texture. However, it has only an 18-24 hour window to continue to be contributed to and manipulated. This may seem like a long time, but the use of the word “only” tells us that Rebecca feels differently. The sculptor in Kinkead emerges during this window.

Donna Speirs, a sales consultant at Maine Art, says, “There is so much joy and movement and energy in Rebecca Kinkead’s work. I have the overwhelming need to touch it.” This feeling is the end result of the process that Kinkead is famous for.

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“When I begin a painting, I often start with my fingers in the wax/paint mixture,” says Kinkead. She feels the form with her fingers. “The more familiar the form, like my dogs, the easier it flows. Working with my fingers allows me to find the form faster, easier, and more naturally.”

“I like to paint by feel. I am better able to search for the form on a larger canvas. I can really move the paint around and figure things out in a way that is much more difficult for me on a smaller canvas,” she says. “I want my work to have a physicality to it. It just feels better to me on a scale that is closer to life-size.”

With her change in medium came changes in her tools as well. “I constantly shop for tools. The kitchen store, the hardware store, the art store,” says Kinkead. “Floor squeegees, putty knives for plastering, palette knives, rubber wedges and more big window squeegees – its all fair game.”

Rebecca Kinkead’s work deserves to be seen in person. The texture and scale is difficult to capture in digital form.

Rebecca Kinkead

We welcome you to come in and see for yourself. Her show runs through August 11 at Maine Art Shows in Kennebunk. We are open from 11am to 5pm every day.

If you cant make it in, please peek at the complete show online at Rebecca Kinkead – Maine Art Shows.

Interested in more background on Rebecca and her work with Maine Art? Read Artist Insights – Rebecca Kinkead and Maine Art

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Behind the Painting – Custom Stretchers from Brickyard Enterprises

Ann & Mike

In the spirit of First Lives, we here at Maine Art are taking a bit of time to recognize a behind-the-scenes source that has just recently come to our attention. Brickyard Enterprises is located in Ferrisburgh, Vermont in the beautiful Champlain Valley. They are a small company run by Mike Poskas and his wife, Ann. They also live about a half-mile from Rebecca Kinkead. Mike and Rebecca’s husband, Jamey, hunt together. One day, during a rabbit hunt, Jamey tossed a very random idea his way.

“When Jamey asked about making stretchers for Rebecca’s canvases, Mike was all in,” says his wife, Ann. “Then he promptly came home, and together we researched what a stretcher was and how to make one!”

Four months later, the Poskas’ new three-car garage was transformed into a high-end woodworking shop, which they call “the barn.” That was now four years ago. Even though Mike is busy flying as a pilot for a commercial airline, the duo has kept the business going.  Orders were thriving and soon Ann left corporate America to focus on Brickyard. She doesn’t stop at the business end though. The couple splits the duties in the wood shop, as well.

“Mike does all the major cutting, but I put everything through the joiner. Then we work the table saw and the shapers for the profile together,” says Ann. “He does the precision cuts – that pilot’s attention to exact detail comes in handy. He also handles anything too dangerous for me to do alone.”

With five shapers, four are dedicated to the tongue and groove work. Ann handles four of them without issue. She also puts the smaller stretchers together. The larger pieces require a cross-bracing; this is where Mike is needed again.

“I stretch the canvases and do most of the delivery,” says Ann. “We have over forty artists, twenty of them are regulars. I deliver all over New England and we ship to as far away as Florida.”

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Everything at Brickyard Enterprises is custom ordered and made by hand with locally sourced basswood. They keep no inventory in stock and make each piece to the exact specifications of the artist, offering both stretchers and panels in a variety of sizes.

“We have never advertised. It has been word of mouth since we started and we are more than busy. It has always been a fun business and has come to be something we love to do,” says Ann.

Word of mouth is exactly what led a second one of our artists to Brickyard. Craig Mooney and Rebecca Kinkead have worked in galleries together for a few years.  When Rebecca committed to an exclusive deal with Brickyard, she immediately called Craig to let him know how fabulous their work was. It wasn’t long before Craig was on board, as well.

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Not only does Brickyard produce custom stretchers and panels, they have added fine art transportation to their list of services, and transport to all of New England. They have also begun stretching completed works for collectors and artists. It’s important to have high quality materials supporting the beautiful work that hangs on our walls and yours. Our artists take this part of their process very seriously, and it’s all the better when we can keep it local.

For more information on Brickyard Enterprises, visit their website and check them out on Facebook.

Brickyard Enterprises

Brickyard Enterprises Facebook Page

To see both Craig Mooney and Rebecca Kinkead’s work please visit our galleries in Kennebunk; Maine Art Shows, at 10 Chase Hill Road and Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, at 14 Western Avenue. You can also view our complete collections of their works on their Artist Pages and read more about them on our Blog by clicking the links below.

Rebecca Kinkead at Maine Art and Rebecca Kinkead an Inside Look

Craig Mooney at Maine Art and Craig Mooney an Inside Look

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Rebecca Kinkead Honored with Baer Art Center Residency

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Rebecca Kinkead has a very busy summer this year. Not only has she put together a fabulous show at Maine Art Shows in Kennebunk, she has been awarded a Baer Art Center Residency. This means she will be spending four glorious, uninterrupted, weeks of her summer painting in the land of the midnight sun.

Baer Art Center is located on a beautiful seaside farm in Northwestern Iceland, approximately a four-hour drive from the capital, Reykjavik. It sits on the east coast of Skagafjördur, a large fjord facing the Arctic Circle. Kinkead will have access to the ocean, a freshwater lake, extensive birdlife, outdoor activities and Icelandic farm life. The summer months at Baer offer the midnight sun and sublime light conditions during the long hours of daylight.

“We provide visual artists and architects with the opportunity to deepen and develop their creative spirit in a selective group of internationally diverse and professionally established individuals.  It offers it’s residents the unique experience of remoteness, seclusion and sublime nature within a modern society,” says the Baer Art Center.

The Baer Art Center Residency is quite the honor among artists and the art community. With only ten artists being selected each year, this was an invitation Kinkead could not refuse. As much as we missed not having her at the opening of her show, she is in the company of five other fabulous female artists from around the world: a sculptor, two painters, a photographer and an urban planner.

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We can’t wait to see the new work Rebecca produces during her weeks tucked away in this artist’s paradise. This is something many artists only dream about.

“I have been given the gift of time and space,” says Kinkead. “The two traveler pieces in the show are definitely about going to Iceland. I haven’t  left the country in twelve years, so I’m excited and also anxious.”

Rebecca Kinkead

To learn more about The Baer Art Center check out their website. http://www.baer.is

Remember, Kinkead’s one-woman show is open now at Maine Art Shows on 10 Chase Hill Rd. in Kennebunk. We are open from 11-5 everyday. To view the show on-line: Rebecca Kinkead at Maine Art Shows.

To read more about Rebecca Kinkead and her work with Maine Art, click here.

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Rebecca Kinkead Celebrates Youth – A Maine Art Show in Kennebunk

“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.” — Rachel Carson

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Rebecca Kinkead is one of those adults. She has held onto the child inside her. In her work she captures the exuberance children have for life; especially the little things, like cannonball splashes and skipping stones. These are favorite moments for children of all ages. These are Kinkead’s children.

“A few years back I received a Christmas card from a friend. Her daughter was on top of a mountain leaning into the wind. I remember that feeling, that freedom. It reminded me of trust – trusting one’s self and trusting one’s environment,” says Kinkead. “I think some of my best paintings have come from trusting my gut, letting go, and not thinking too much.”

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And so, Kinkead’s Stella in the Wind series was created by trusting her gut. The piece Stella in the Wind is one of many of Kinkead’s children in her show at Maine Art. This same childhood trust and freedom is found in her Starry Night series. Pieces like Traveler (Starry Night) and Wish (Starry Night) bring back summer memories of staying up late and making wishes. Not only do we remember these moments, we want to relive them with our own children.

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“I leave the faces of my children open and ambiguous. It’s up to the viewer to fill in the blanks,” says Kinkead. “For me, if I add facial features, they become someone else’s child, strangers. The ambiguity allows them to become yours.”

John Spain, owner of Maine Art, says, “There is a strange feeling of gratitude in Rebecca’s voice when she speaks about her work.” She is quite quiet and still a bit overwhelmed with her success. Her eyes light up when she looks around at what she has created. Being able to make someone happy with the stroke of a brush is a true gift.

“When I was young, there was only one time I remember considering what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was about six. I decided I wanted to be a masseuse or a craft-person,  something with my hands,” says Kinkead. “Then I spent the next two and a half decades of my life having no idea what I wanted to do. I didn’t find art until I was thirty.”

But even at thirty, that child was there, and lucky for us, still is.

Rebecca Kinkead

For all of you who have children in your world or still embrace your inner-child, we welcome you to come in and see Kinkead’s work in person. This one-woman show will run until August 11.  Maine Art Shows is open daily from 11am until 5pm.

See the entire show online at Rebecca Kinkead at Maine Art Shows. Also, read more about her and her work at Rebecca Kinkead: Artist Insights.

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Rebecca Kinkead – A One-Woman Show

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The nationally acclaimed paintings of Rebecca Kinkead have arrived in the Kennebunks. Her love of animals, children in motion and the outdoors is celebrated in this one-woman show at Maine Art Shows in Kennebunk. Whether you are a collector or viewing her work for the first time, this dynamic show is an intimate step into the heart of the artist.

“I want my work to welcome you in. It’s open. Art should be a portal for your own stories,” says Kinkead. “The most important thing for me is to be authentic. I tap into the direct link between my gut and the canvas.”

Kinkead has been painting professionally since 1999, finding increasing success in galleries across the United States.  Her work has no geographic constraints. She captures moments and memories for all.

“I paint energy or a feeling more than depicting something that is perfect. I need it to feel alive, but not necessarily look life-like or photographic,” says Kinkead. “I love slinging paint in a way that mimics the actual movement of wind or a wet dog shaking. Somehow the arm knows what to do. It can feel it better than the eyes sometimes.”

Her studio in Vermont is surrounded by foxes, owls and songbirds. She claims there is more nature than people. For over a decade, she tried painting wildlife, especially the owls, but struggled to do it in a way that felt authentic. Then she moved to New England. She has flowed with the give and take of nature for years, learning the language of these creatures. With this immersion comes the ability to capture them on canvas.

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“The wildlife is abundant. For me, it’s the moment I make eye contact with an animal. It’s exhilarating. I wonder if they see me as a threat, or if they know better. The connection with something wild, even if it is just for an instant, is so intimate.”

That same intimacy connects the artist with her not-so-wild animals. “We hike in the backyard and take our dogs for walks,” says Kinkead. Her dogs have quickly become her greatest muse. She has a Yellow Lab, a German Pointer, a Beagle and the possibility of a new puppy soon.

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“I have codependency issues with my dogs. I love them so much. They teach me how to live and how to be a better person. Our Beagle in particular could have a party all by herself with a ball of lint,” says Kinkead. “I want to be more like that; more in the moment, always finding the joy.”

This same joy is on her canvases that feature children. For Kinkead, they are the keepers of memories for us all. Whether wishing on stars or dandelions, there is magic. Her subjects emerge from the paint. The surface appears sculpted rather than painted. “I prefer slinging paint in a way that mimics the actual movement of the wave or a wet dog shaking. Somehow, the arm knows what to do… it can feel it better than the eyes sometimes,” she says.

John Spain, owner of Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, says, “I love the interaction of the medium with the surface of the canvas. There is an energy, a presence in her work. I can see a sculptor in everything she does.”

This is not a surprise considering her BA in Ceramic Arts. Once she received her first BA in Political Science from UVM and a Masters Degree in Experiential Learning at Minnesota State University, Mankato soon followed. During this time she found her love of ceramics, adding another degree.

“After I finished school, I moved to a small place in downtown Boston which I shared with another person. Large studio space was expensive, so I settled for a 4’ x 5’ corner of the apartment. Sadly, ceramics need space, and I no longer had any. In frustration, I turned to painting for a creative outflow. I could paint anywhere, and it was so immediate,” says Kinkead.

After ten years in Boston, and now seven in Vermont, Kinkead has found her space, and with it, her success. “It is such a compliment that people want to live with my work,” says Kinkead. “Every piece I sell allows me the time to paint and create and learn. It is a complete circle.”

Rebecca Kinkead

Rebecca Kinkead’s show opens at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 23rd at Maine Art Shows, 10 Chase Hill Road. There will be an opening reception that evening from 5-7 p.m. The show runs through Thursday, August 11, and is open daily from 11 am to 5 pm. FMI call 207-967-0049. Kinkead’s show can be viewed online beginning Wednesday, July 20th at noon: www.maine-art.com/shows.

To read more about Rebecca and her work with Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture click Maine Art and Rebecca Kinkead – Stories and Insights.

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Holly Ready on Gouache

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When browsing the Holly Ready show here at Maine Art Shows, you will notice a few pieces that are not like the others.  Unlike her large oil canvases, these sweet little pieces are set behind glass and contrasted with large white mats to enhance the color and tones of this distinctive style of art.

Gouache is a painting technique consisting of pigment, water and a binding agent. Even though gouache does have more opacity than watercolor, it still doesn’t sit on the top of the paper like acrylic.  It seeps in and stains the paper in a similar way to watercolor.

“When I paint with gouache I will often leave the lightest parts of the composition for the white of the paper,” says Ready. “Then I either warm up the white by using yellows, reds, oranges or cool it down using blues, greens, violets as the painting progresses.”

Ready’s intent with the gouache, as well as with the oils, is to make colors sing. She gives the painting a feeling of light by using different values; the lights and darks, chroma; the intensity of the color and temperatures; the cool and warm colors.

“I work my paintings into landscapes that transcend the feeling of light, regardless of the medium I am using to paint with. With gouache, I wipe away the color as I work to create a depth. This enhances the tones and gives them a jewel-like quality.”

When Ready switches between mediums, from acrylic to oil to watercolor to gouache, there is a bit of a remembering that has to happen. It takes some time to become reacquainted with the paint. How it moves. How it interacts. How it finishes. Each medium has it’s own personality, and she has to get to know it again, but enjoys the change and variety different mediums provide.

“Gouache is completely different. I still use warm and cool colors, but it is the layering that is so important,” says Ready. “I start with real intense color. Then I go over it with grays or reds to bring out different colors. I build it that way. Above the sunset there is a warmth to the sky. Often I put on yellow first and let it dry. Then can I add from there.”

Gouache remains “live,” unless it is fixed in some way. If more wet paint or even a wet brush is applied, it will activate the existing paint. The existing paint can then mix with the fresh paint. It is a challenge many artists won’t take on.

“For me, this is a nice change. It is a way for me to take a break from the oils I use most of the time,” says Ready. “These works are some of my favorites. I would buy these.”

We welcome you to come in and see this work in person. We are Maine Art Shows at 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk, Maine.  You will find us open from 11am – 5pm daily.  Holly’s one-woman show runs until Thursday, July 21. If you cannot make it to Kennebunk, please check out her show on-line by clicking this link.  Holly Ready at Maine Art.

Holly Ready

If you are interested in more blogs from Maine Art about Holly Ready, follow this link. Maine Art Blog – Holly Ready.

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Holly Ready on Following the Pathways

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Everything has a path; a way in which it travels in, around, between and through. Often, this path is very clear and defined. It leads from a beginning to an end. Yet true joy comes when the path is ever-changing. It fluctuates with light and time and space. These are the paths that provide the most challenge, but often the most reward.

Holly Ready’s path has been anything but clear and defined. She began art school in the middle of her life. She then moved her studio space from the fabulous city to beautifully rural. All the while she found the balance between work and family and passion. Her path has most definitely been one that is ever-changing.

“Twenty years ago, I was selling pretty paintings,” says Ready about her time before art school. “Then I experienced an awakening of sorts. Ed Douglas, the head of the painting at Maine College of Art, told me my work was pretty, but not impressive. Then he merely pointed out that I was binding my work with white versus color. Wow, such a simple thing. It was a turning point for me.”

Ready’s present work at Maine Art is exactly that – Wow. The light appears to escape from her canvas. Even when these works are not lit, there is a natural glow that emanates from a source she has created. Each have a real or figurative pathway that leads the viewer into and through the subject. Again, everything, even art, has a path.

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“There are so many pathways, but I often look at the light and how it travels. It’s on its own path,” says Ready.  “More often than naught, less is more. My goal is to energize the sky but still retain the peacefulness.”

And that she does.

Holly Ready’s one-woman show will be at Maine Art Shows until July 21st. We are open every day from 11am – 5pm. Please stop in and see this stunning work in person.  If you are not venturing into Kennebunkport this summer, take a peek at Holly Ready Online.

Holly Ready

To learn more about Holly Ready and Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture visit these pages on our website.

Holly Ready  and Maine Art – Artist Page

Holly Ready and Maine Art – Blog

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Holly Ready, Opens at Maine Art Shows

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Maine is famous for seascapes, skies and sunlight, and no visit to the coast is complete without them. This month, Maine artist Holly Ready and Maine Art Shows celebrates all three with an upcoming show at 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk. This one-woman show of Ready’s most recent work features the amazing skies of Maine. We open Saturday, July 2 and run through Thursday, July 21. We will kick off the show with Ready’s Artist Reception from 5pm – 7pm on Saturday, July 2.

Ready grew up in Massachusetts, but summered here in Maine. As so many do, she fell in love with the state, and it wasn’t long before she began calling it home. In the middle of raising her family, Ready decided to take her painting to a new level and began classes at Maine College of Art in Portland.

“I have always painted. I come from a long history of painters with a grandmother who fostered that growth with gifts of canvas and color,” says Ready. “My first painting was a seascape. I loved painting the water. There were times I made the canvas sing. The problem was I didn’t know how I made it sing. It was intuitive. It wasn’t until art school that I began to understand the process behind the magic.”

For Ready, art school was later in life, not a career. She only went part-time, but it was an escape. The early classes were sometimes frustrating for her; after all she was there to paint.

“I was a painter. I wanted to paint. By the time I declared my major, it all came together like a puzzle,” says Ready. “On top of classes and skilled professors, I had an incredible cohort. I learned so much from them.”

Ready is not new to Maine Art Shows. She has participated in multiple group shows over the years, the most recent being Maine. As They See It. last August. Each show has been a collection of works from a variety of artists in the area culminated around a particular theme.

John Spain, owner of Maine Art Shows, says, “I have admired Holly’s work for several years. I have happily included her in multiple shows. I have been trying to convince her for quite sometime to join us for a solo show.”  This year everything fell into place. “Finally,” he says, “the stars have aligned, or maybe in Holly’s case it’s the clouds?”

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Clouds are a strong feature in much of Ready’s work, as in After the Storm. The play of light and shadow in the sky grabs the viewer’s eye. She prefers working from warm to cool to produce the ‘sing’ she refers to often.  Composition is key, and she is very aware of her percentage of earth versus sky. After that, she claims the paint dictates and the color happens. With her landscapes and seascapes, the colors flow beautifully and her skies certainly do sing.

“It’s all about the feeling. It’s a serenity. It changes, but each of them has a peace,” says Ready referring to her collection for July’s show.  “I like when art doesn’t give all the answers. These works have a time and a place. They are grounded, but the details are for the viewer to fill in.”

We welcome you to come and see Ready’s work in person. Again, the show opens at Maine Art Shows starting Saturday, July 2 at 11am. All are invited to the Artist’s Reception that evening from 5-7 p.m. Food and drink will be served and a chance to meet the artist is always fun!

Holly Ready

The gallery at 10 Chase Hill Road, is open daily from 11 AM to 5 PM. Ready’s show can also be viewed online at Holly Ready at Maine Art Shows

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Abbie Williams on Summer Chairs – An Artist’s Choice

Summer is all about being outside, enjoying the warm air, and often the late afternoon sun. The season is short here in the Northeast, and we need to enjoy every moment. This is especially true on the small islands off Maine’s coast, like Monhegan; the place that inspired Abbie Williams’ Summer Chairs.

“This image is so telling of summer on Monhegan Island,” says Williams. “Actually, it is true for almost anywhere along the coast of Maine.” Visiting Monhegan Island is a regular occurrence for many artists, including Abbie.  It is a quiet little island village that celebrates the way life used to be. Artists find the peace and the surroundings a perfect place to work. It is not uncommon to find artists with their easels along the rocky coastline, in the harbor, or even on the wooded trails that weave their way across the island.

For Abbie the “choice” this year was an easy one. The small white house and the adirondack chairs are idyllic. “They just drew me in. Those colors and how they weave together; it is why I paint,” says Williams. “They are so luscious and inviting.” The brilliance of the sun practically sets fire to the sky, and Williams recreates it perfectly in oil. “I love how this piece turned out. The colors just work,” says Williams.  “Besides that, I simply feel good when I look it.”

Abbie has been a part of Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture for almost five years, and has participated in multiple shows at Maine Art Shows. Her work embodies every season of Maine, from the ice shacks of winter to the summer chairs.

Summer Chairs is part of the Choice Art Show, and will be running until June 30 at Maine Art Shows at 10 Chase Hill Rd. in Kennebunk. We are open daily from 11am – 5pm. She also has a collection of work at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture just down the hill at 14 Western Ave. We welcome you to stop by to visit – please visit our website for directions and hours. www.maine-art.com

Abbie Williams

If you are interested in reading more about Abbie Williams and her work at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, please visit our blog. Maine Art Blog- Abbie Williams. Also, click her Artist Page to view our entire collection of her work online.

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Daniel Corey on By January – An Artist’s Choice

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Aldermere Farm is a traditional New England saltwater farm located in Rockport, Maine. It is nestled on the western shore of Penobscot Bay and has been an area landmark for generations thanks to the Maine Coast Heritage Trust. It is also in the home town of one of our artists, Daniel Corey.

“I love the cows. They are very sweet and curious,” says Corey. “I will sometimes hold up my paintings for them when I’m finished. They seem to look them over with interest.”

By January is Corey’s Artist’s Choice piece for the Choice Art Show at Maine Art Shows in Kennebunk.  It is one of three pieces of his work in the show. “This painting represents me and my work to the best of my current ability. Everything I have went into it,” says Corey. “The Belted Galloways are one of my favorite subjects when I’m looking for a challenge. For such big animals they don’t seem to stop moving. This makes it tough when trying to paint them.”

Aldamere Farm is known for its Belted Galloways and is one of the world’s premier breeders. The Maine Coast Heritage Trust maintains Aldermere as a working farm and educational center, helping visitors deepen their appreciation for land conservation and sustainable agriculture. Corey enjoys spending time here with his easel, his camera or his sketch book, or more often all three.

“This painting came together from multiple references and plein air sketches I did while at the farm,” say Corey. “I took so many notes and even photos. I was continually checking my drawing against all these references.”

The title of this piece was Corey’s choice to leave open to interpretation.  Leaving the viewer to wonder exactly what happens ‘by January.’ “I hate to take the wonder away from the wonderers,” says Corey. “I would rather let the viewer feel that sense of inclusion when they think they know. Ideally, they always do.”

To see the beautiful By January, as well as Ice Cream Night and Summer, come into Kennebunk and visit Maine Art Shows from 11am – 5pm any day. The Choice Art Show will run until Thursday, June 30. Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture at 14 Western Ave. also has a collection of Daniel Corey’s work. For summer hours and to view his work online visit our website at www.maine-art.com and Daniel Corey – Artist Page.

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You can also read more about Daniel and his work with Maine Art on our blog. Maine Art Blog – Daniel Corey

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