Pop Up Artist Donald Rainville

Featured Artist, Donald Rainville is the guest artist for Pop Up beginning Tuesday, August 28  through Monday, September 3. Read on to learn more about his inspiration, his process, and his work.

August 28 to September 3

While many children climb trees, as a young boy who grew up in Salem, Massachusetts in the 1960’s, I spent an inordinate amount of time in trees—little did I know the education I was giving myself at the time! Foregoing acceptance to art school at the Massachusetts College of Art, I parlayed my interest in the natural world by attending the Essex Institute of Agriculture in Hawthorne, Massachusetts, studying Forestry and Ornamental Horticulture. Upon graduation, I entered the world of high-end antique and art restoration. For twenty years, I was able to hone colorist skills and the ability to experiment with diverse materials; the consistent nature of such refined work is in direct contrast to how I approach my paintings.

Painting primarily on board with house oil paints, I employ action painting techniques. By utilizing house oils, there is less interruption between myself and the application of paint—I am able to achieve random and spontaneous effects and have more direct access to the fluidity of the medium; to “be literally ‘in’ the painting” to quote Jackson Pollock.  No brushes are used in my work, as brushes impede the ability to manipulate paint, and diminish the paint’s ability to dictate form—I work with torn shapes of lightweight cardboard, and at times, actual plant material to apply paint. The dynamic nature of the paint, in addition to utilizing organic materials, links me to the textural nature of real and imagined landscapes with a sense of place, volume, and depth. While my work most often starts with abstract intensity, eventually there is a concentrated focus on refinement. In truth, the last 10% of any painting—the final refinement—takes 90% of the time to complete.

Primarily, my work focuses on “treescapes” and the never-ending inspiration provided by Maine and New England forests—I liken my paintings as orchestrations of visual music, much like jazz which is different from more formalized concepts of music. My paintings are invented as they proceed, and as each portion of the composition comes forward on a moment by moment basis, the components are random and abstract, yet consciously orchestrated—the growth of a living forest works in much the same way.

I presently maintain my studio in Camden, Maine where I live year round with my wife Michele, our cat (“Kringle”) and a Welsh corgi (“Chauncey”).  We enjoy exploring the forests and coast of Maine, especially Acadia and Reid State Park in Georgetown. Time is also spent working on the restoration of our circa 1804 cape house, and conducting historical research of the house or on antiques we have purchased.

Rainville will be showing his work at Pop Up on Maine Art Hill at 5 Chase Hill Rd. in Kennebunk from August 28 to September 3. The gallery is open every day at 10 am. For more info about Rainville and his work, follow this link to his website. www.donaldrainville.com



It’s all Perspective – Insights from Artist Liz Hoag

Having a show is a big responsibility for an artist.  There is so much to think about, and the pressure is quite intense. We love it when we hear from our artist about the process of the work they produced for a show and most of all that it was fun.

Artist Liz Hoag says, “I’m excited about the small paintings. I actually went a little wild with them.”

When she says her “small paintings” she is referring to two series she painted for her 2018 Summer Show here at Shows on Maine Art Hill, Limbs and Treeline.

The works in the Treeline series feature beautiful blue skies set in stunning contrast to a cluster of trees with which Hoag spent quite a bit of time.

 Treeline IV Treeline VI Treeline XIII

“This is the same group of trees. I painted them over and over each time from a different perspective,” shares Hoag. “As I moved and changed view I always kept my color palette and structure in mind.”

The story is different for the Limbs series. Upon first sight, these works seem more abstract, but when viewed from a distance, the viewer begins to see the subject in much the same way as Hoag does. 

Limbs IV Limbs II

Limbs I Limbs III

“This is one tree, the same tree from Seaside Survivor, a larger piece I have at Maine Art Hill,” says Hoag. “I painted this tree in ten sections, same perspective. I had a great deal of fun with this.”

Seaside Survivor

Hoag’s love of trees and inland Maine is evident in the collection of work. It is a lovely representation of the other side of Maine.

“Much of my show is a continuation of my trees, composition, and light. The views of inland waters and streams rather than the ocean, and of course, the woods.”

Hoag lives and works in Portland, but she celebrates the entire state. Her work is a beautiful representation of all of Maine’s beauty.

“Paths, trees, branches, color, light, air, open space, water,” says Hoag, “we have it all here in Maine.”

To see her 2018 Summer Show in its entirety click here.

Until August 30, Hoag’s work can be found at 10 Chase Hill Rd at the Show gallery. However, she is represented year round and can always be seen at The Gallery at 14 Western Ave.  Visit us in person and online to see our entire collection of her work click here Liz Hoag – Artist Page

To read more about Liz Hoag and her process and get a peek into the stories behind the artist, click here. Liz Hoag – Stories and Insights 

Mobile Artist Mark Davis – an interview with M. Sebastian Araujo

Mark Davis is a Boston-based artist who creates three-dimensional kinetic sculpture, including free-standing, wall-mounted and hanging mobiles. His work is known throughout the United States and beyond. Last spring Davis joined the Maine Art Hill family.  

We are lucky enough to have permission to share an interview Davis did with M. Sebastian Araujo, the director, and founder  of the Montgomery Center for the Arts in Montgomery, VT 

From Mark Davis’s interview with M. Sebastian Araujo …

Sometimes amid the flurry of life, one finds something that stirs the imagination the Mobile Art of Mark Davis did that for me…Recently while he was installing a show, we had a chance to have a chat about what stirs his imagination.

Waxing Moon

What, in the “big world around you,” affects your creativity?

 That is an easy answer for me….the world of nature.  For whatever reason, I am in awe of the world of nature in all its forms. Organic shape comes naturally to me as a language to discover and develop.  Also, this includes the idea of human nature.  Truthful human nature.  My work is always about joyful expression, but it is not a shallow surface discourse.  It incorporates the deeper tensions of being alive in your body

Silver Dove

What changes do you see on the art scene today…?

It seems to me there are two ideas going on.  There is a sense of art as a commodity, and a sense of art as a continuing conversation, an ideal of human expression that travels through time and space.  Art as a commodity is something invented by a business-minded community to show art as a concept to be purchased.  The concept is all important, and the execution is superfluous.  With the kind of art I make, the artist goes about expressing a concept through formal methods of honing his craft and finding more and more ways to discover what is in himself and how to get that out into the world in a beautiful, provocative way.  In terms of how I view this divide, I say let the idiots spend their millions of dollars on a pine board with a blue line painted on it, and let me continue on my path.


What do you think makes a person want to acquire art?

Honestly, art is such a subjective thing.  All art is not made for all people.  You should expose yourself to all kinds of art and decide what speaks to you the most fully.  The art historian Kenneth Clark said that when you first lay eyes on a wonderful work of art, it “sings.”   It should be for the love of what you are seeing.

Proud Beast

Was there a  “shining lightbulb” moment in your career when you realized you were an artist? If so what was it?

It took me many, many years to think of myself as an artist.  For 15 years, I was a high fashion jeweler, which was more of a commodity and less intimidating to me. I had a moment when I was 14 years old when I was in the library and found a book on Alexander Calder.  Opening that book was like a shock wave going through my system.  I went home, studied the book and its images, then went to the hardware store and bought sheet aluminum and steel wire.  I then made a copy of Calder’s “Snowflakes” mobile exactly the way it looked in the book.  I just had that total understanding of what he was doing.  I used Duco glue to cement the wire to the circles. It was hanging over my parents’ bed when it all started to fall apart, and they were slowly rained on by little white circles!

Remembrance of Youth

How hard is it for an artist to survive in the world we live in today?

Honestly, it is awfully difficult to make a career out of making art, but perhaps it always has been.  You use the word “survive” and to me you mean to make a living.  I have been extremely lucky in my life to have people who believed in me and gave me opportunity and wisdom. Just being able to make a living doing my work has allowed me to keep working at my craft, always trying new ways of expanding the basic concepts that I employ.

Artist Mark Davis

We here at Maine Art Hill are thrilled to be representing Davis. Please visit The Work at Studios on Maine Art Hill at 5 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk to see our entire collection of Davis’s mobiles.  

Can’t make it to Kennebunk? Click this link to see our collection of his work online. Mark Davis- Artist Page.

Pop Up Artist Kristine Biegel

Featured Artist, Kristine Biegel is the guest artist for Pop Up beginning Tuesday, August 21  through Monday, August 27. Read on to learn more about her inspiration, her process, and her work.

August 21 – August 27

Kristine Biegel is a Maine artist that truly finds inspiration close to home.  As a painter, she is completely and totally in love with the landscapes, seascapes, and people of her home state.  Quiet in subject matter, her paintings allow the viewer a glimpse into the lives of the strong, independent and proud people of Maine.

From the magnificent rocky coastlines to the peaceful beauty of hanging laundry, Kristine’s paintings are a mix of realistic and whimsical, with a deep overlapping of colors, creating rich and vibrant works of art.  Well placed patterns are used to guide the visual journey through the artwork and although no people are ever seen in her paintings there are hints of them throughout giving a sense of their strong and independent nature.

“As someone who loves to travel, I am always looking for inspiration in colors, textures, and landscapes around the world, and I can honestly say that very few places on earth have touched my creative soul as deeply as Maine.  There is truly something unique about Maine that inspires and calls to Artists to create.”

Kristine Biegel is the owner of The Creative Child and Adult Arts Studio. She works in the community with artists of all ages and abilities from memory care to preschool and she believes that everyone can make great art and works to empower through the arts, encouraging exploration in the studio and in the community.

Kristine has a BFA in Printmaking and a Masters in Education for Creative Arts. She is a professor of Expressive Arts and recently published her first book called I LOVE YOU TO TEN.

Biegel will be showing her work at Pop Up on Maine Art Hill at 5 Chase Hill Rd. in Kennebunk from August 21 to August 27. The gallery is open every day at 10 am. For more info about Biegel and her work, follow this link to her website. www.kristinebiegelart.com




The Big Blue Sky – notes from Artist Janis Sanders

Sometimes with intent, sometimes not, artists become known for a certain style, a certain subject, even a certain color. Artist Janis Sanders has been part of Maine Art Hill for many years, and as those years pass he has become recognized for his skies, most especially his big, blue skies.

Beach Sky

Yes, the skies represent the clear, clean, open air of New England, but for Sanders, they mean even more.

“We all are children of nature and nurture, I’m no exception.  My background is Latvian. My parents emigrated to the United States through Ellis Island after WWII from a Displaced Person Camp in Germany, under the Displaced Persons Act of 1948,” shares Sanders.

After a week-long ride on an American freighter across a stormy Atlantic in November, Sanders’s parents each arrived with two suitcases, one hand each hand, and a couple of dollars. All offered by the US government.  A sponsor awaited in New York City, guaranteeing a job and housing for the family.

“My father took a job working construction. He traveled by train and worked fifteen hour days. After six months it was enough. He and my mother found a new sponsor in Syracuse, NY, and Dad landed a job in a steel mill,” explains Sanders. “Dad was always driven to get ahead and improve his circumstances, however, and with post-war construction booming everywhere he saw an opportunity. Chapman Lumber was building houses by the dozen, and my father took a job as a house painter.”

Sanders’s father excelled in the quality of his work and work ethic, and it wasn’t long before word got out.

“At first he started with side jobs, mostly nights. He went on the have his own very successful high-end home painting business,” says Sanders with pride. “Mom also worked full time most of those years.”

The Latvian community was tight-knit and remains so to this day. Even newly-formed bonds were tight, the community stuck together.    

“Saturdays for the kids were devoted to Latvian School at the church, full-fledged with homework and everything,” Sanders says with a smile. “Loyalty to each other and the Latvian culture were paramount as people assimilated and settled in.”

Everyone’s English was poor at the start. Sanders’s grandmother never learned, mainly due to the fact that she stayed home and took care of the family.  Sanders himself had no English at all when he entered school. Yet with time and persistence, many in his community not only learned to speak the language but proudly earned their American citizenship.  

Blue Island Skies

So where do the big blue skies come in?

“One dominant theme growing up was a tremendous, mainly unspoken, sense of bonding and loyalty,” says Sanders.  “My blue skies are not just a pretty thing, but for me, come from the need for a place to escape and also soar. I take pleasure in common, small, everyday things: what I paint, what I say, what I think, what I feel, who I am.”  

Cliff House and Roses

“I am thankful each day for even the smallest of things. Especially the big blue sky,” says Sanders. “I am so lucky to engage in this incredible endeavor.”   

To see more of Sanders’s work visit Maine Art Hill in Kennebunk. Open every day at 10 am. Call 207-967-0049 or www.maine-art.com


Richard Remsen – Thoughts on Glass

“My opinion is that all good artwork is storytelling. So what is the story I am telling? Am I just making a vase for flowers? Or is there some interesting story that I want to express,” says Richard Resmen, an artist at Maine Art Hill in Kennebunk.

Artist Richard Remsen

“Icons, like the Lobster, are very simple. When people see them they recognize what they are,” shares Remsen. “It draws on the history of their memories, and it gives an added dimension to the work.”

Remsen studied at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and received his BFA in Sculpture at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island. As an artist, Remsen studied glass blowing with Dale Chihuly, Fritz Driesbach, Dan Dailey and apprenticed with Dominic Labino.

Remsen returned to Maine after his time at RISD and established a sculpture studio specializing in bronze sculpture as well as blown and cast glass, in West Rockport, Maine. He has a versatile mix of tools and old technologies. His glass shop, one of the first hot glass studios in Maine, continues to be the catalyst of new designs. One of which is his lobster claw.

“With all my training, I still need to have that fresh look, that child-like attack or purpose,” Remsen says. “When you see children draw they take off. All children are born artists. The task is to retain some of that natural ability as the techniques become more complex.  I have to strip away all of it and  get back to the childlike approach to being spontaneous.”

Glassblowing is only one of Remsen’s skills. He loves the diverseness of the material and how it forces him to think fast and get right to the heart of the work, the story of it.

“It is such a spontaneous process. The glass is hot. I have to be moving. There is color. It’s like painting, but I use light and optics. Trying to figure out how the different colors will blend,” says Remsen. “Unlike painting where color is applying color on top of color, with glass you are working with opaque color and translucent color and transparent. They all blend to give you different effects. That is intriguing.”

Remsen has a collection of pieces at The Works on Maine Art Hill, part of Studios at 5 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk. They are open every day at 10 am. FMI visit www.maine-art.com or call 207-204-2042.

Pop Up Artist Rachel Altschuler 

Featured Artist, Rachel Altschuler is the guest artist for Pop Up beginning Tuesday, August 14 through Monday, August 20. Read on to learn more about her inspiration, her process, and her work.


For as long as I can remember I have been able to find solace in nature. It is and continues to be the biggest inspiration in my life, and my work as an artist. I have always been passionate about animals-especially birds. They have such a unique energy and spirit about them. Every type of bird has its own set of personality traits which I try to bring out in my work by paying special attention to detail in the face, and eyes. I believe the eyes are truly windows to the soul so if I am able to capture them it allows me to connect even further with each subject.

I also try to accentuate the features I see with each piece through the bold use of color, and creation of texture through purposeful brushstrokes. My work is definitely whimsical in nature, which is what I strive for. At the end of the day, I want to create work that spreads joy and makes people happy.

Altschuler will be showing her work at Pop Up on Maine Art Hill at 5 Chase Hill Rd. in Kennebunk from August 14 to August 20. The gallery is open every day at 10 am. For more info about Rachel Altschuler and her work, follow this link to her website. http://www.rmaad.com

Jill Valliere – New Works at The Works

When surrounded by prospective buyers and local art collectors, Maine artist Jill Valliere loves to share her work, her process, and her studio-self. She entertains her audience with a passion for Maine and her art. The wave of her hands and the excitement in her voice always hold a celebration. She is centered and focused, but all-encompassed in the description of what she loves.

Beyond the Horizon

“I start each piece with a coat of tinted plaster. Yes, plaster,” she laughs.  “Of course a canvas can’t hold this level of weight. Luckily, my husband, an architect by trade, has more than a few skills and hand builds my hollow core panels.”

Once her first layer is dry, she breaks out her favorite tool. The power sander. Plaster and a power sander mean serious business. It is a perfect combination. However, for the smooth surface, she needs to begin her process.

 “Layer by layer, I apply metallic paints and glazes of all colors over the metal leaf of gold, bronze or silver. Over and over I add and take away, revealing the beauty beneath by contrast,” shares Valliere.  “I use a Venetian plaster knife or my trusted sander to break through and carve in, exposing underlayers and creating texture and depth.”

Valliere’s process is unique and unusual, and the finished product is as well. When asked about her work, Valliere always focuses on the celebration of place.

Ancient History High Tide

“My newest works are inspired by a flight into Portland airport, followed up by aerial maps of Maine,” Valliere says. “The waters and coast are depicted in color and metallic that offer an interesting view of Maine. I am a local girl, and I have a local eye. I enjoy capturing the true beauty of where I live, be it abstract or realistic. What I paint is merely an interpretation of what I see.”

Guiding Light Over the Bay

Valliere and her husband live on the central coast of Maine with their two pups.  They also have a small cottage on a lake nearby. These two locations provide her with a variety of perspective on Maine, and it’s beauty.

To see more of her work, visit The Works on Maine Art Hill at 5 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk. Open 10 am daily. FMI 207-204-2042 or [email protected]


Trip Park – Progress of Late Night Buoys

Click play to see the creation of Late Night Buoys from Trip Park

Late Night Buoys

30 x 40

Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas