Time for a Change – Insights from Margaret Gerding

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At a young age, artist Margaret Gerding came to southern Maine for the first time and found her happy place. Since then she has spent pieces of her summers here, from Granite Point to Goose Rocks Beach. Now, years later, those memories have brought her back to the Kennebunk area and her new home in Cape Porpoise. With this new location came many other changes, as well.

“I sold my house in Massachusetts in November and began looking for a place in the southern Maine area. I moved in with family, but knew I at least needed a studio space,” says Gerding.  “The Biddeford Mill was perfect – all light and brickwork and close by. Soon after that, I leased a winter rental and finally began to feel settled. I was relaxed and could take my time looking for a place to call home.”

In January, Gerding found that home in Cape Porpoise. By February, she was moved in and happy to call herself a Mainer. “I used to come to Maine for vacation as a child. Even at that age, solitude was important to me. The marsh near the cottage was one of the few places I was allowed to explore alone. My parents thought I was safe there. Quickly, it became my escape,” says Gerding. “It still is.”

On the way to her studio Margaret often stops at the marshes near Goose Rocks Beach to sketch or take photos. With a four or five o’clock wake-up time, the morning light and peace has become addictive. These small “sketches” she creates have become part of her studio and her process.

“This winter, I would pull over and sit in my car and do studies. These became a reference for me, not even paintings really. They are what I go to to remember the colors, how they worked together, how they blended,” says Gerding.

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“I may be having a problem with how pink I want a sky. Looking at the studies, I realize what worked, what I really saw. Sometimes they aren’t colors I would choose, but mother nature did, “ she says. “If I have a new color I want to try, I will put it on one of these to see what happens, so they are constantly changing.”

All of the scenery that surrounds Kennebunk and Kennebunkport is part of Gerding’s new works.  She was drawn here for the way the fog rolls in and changes the landscape. She came for the green of the marsh and how it changes over to warm ochre in autumn. It has always been about nature and quiet and peace. With that said, there has been a new addition to her canvases since coming back to Maine.

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“For the first time, I’ve included man-made structures in my work. Somehow, the paintings just ‘called’ for it,” says Gerding about her work with views of Great Hill Road. “The Kennebunk area has given me a wonderful sense of community and what it means to be a part of a seaside village. As my new world evolves with my changes, I believe my work will, as well. This is just the beginning.”

Margaret Gerding

Maine Art is celebrating Margaret Gerding’s changes and new beginnings in our gallery at 14 Western Avenue in Kennebunk. Her new work fills the first floor of the gallery. We are open every day from 10am – 6pm, and Friday and Saturday until 7pm.

Please stop in for a visit or view the show online at www.maine-art.com/shows.

You can also read more about Gerding and her work on our blog at A Look Inside Margaret Gerding and Maine Art.

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Communication of an Artist – Margaret Gerding Shares

Gerding_Morning Solitude

“For me, there are three steps to my communication as an artist,” says Margaret Gerding. “First examine, next interpret, lastly share.”

Visual artists have a different way of communicating with the rest of the world. Each has a lens they look through that changes what is “seen” to what is “perceived.” These perceptions become their art.

“I want to take time to examine what is in front of me. It’s about the moments spent, and a need to witness, explore and really see,” says Gerding. “Then, I am ready to begin my own interpretations. This is my time to paint. During this process my thoughts and reactions come through in color. Last but certainly not least, I share. It’s not only about the finished piece, it’s the act of being viewed.”

And so the cycle repeats. As outsiders we examine what an artist has presented us, often making our own interpretations on what being conveyed. Then, we too share these thoughts, sometimes verbally, sometimes through the written word.

“When something inspires me, I stop and sketch. There is always a sketch pad in my car and even in my purse,” Gerding laughs.  “I do take photographs, but I usually use them only as a reference for color or structure. The final painting is never what I actually see; it’s my response to the inspiration.”

Margaret Gerding

Maine Art is celebrating Margaret Gerding’s inspirations and communications in our gallery at 14 Western Ave in Kennebunk. The first floor is full of the marshes, ocean views and pathways that southern Maine is known for. We are open everyday from 10am – 6pm, and Friday and Saturday until 7pm.

Please stop in for a visit or view the show online at www.maine-art.com/shows.

You can also read more about Gerding and her work on our blog at A Look Inside Margaret Gerding and Maine Art.

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Margaret Gerding – New at Maine Art

Gerding_Patterns in Nature

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.

Margaret Gerding

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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William B. Hoyt on Being a Navy Man

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Lieutenant JG Hoyt giving a painting to Admiral Richardson of the Sixth Fleet.

“When I was twenty-three, I was in the Navy on the staff of the Commander of the Sixth Fleet, the Mediterranean Fleet. It was the late 60’s, during Vietnam, but things were also hot in the Middle East. It was the ’67 war with Israel and Egypt. We had quite a presence over there. Aircraft carriers and submarines. Fifty US ships. There was a lot of support.

My official title was Communications Launch Officer. I was a part of the staff who handled the thousands of messages coming in though the teletypewriters. As a junior officer, I stood watch and managed the enlisted people who were actually doing all the work. I also decoded top secret messages, then hand-delivered them and sat while they were read.  All of the paperwork had to be dealt with as top secret.

There was a public affairs officer on the ship who came up with this idea of having me go around the fleet to create paintings of the fleet activities. The mission was really just a lot of flag waving. NATO and US presence. We were basically there to intervene if Russia stepped out of line. The navy had musicians who just played music, that was their job. There was a band on the aircraft carrier that went into port a few days early and gave concerts. It softened up the locals to the US soldiers who would soon arrive.

Anyway…

The idea was to accompany the musicians with paintings of what was going on out in the field.  He sold the idea to the Admiral, and I was sent out on an aircraft carrier, a destroyer, an amphibious assault ship, everything except a submarine. I had a set of orders from the Admiral, and everyone did what he said. The set of orders was sent ahead and read something like this.

‘Render Lieutenant JG Hoyt whatever assistance required for the completion of his duty.’

I would arrive on a destroyer, and the captain always met me. ‘What can we do? Where would you like the boat?’ I was overwhelmed. ‘No. No. No.’ I said.  Can’t you just see it? ‘Move the boat over there.’ Then all hell breaks loose.”

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To read more stories from Hoyt regarding his work at Maine Art, click here –  Artist Insights – William B. Hoyt.

Hoyt’s one-man show will be running through September 5 at Maine Art Shows in Kennebunk. We are open from 11am – 5pm every day. Please come by and visit.

You can also view his entire show online at William Hoyt at Maine Art Shows.

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William B. Hoyt on “Underway”

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“A few years ago, a friend of mine, Frank, bought this amazing boat. He and his brother sailed it over from Europe.  She was built for the North Sea, so she’s a hearty vessel. Crossing over is a real learning process, but Frank is a very brave man.

This particular trip was in late September/early October, and started in Northeast Harbor on Mount Desert Island, Maine. We were headed to the most beautiful place, Roque Island. We entered in through the little islands you see in the distance, and we found ourselves in this perfectly calm water. In front of us was a mile of white sand beach which is very atypical of in Maine.

The island belongs to the Gardner family. They have keepers who live there. It is now a working farm; animals and horses and beautiful buildings.  They are happy to have boats anchor and go on the beach, but at the wooded line it becomes private.

This particular image was from our last morning, and the sun was just coming up through the scrim of cloud. We were underway – chugging out. The sea ducks were taking off,  barely skimming the surface. It is an incredible, undisturbed spot.”

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To read more stories from William B. Hoyt regarding his work at Maine Art, click here –  Artist Insights – William B. Hoyt.

Hoyt’s one-man show will be running through September 5 at Maine Art Shows in Kennebunk. We are open from 11am – 5pm every day. Please come by and visit.

You can also view his entire show on-line at William Hoyt at Maine Art Shows.

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Learn more about Rogue Island by clicking here

 

 

William B. Hoyt – Hawaiian Waves

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Hawaiian Waves – Moluahah Bay, Kauai

“I’ll tell you something about these waves…

Hawaiian waves are much more powerful than waves on the East Coast. They are coming out of water that is 10,000 feet deep.  When they approach the land, the land isn’t shoaled. There are no shallows. The islands are basically mountains, and they are a 70 degree angle. They go to the bottom of the sea. When these things feel the bottom, they’re feeling the bottom just before they break. A six foot wave has power.”

Hoyt_Study for Wave

This is where he starts to chuckle, as does his wife, Kathy, whose desk is within earshot. “I have surfed on the East Coast, and I have bodysurfed in Hawaii with a boogie board. And that is a story.”

Each time a new story starts, Hoyt takes a second to reflect on the memory. In his mind the images come back coupled with the senses that complete the scene.

“We were at a beach on Kauai, and this wave picked me up and just drove me down into the sand. It basically crammed my head into my neck,” he begins to stammer in recollection.  “So, I was standing there with stars in my eyes, holding my head, when I hear these twelve-year-old boys next to me say, ‘Boy did you see that old guy just get barreled?’ “

“Oh, I got barreled—wicked.”

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To read more stories from Hoyt regarding his work at Maine Art, click here –  Artist Insights – William B. Hoyt.

Hoyt’s one-man show will be running through September 5 at Maine Art Shows in Kennebunk. We are open from 11am – 5pm every day. Please come by and visit.

You can also view his entire show online at William Hoyt at Maine Art Shows.

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William Hoyt on Vermont and Margarite Williams

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Margarite Williams

“I ended up in Bellows Falls, Vermont in 1971 while visiting friends. One of them had discovered photography, and he was spending a lot of time down at the railroad station. In the station was the Depot Lunch and News, and the sole proprietor, Margarite Williams. She had come down to work at the age of sixteen from St. Johnsbury. Years later, the place was threatened with closing due to railroad business being way down. A local businessman, who liked having breakfast there, bought the place and sold it to Margarite for one dollar under the condition she would stay. She was installed in the Bellows Falls Train Station with a little room in the back.  There was a paper company still working, and the railroad workers, and then hippies like us. ‘Young people’. There was a wave of young people who overwhelmed Vermont in the 70’s. I had just gotten out of the Navy.  I never went home, I’ve been here ever since.

Margarite Williams was a sweet wonderful woman, probably in her sixties. We would come in and sit on these old, art deco style stools that spun around and had red plastic seats. The Formica countertop was worn away from so many elbows. My friend, Gregory, was down there a lot and would come back and give slide shows at the house, which was slowly becoming a commune. It was the three of them when I moved in. At most, I think we got up to about thirteen people living in the old farm house.

Every May 11th, we celebrated her birthday, which we have continued to do even years after her death. We’ve gathered down at the station decades after she passed away. She had a very nurturing way, and she really listened. She just had a wonderful way of speaking. She had a cat whose name was Tig and geraniums in the windows. It was an endearing scene. We were sort of her ‘lost boys.’”

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To read more stories from William B. Hoyt regarding his work at Maine Art, click here –  Artist Insights – William B. Hoyt.

Hoyt’s one-man show will be running through September 5 at Maine Art Shows in Kennebunk. We are open from 11am – 5pm every day. Please come by and visit.

You can also view his entire show on-line at William Hoyt at Maine Art Shows.

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A Bit About Emma

Hoyt_Annie and Emma

Emma C. Berry is a beautiful little fishing-sloop at the Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic, Connecticut. She is one of the oldest surviving commercial vessels in America and the last known surviving American well smack. Well smacks were designed to keep the catch alive through an internal water-filled compartment, known as a wet well. Seawater circulated through large holes in the bottom planking. She was built in 1866 at the Palmer Shipyards in Noank, Connecticut by James A. Latham.

She was named for Captain John Henry Berry’s daughter.  In 1886, she was rigged as a schooner,  and in 1916, a gasoline engine was added. She has undergone many restorations and is presently restored to her original configuration and period.

In 1992, for the first time in 106 years, the Emma C. Berry sailed from Mystic Seaport down to Fishers Island Sound under sloop rig.

She was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1994.

Hoyt captured Emma and her harbor mate, Annie, in a photograph back in September of 2015 before her latest restoration took place.

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To read more stories from Hoyt regarding his work at Maine Art, click here –  Artist Insights – William B. Hoyt.

Hoyt’s one-man show will be running through September 5 at Maine Art Shows in Kennebunk. We are open from 11am – 5pm every day. Please come by and visit.

You can also view his entire show online at William Hoyt at Maine Art Shows.

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William B. Hoyt – A One-Man Show at Maine Art Hill 2018

Maine Art Hill is happy to announce the opening of William B. Hoyt’s one man show on Saturday, September 22. This show is being held at The Gallery at Maine Art Hill at 14 Western Ave in Kennebunk. We want to invite everyone to attend his Artist Reception on Saturday evening from 5 pm -7 pm where you can meet Hoyt and see his new work. This show is open every day and runs through October 11.

William B. Hoyt’s studio is contained in a cupola on the top of his beautiful home in Hartland, Vermont. With a view of New Hampshire, this artist’s oasis is where the magic has happened for over twenty-five years. He spends most winter days up in his sunlit room working on the inspiration he found during his summertime wanderings.

Having a studio in your home allows for a bit of fluctuation in a schedule, but still, Hoyt attempts an eight hour day when he is at home.  There are usually breaks for dog walking and lunch, but many hours are spent at the easel. On average, Hoyt takes two-and-a-half to three weeks to complete a painting. However, he recalls one that took him almost ten weeks from start to finish.

Hoyt says, “There is an old feller up in Barnard, Vermont, by the name of Bill Cobb. One day, someone asked him how many hours he worked a day.  He said he worked from ‘can ’til can’t.’ That’s me.”

The first step when beginning a painting is choosing a surface. Hoyt’s varies depending on what his subject is. From canvas to panel, the texture is a factor in the decision of which one to choose. The more detail, the smoother the surface.

“I change my work surface frequently and experiment with how paint mixtures interact with each. If I am working on something with a great deal of detail, I choose a panel for the smooth texture.  A rough canvas with lots of tooth will show all the gradations, but makes for a beautiful sky.”

Hoyt is an artist who prefers to sketch out a subject before beginning to paint. For anyone familiar with his work, saying he is detailed is an understatement. Photographic is a term often used when describing a finished Hoyt piece.

“Normally, I sketch on the surface before I begin with any paint, so another variable for me is what I use to draw the image. I tend to use charcoal on a rougher canvas and a pencil on a smoother canvas. Then, on a really smooth canvas, I use a stick of silver. Sometimes, I will use all three depending on the level of detail I want to achieve before I start painting.”

Then comes the decision of medium. Oil paint is the choice, but never does he use it directly from the tube. With a texture of butter, it must be mixed, usually with linseed oil, but even that comes in different forms. Then there are resins that can be added, as well as ingredients to alter drying time. Finding the perfect concoction is an ongoing process that he is continually altering.

“I’m always looking for the ideal mixture,” says Hoyt, “but nothing is ideal. The surface I am painting on effects the behavior of the paint. When I begin a painting, the surface is kind of dry, very white and a little bit rough. As I continue to work and build up paint, it changes. It changes day to day.”

Hoyt can always imagine something better. Every day he tries to reinvent the ideal medium. He makes extensive notes about what he adds, the reaction to the surface and how the paint finishes.“I’m like a cook. I keep track of my recipes,” he says, referring to just one of many dated entries in a book next to his easel.

When experiencing a Hoyt painting, the details are incredible. It takes time to absorb all that has gone into the creation of these fantastic works of art. As much as we try to duplicate in digital, seeing them in person is best.  We hope you have the chance to visit Kennebunk and Kennebunkport and stop in at a Maine Art Hill. Hoyt’s one-man show will be running through October 11. We are open at 10 am every day. Closing hours vary, please check the website for details.

You can also view his entire show online  at William Hoyt at Maine Art Shows

The Virtual Show can be viewed here .

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To read more stories from Hoyt regarding his work at Maine Art, click here –  Artist Insights – William B. Hoyt.

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William Hoyt on the Harbor Fish Market and the Seagull Explosion

Hoyt_Harbor Fish Market

“Kathy and I were in Portland down on Commercial Street. We had been revisiting old venues, and I was feeling a bit uninspired. Walking out on the pier, we looked at different angles. As we were coming back in, a lobsterman pulled up and was loading his traps. As we stood there, more and more seagulls appeared, as if they knew. Then the door to the fish market opened. The man came out with a tub of fish guts or something, and suddenly the air was filled with seagulls. The seagull explosion just caught my eye.

I needed to come back and let the pictures create themselves.

I completed the setting with a few birds, then I had to figure out which birds would make it to the big canvas. This is where the studies began. I had to have many practice panels before I was ready to put them into the large piece. Based on the studies, I started deciding where to place each seagull, or not to place it at all. I would spend a day painting various birds and working the sky and putting clouds in. Then, I’d call Kathy to come up and ask her what she thought. Her response was always the same. ‘Well, there were more birds.’

 

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We have counted forty-five birds in all! The one over next to the traps was the last one I did. When I add an element to a painting, it changes the balance of where I am looking. It became an empty space. It needed a bird.

I also broke lines with a few seagulls. I’ve noticed over the years, artists tend to avoid placing objects over one another. In nature, that doesn’t happen. I’ve tried to make them cross over to make it seem more natural.”

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To read more stories from William B. Hoyt regarding his work at Maine Art, click here –  Artist Insights – William B. Hoyt.

Hoyt’s one-man show will be running through September 5 at Maine Art Shows in Kennebunk. We are open from 11am – 5pm every day. Please come by and visit.

You can also view his entire show online at William Hoyt at Maine Art Shows.

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