Abbie Williams by Ric Kasini Kadour
Abbie Williams paints from her studio in a lush wood in Nobleboro, Maine and regularly from Monhegan Island, Maine and Taos, New Mexico. Her subject is often the rich landscapes she finds “while painting outdoors, painting in my studio or while I’m prowling around Maine’s uncommonly visited corners with my camera.”
The appearance of birds in Williams’ paintings is a natural extension of her approach to painting. In works like Moody’s Barn and Seagull Cyclone II, they are as much a part of the landscape as the yellow fields or boulders on the shoreline. She renders the birds in Seagull Cyclone II as a blur of white, allowing details to take shape as individual birds break away from the flock. When birds are her subject, like in Goose Taking a Gander and Black Jack Flagg and His Gang, Williams paints with the same attentiveness she gives to flowers in a field. She paints the back feathers of the subject of Goose Taking a Gander as a patchwork of light brown and white stripes and the bird’s reflection in the stream as a dreamy collection of lines. “Using rich color and employing the dramatic light of the coast and the high desert, I work to capture the extraordinary way the light changes moment to moment which infuses my response to the colors that are often too subtle for the casual observer,” said Williams.
One can see this color work in the painting, Small Cove, Maine, which shows a gull perched on a dinghy moored in a cove. A wall of rock forms the backdrop of the scene. A round pink buoy floats in the water. The buoy’s reflection begins an expanse of wild color play: pinks trickle out from the buoy, glitters of orange catch the tips of ripples in the water as a strip of brilliant sunlight illuminates the rock. The lonely bird quietly takes in the moment.