Elizabeth Ostrander in BIRD – A Maine Art Show

Elizabeth Ostrander by Ric Kasini Kadour

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In her ceramic and acrylic sculptures, Elizabeth Ostrander expresses a mystical fantasy world. She uses her sculptures to express ideas of self-agency and selfhood. She embeds these ideas in a mythology that is loosely informed by Paleolithic imagery and an assortment of fables and stories from long gone civilizations. The results are timeless sculptures that are magical, cosmic and earthy.

The Spanish influence in her work comes from her studies with Jose de Creeft at The Art Students League of New York in the 1960s. As a child, the Spanish-born de Creeft sculpted religious figures in clay to sell at the Festival of Santa Lucia in Barcelona. After a career in Europe, in 1929 he emigrated to the United States where he pioneered direct carving and became a master of figural works of women. Ostrander continues his legacy.

Crow Totem is a testament to Ostrander’s ability to create powerful symbols. The two-foot-tall inverted cone sculpture features the head of a crow. Its wingless, legless body is marked and scratched in a manner that conveys a sense of timelessness. Her sculptures lend themselves to a kind of fabulism. Trust is the bust of a woman. She rests her head towards the bird on her shoulder. In her chest, another bird sits on a nest. Ostrander draws a connection between the woman’s outward communication with the bird on her shoulder and the feelings one has, as expressed by the bird and nest occupying the space where her heart is. The use of bird as a metaphor repeats itself in Gentle, where a bird rests in the palm of an outstretched hand. These elements or strategies come together in Shiny Heart Cache, where a totemic crow is revealed to have a heart surrounded by nest-like string. Ostrander’s sculptures, while narrative in appearance, are designed to be pondered, to be used as tools for truth seeking and personal reflection.

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If you would like to see more of Elizabeth’s work, we welcome you to visit Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture at 14 Western Avenue in Kennebunk, or online at her Artist Page.

BIRD will run at Maine Art Shows, 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk for four weeks. From August 8th – September 7th.

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David Witbeck in BIRD – A Maine Art Show

David Witbeck  by Ric Kasini Kadour

 

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The gull perched on the bollard in David Witbeck’s Harbor Gulls is watching you. They are fighting over chum in Free Lunch. And one is calling out to the sunrise in Morning Gulls. When they are not the subject, Witbeck uses birds in his paintings as a call to action, a source of drama, and sometimes a point of humor. David Witbeck studied art at the Pratt Institute and the Rhode Island School of Design, and photojournalism at Rochester Institute of Technology. He worked as a freelance photographer for over twenty-five years. He took up painting in 2000 and has steadily exhibited his work across New England.

Witbeck paints with the wit and eye of a freelance photographer always on the lookout for the perfect constellation of elements that will make a composition tell a story. Often the birds in his paintings obscure and temper the scenes around them. This allows the viewer to parse the painting in a different way. For example, the prominence of the birds in Morning Gulls distracts the viewer from the fact that the painting is a landscape, a simple rendition of the sun rising over an island out in the water. The quieter of the two birds stares at the viewer, almost daring you to notice what is going on. Look closely at Free Lunch and you will see that the fisherman is sacrificing his chum to distract the birds from the large lobster he holds in his hand. By contrast, when birds are the only subject, Witbeck portrays them with humility, as in the simple rendering of gulls in Conspirators, or with nobility, as in his paintings of cormorants where he shows the birds perching, wings spread, nodding to the heavens.

Click on David’s Artist Page to see Maine Art Painting and Sculpture’s entire Witbeck collection or visit us at 14 Western Ave. Kennebunk, Maine.

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Listen – Ellen Welch Granter

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Ellen Welch Granter | Listen | Oil on Canvas | 40″ X 40”  $4200

Goose Rocks Beach is a lovely little beach just off the beaten path in Kennebunkport.  With over three miles of beautiful sand, it is a perfect spot to spend the day.  However, when visitors take just a few minutes to look behind them, they notice the Batson River Marsh. It is here Ellen Welch Granter has found her perfect image of Maine.

“I remember the thick green grass seeming perfectly even for a huge distance. It is peaceful scene, but I chose to named the painting Listen,” says Granter. “If you truly listen, it isn’t really quiet. You can hear willets, piping plovers, terns, gulls, and a myriad of insects all around.” So often, the majestic crash of waves and never-ending span of sea hold our attention, and the casual beauty of the small marshes and winding rivers that feed the oceans are overlooked. “Listen” is all about not overlooking this place and this moment.

Locally, the marsh is known for more than just its beauty. “We used to dig clams there, getting eaten alive by greenies, of course, but it was worth it,” says Granter. The rules and regulations for clam digging are getting stricter here in Maine, but carrying a clam fork and a bucket along the coast at low tide, is a memory many of us can claim. The horse flies, or ‘greenies’ as Ellen calls them, are still included, no license necessary.

Ellen’s piece, Listen, will be on display until August 6th at Maine Art Shows in Kennebunk. The Maine. As they see it. show has been a wonderful success, and we welcome you to visit any day from 11-5.

Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, down at 14 Western Avenue in Kennebunk, is lacking in the painful little green horse flies, but to make up for it, we do have a wonderful collection of Ellen Welch Granter’s work. We encourage you to come visit here as well, or to see the collection online on her Artist Page.

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Late Light – Janis H. Sanders

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Janis H. Sanders | Late Light | Oil on Panel | 40″ X 40”  $6800

“This house, this place, this moment are from another time, “ says Janis Sanders about “Late Light.” “Back when there was time…time to look, time to stop, time to absorb, time to imagine.” Anyone can see Maine. It is a true gift to see it through an artist’s eyes, such as Sanders.  The show, Maine. As they see it., was created for pieces like this; for artists like this. “’Late Light‘ is a place and a moment and a fragment in an overly hectic world,” Janis explains. “Here there is still a slice of present, of being here, in the here.”

Standing in front of this work, we, as guests, are allowed to create our own backstory. We are allowed to create our own ‘here.’  We wonder about the little home nestled between pine and sea, and we question what went through the artist’s mind as he sat down and began to paint. Ironically, the questions that went through his mind are not that unlike our own. “I was awestruck with this house, the late afternoon light, the furrowed coast rocks at half tide,” remembers Sanders. “When I first saw this scene there was a elegant thin woman in a straw hat standing on her front porch. She was looking across the glimmering water toward the west, her gaze intent on some unknown spot or object. I fell in love!”  Part of the wonder of “Late Light” is the fact that it is a reality, not a creation in an artist’s imagination. It is truly a charming scene Janis had the luck of stumbling upon on Five Islands in Georgetown, Maine. Even though he witnessed it, even though he experienced this place himself, still he had questions; questions about the house and questions about the woman.

“Who is she? Was it built for her? Did she build it with her own hands? What does she paint?  Does she rise with the sun each day?  What is the first thing she sees?  What is the last thing she sees?  What are the colors and textures of the day? Is there fog? Early day soft salmon colored skies?  There is no boat at her dock, how much privacy does she seek?  Has she grayed along with the weathered shingles of her home?  Have they stood together and built character together through storms and joys on this rugged shore through the many years?  Would she speak and reply if addressed answering my inquisitiveness, or would she stand silent, stoic with her porch overflowing with late day sunlight,  looking into the distance, following the sun across time?”

In art, there is always room for interpretation from the artist and the viewer. It is important to wonder, to reflect, to speculate. So… the big question… why does Sanders choose not to paint the figure of the woman he fell in love with? We don’t know, but it is a really good question.

If you too have fallen in love with the work of Janis H. Sanders and would like to see more, please visit the gallery at 14 Western Avenue or view it online on his Artist Page. Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture is very proud to have such a wonderful collection of his work. We also welcome you to see the rest of the Maine. As they see it. show at Maine Art Shows, 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk or online at Maine. As they see it.

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The Breakers – Ed Hicks

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Ed Hicks | The Breakers | Oil on Canvas | 20″ X 40”.  $3100

For Ed Hicks it is about the painting. He lets nature provide a beginning and adds unseen details to  bring himself into the work.  He hopes his viewers are able to do the same each time they visit a piece and find something new. Hicks feels the painting should speak for itself.  “I believe a painting is to express something that can’t be said with words,” says Hicks. Why should we add any more words to what is already in front of you?

However, we will tell you this…

When asked about his piece, “The Breakers,” that he submitted for Maine. As they see it., the passion for his work was completely evident.  “I chose the subject, wild water and rocks, because it’s Maine the way I see it. If I could not FEEL the excitement, splendor, and power of the sea I might as well take up knitting.”

No more words needed.

The Maine. As they see it., show is all about the strong connection these artists have to Maine. It’s how they view it, and according to Hicks, “This painting feels like Maine!”  Ed also has several pieces at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture at 14 Western Avenue in Kennebunk. Please stop by to see more of his work or visit his Artist Page on-line.

We also encourage you to come in and see the entire Maine. As they see it., collection at Maine Art Shows at 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk.  If you can’t make it in, please feel free to spend some time at the on-line show. Maine. As they see it.

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Choices – Daniel J. Corey

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Daniel J. Corey | Choices | Oil on Canvas | 32″ X 28″ $3000

Autumn is a favorite time of year for many visitors and locals alike. The deep green leaves change to dynamic reds, oranges, and yellows. Corn husks and hay bails decorate doorways, and burgundy and rust colored mums replace the geraniums and hydrangeas. Then, of course, there are the pumpkins. Fields of them. The search for the perfect one inspires all ages, and brings us to perfect little road-side stands to discover our own piece of autumn.

Daniel J. Corey’s inspiration for Maine. As they see it. started from just that place. “Choices” was influenced by one of those perfect little farm stands scattered around the state.  Beth’s Farm Stand is in Warren, Maine; a small town just inland from Rockland. Whether it is a warm biscuit covered in strawberries, fresh made apple crisp, or, as it was for Daniel, the very large selection of pumpkins during that harvest, Beth’s place is a welcome stop when poking around the backroads of Maine. “To me, ‘Choices’ represents a time of year.  There is a crispness and chill in the air calling for a few more calories in the diet and clothing of a certain weight,” says Corey.

The pumpkin patch brings out the kid in us all. Cider is shared with family, friends and the heat from the first wood stove fire is cozy. “This represents my favorite time of year. It’s why I chose it,” says Corey.  “I am happy when a painting makes me smile. This one does.”

No matter the time of year, “Choices” is a beautiful addition to any art collection. If you are interested in seeing it in person, please visit Maine Art Shows at 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk.  The Maine. As they see it. show will be running until August 6th. Stop by anytime between 11-5.  Daniel also has a wonderful collection of work at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture down the hill at 14 Western Avenue in Kennebunk. If you are in the area, we encourage you to visit both galleries, or as always, you can view Daniel’s work on his Artist Page.

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Summer in Maine – Monique Sakellarios

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Monique Sakellarios | Summer in Maine | Oil | 22″ X 28″  $2600

Monique Sakellarios is internationally recognized and has received numerous honors and awards for her work as an impressionist artist. Yet, when asked about her piece, “Summer in Maine,” her biggest hope was to have it “adopted”.  “I want it to go to a loving family who will cherish it as much as I do. I hope it will bring happiness to whoever sees it.”

Each painting holds a piece of the artist. For Monique, it’s a memory.  “This painting reminds me of happy times spent in Maine, and I want to share those with the viewer.” The contrast of the purples and pinks of the wildflowers and the multitude of greens in the marsh bring a part of Maine summer to those who have not had the chance to wander in for a closer look. “I see lazy summer days that seem to go on forever,” says Sakellarios.

“Summer in Maine” is one of  thirty-one pieces in the Maine. As they see it. show at Maine Art Shows. This show features numerous artists and their love of this state. The show is open every day from 11-5 at 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk, and will run until August 6th. Please come by and visit, or see the show on-line at Maine. As they see it. You can also see more from Monique at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture and on her Artist Page on our website.

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Break Through – Jill Valliere

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Jill Valliere | Break Through | Plaster, Metal Leaf and Glaze | 30″ X 30″   $4500

When asked about, “Break Through,” her piece for Maine. As they see it., Jill shares a story with friends and hiking in Reed State Park. “We came upon this clearing in the trees. It gave us a lovely sneak peek of our ultimate destination.” Jill celebrates Maine with the eye of a local capturing the true beauty of the seasons; the true beauty of this state we call our home.  Each painting holds a time and place that is a part of her.  Even if you are new to her work, she pulls you in and makes you feel present.  Each piece is somewhere you have been. We have all traveled the snow-covered hills of “Down Time” and rolled in the ripples of colored leaves in “All Aglow”.  The titles of her work carry us to that time. “Fields of Shadow” and “Sheltered Cove” among them, bring back memories of the days spent enveloped in a place we don’t always know enough to appreciate.

“The title ‘Break Through’ has a double meaning for me,” says Valliere.  “One is the literal feeling of breaking through the brush to glimpse an incredible place I am heading towards.  The second, more figurative meaning, is the feeling I have when an idea I’ve been pondering suddenly becomes clear, and I finally see where that idea is going to take me.”  No matter if she is in her studio at her home in Rockland, on a back trail hiking with her two – yes two – Great Danes, or with her husband at her quiet little lake house in southern Maine, Jill brings you along for the ride.  She speaks in stories, and her love of life is genuine. She is passionate about her work and invites her audience to be a part of it. She forces us to take a conscious and deep breath and celebrate the fact that we live here.

You can see “Break Through” at Maine Art Shows at 10 Chase Hill Road or in the online show at Maine. As they see it.  Jill also has an extensive collection of work at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture at 14 Western Avenue in Kennebunk. Feel free to visit her Artist Page to view these, as well.

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On the Waterfront – William B. Hoyt

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William B. Hoyt | On the Waterfront | Oil | 23″ X 47″ | $18500

William B. Hoyt is known for his classic portrayal of life in New England. The real-life people and places he comes in contact with are often reincarnated in paint. Be it a perfect beach day in “Jousting,” the clean lines of a sailboat venturing out for the day in “Herreshoff 12 1/2,” or the simplicity of a pot on the stove in “Topside Galley,” Hoyt brings his world to us in detail and color.

When William was asked to create a personal reflection of ‘his Maine’ for Maine. As they see it., of course there was a memory to walk with him through the process. “On the Waterfront” began with a story from the small town of Stonington, Maine. “My wife and I were up in Brooklin staying with friends while one of them attended a marine canvas sewing workshop at the Wooden Boat School. That left three of us to prowl around and explore during the class. We went by boat down to Stonington, tied up at the town dock, and wandered the streets.”

To be able to see though William Hoyt’s eyes as he wanders would be a day well spent. Maine is all about the senses, and he uses them all. “It was a perfect September day, and the sight of laundry run out on a line over a deshabille dock got me,” remembers Hoyt. “The former shops used to serve the area back when most goods arrived by boat, before good roads and bridges. Now used by a lobsterman to store paraphernalia, I caught myself reflected in the window with pot warp and buoys.” After taking a moment to look closer, you will find this reflection.  One of the many wonders of Hoyt’s paintings is the tiny facets that are found each time you stand in front of his work. Time and close inspection bring amazing discovery.

For those of us that grew up here,  we know this scene could be one of so many Maine coastal towns. Fishing and lobstering are still thriving, but not all are the tourist destinations usually seen depicted in magazines and postcards. “Stonington still serves an archipelago with goods and services that peak in summer months and subside after Labor Day.”

One day to visit Maine just isn’t enough.  Working a path up the coast could take a traveler weeks, or even the whole summer, and still all would not be seen. This is why we welcome you to come and visit Maine Art Shows in Kennebunk, and get a look inside some of the best of Maine, all in one place.

Maine. As they see it will run until August 6th.  Maine Art Shows is open everyday from 11-5. Come in.  It is a wonderful way to see Maine.

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Red House and Pink Cloud II – Abbie Williams and Monhegan Island

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Abbie Williams | Red House, Pink Cloud II | Oil on Linen | 30″ X 40″ $4300

It is dirt roads and no cars, cagey cliffs and quiet paths, fir trees and fairy houses. It is twelve miles of hidden trails wound around one mile of island. It is quiet beauty, living colors, and one of Abbie Williams’ favorite places.

Monhegan Island is a sanctuary for many artists. All who travel here are looking for one thing; solitude. Artists seek out the peace and natural surroundings of Maine unspoiled, and Abbie has been lucky enough to find it on this little island in Maine.

“One of the amazing parts of being able to stay on Monhegan Island for a period of time is seeing how the light changes day to day, from the early morning to the late afternoon,” says Williams. “The skies around the island are intriguing, magical, ethereal. Beyond description.” So, if she can’t describe it with words, she must paint, and that is how Red House and Pink Cloud II came to be.  “This orange and pink cloud behind the red house created such an exciting response in me, I couldn’t help but paint it.”

It is this passion, this love, that Abbie has for her surroundings that is revealed in each canvas. Works like Lone Pine and Winter Moon breathe with the life she infuses in her work. Standing in front these paintings, one is transported and sitting on the edge of the scenery taking in the world that is Abbie Williams.

Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture has the pleasure of housing a wonderful collection Abbie Williams’ work.  If you would like to see more, please visit at 14 Western Avenue in Kennebunk or visit her Artist Page on-line.

Maine. As they see it., will be open at Maine Art Shows everyday from 11-5. Please come in and check out this wonderful new show highlighting our state through the eyes of some of the most talented artists in the area. You can also view the show on-line at Maine. As they see it.

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