Hope of Spring II – Sandra L. Dunn

 

 

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This abstract style is new for Sandra.  “It feels like ‘weaving’ with brushstrokes,” she says when talking about Hope Springs II.  Sandra is incredibly modest when it comes to her work. “This painting practically painted itself, since I’d been walking around with the ‘thought’ of it in my mind for several weeks.”

“I did this piece in February of this year,” Dunn says. Inspired by the endless winter that wrapped around New England, she had to find spring underneath the cold blanket of snow.  Ever the optimist, she focused on the “tiny seed buried deep in the cold, dark ground”. She had more hope than most to be able to see this scene in her mind while being buried in a winter landscape.  “It was a burst of color as the sprout rose up and reached above the ground,” Dunn claims, describing the crisp and clean colors that cover this canvas.

This piece is the second in a pair.  The first, Hope of Spring, can be found at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture on 14 Western Ave, Kennebunk.  Sandra also has two others in the Choice Art Show. Magenta Glads & White Rose and Monhegan Delphinium.  The show will run until June 25th.  We welcome you to stop by either gallery to see her work in person, or you can visit at www.maine-art.com.

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Evening Light – Janis H. Sanders

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Set at the top of the island, the Monhegan Lifesaving Station overlooks Monhegan Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Now dormant, Janis found inspiration not only by what is, but by what was. “Turning and looking toward the Lifesaving Station, one cannot help but be moved by its intrepid stance against the elements, white and pure and resolute. History and future meet here on top of this hill, full and rich with contrasting emotions and physicalities, joy and sorrow, storms and respite, dark and light, as we walk by in a moment on a given warm summer evening, smell the salt air and continue our journey.”

What seems at first sight to be an uncomplicated display of boat and land, iconic of the coastal life, becomes more with time spent. “The strong linear shapes of the buildings and rooflines stand solid in contrast to the curves of the lifeboat itself, all illuminated by sunlight casting gently across the varied surfaces of manmade objects and rugged landscape,” says Sanders. “The shadows emphasize the simple contrast of light and dark as a physical entity itself, and as a symbol of our being in a deeper sense, of those lost at sea and of those who have survived.” Capable and experienced, but now empty, only stories still live in the Monhegan Lifesaving Station.  The tales of the keeper himself, of those rescued or in need, and of course painters like Janis H. Sanders, fill the spaces time left behind.  We are lucky to be able to experience one of those stories first hand here at the Choice Art Show in Kennebunk.

Monhegan is an inspiration in many of Janis’s pieces.  We welcome you to come visit both Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture and Maine Art Shows to experience more of his work. You can also view his full collection on his Artist Page on our website.

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Rock ‘n’ Roll – David Witbeck

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David’s work is very unique and easy to distinguish. The charm and love of the coast comes through. For those of us born and raised on the New England coast, we have seen the “Rock ‘n’ Roll” of the fishing harbor our whole life. However, if you are from away, it only takes a few minutes down on the docks to discover it.

“I wanted to paint something other than my usual fisherman. I love to watch boats tugging at their moorings on blustery days as if they’re trying to get free,” says Witbeck about how “Rock ‘n’ Roll” was born. There is no doubt that the Atlantic Ocean and the boats are in cahoots in the battle for freedom in this piece. There is also no doubt that these boats belong with David’s fisherman. Eliot, Walt, and Amos  would be happy that the moorings are holding strong.

On June 13th, these whimsical lobster boats can be found on the walls at Maine Art Shows. The heart of David’s work is best seen in person. Each piece has a life of its own. If you can’t make it to the gallery, many pieces can be found on David’s Artist Page at www.maine-art.com. In the end, when it comes to judging David’s work, he sums it up best. “I know I have a good painting when it makes me smile. This one made me smile.”

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A Great Choice

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To say the opening of the Choice Art Show was a success is an understatement, if we do say so ourselves.  The hard work and dedication the staff put into making this event happen was certainly rewarded. Even Mother Nature took her role seriously yesterday.  By five o’clock the sky was clear and the sun was out.  She even provided a slight breeze to carry the musical stylings of Max Garcia Conover from the front porch through the open door of Maine Art Shows.

Many of the artists were on hand to give a personal invitation into each piece.  It was a joy to hear visitors engage in conversation regarding the artists’ process and style, their influence and approach, and even their life and family. To hear the passion and inspiration behind their work is something beautiful and extraordinary. Very few buyers have this opportunity to make a connection with the work they choose to hang in their homes.

If additional questions needed answering, John Spain, owner of the gallery, was on hand. Ever the dapper host, he embraced the Kennebunkport Festival in style, all the way from his blue plaid cap to his matching Chuck Taylors. It certainly made him easy to find when information was needed or introductions wanted.  The knowledge John has of his gallery and artists, as well as a memory for guests and buyers is amazing.  He is invested in making Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture a place where people feel comfortable and welcome.

On the lines of comfortable and welcome, Donna Speirs, our in-house caterer, complimented the paintings well with her own culinary artistry.  Stuffed mushrooms, tenderloin bruschetta, and chocolate covered strawberries were just a few of her specialties. The only thing better than spending an afternoon surrounded by exquisite art is accompanying it with exquisite food. In the past, Maine Art Shows has always held memorable openings, but yesterday’s Choice Art Show was an event inspired by the true spirit of the Kennebunkport Festival.

If you were not able to attend the opening, know that the show runs until June 25th, and we’d love to have you experience it for yourself.  Maine Art Shows is open from 11-5 daily, so stop by 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk.  Remember to visit www.maine-art.com for a virtual tour. A collection for each artist is available on their Artist Page.

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Fog and Flaura – Abbie Williams

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“At first my favorite was Lone Pine, but after living with the paintings for some months now, I am beginning to lean towards Fog and Flaura,” says Williams. With her obvious love of what she creates, choosing one as a favorite took months. The lure of “Fog and Flaura” is understandable.  “It is so solitary, yet serene, quiet but with a strong statement. I like that.”

A painter at heart, Abbie is seduced by anything that sparks her imagination. “It demands I paint it!” she says of the fog found in a series she started over a year ago. Ensnared is the word she uses to describe the mist of fog. It has captured her. The multitude of Maine wildflowers blended with the shadow of the pines in the distance brings the viewer home.  It’s as if you have been here before. You can actually feel the comfort Abbie has created.

For forty years Abbie has been putting paint to canvas.  She has a beautiful collection of work at the gallery, as well as two other stunning pieces in the Choice Art Show, which were unveiled on June 13th at the opening.  We hope you find time to come see them in person.  If not, please visit Abbie’s work at www.maine-art.com.

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Fleeting Light – Jill Valliere

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All of Jill Valliere’s work glows. Admittedly, it is in part to the metal leaf and glaze she uses, yet honestly, it is more the heart and soul she painstakingly places there for us to find.

When Jill talks about her work that same glow radiates from her. “My love of embarking on an adventure,  coupled with my love of the water pushed me to choose “Fleeting Light”.  When I sit back and look at this painting,  I feel as if I am heading out to explore a new waterway and can actually imagine myself traveling into the painting. I am lost in thoughts of the beautiful sights I might see along the way.”

“Fleeting Light” is not the only one of Valliere’s pieces that gives this sense of wandering. No matter what the season, each landscape she brings to us captures the imagination, and the wanderlust begins.

You can see two more new pieces in the Choice Art Show, the Editor’s Choice, chosen by Maine Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Susan Grisanti, and the People’s Choice, chosen by this year’s online voters. Also, don’t forget to visit the rest of Jill’s collection at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture or visit her Artist Page at www.maine-art.com.

One Gallery. One Show. And You.

 

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For Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture this show started months ago. For some of artists involved, it started years ago. For us, the voter, over a month ago.  Phew!

Now here we are a day away, and with all that prep time everything must be all set and ready to go. Right?  If you asked Amy Lewia, Maine Art’s Gallery Director…. actually, don’t ask her, she is just a little busy. She and Natalie Lane, the galleries manager, are hard at work on the first floor of Maine Art Shows. It is their job to transform the three room gallery into a work of art itself, and they have just a few hours to do it.

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One of the most difficult parts of final phase of this show is the fact that the art work has been on display all over Kennebunkport this week for the Art of Dining Series.  It was just yesterday that John and Patrick picked up the final pieces of shared work.  Now the banging, bustling, and beautifying starts.  Maine Art Shows is soon to open their first show of the season.

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So, while Natalie and Amy and many other staffers are downstairs making the magic happen, Donna Speirs, the gallery’s one and only in-house chef and decorator extraordinaire, has taken over the kitchen on the second floor to begin the preparation for the spectacle of delicious wonders that will feed the starving art buyers at the opening tomorrow afternoon. Donna is an artist in her own right. At the same time, Chris and Mike, the maintenance crew, have been hard at work all week. The walls are pristine, the hardwood floors are sparkling, and the front porch is perfect.The amount of people it takes to transform Maine Art Shows gallery space is astounding.

The entire building is coming together to give you an show like no other.  A show you, the voter, helped curate. The Choice Art Show. If you are wanting to experience it first, and first hand, there are still a few tickets left for the opening at five o’clock tomorrow. The show will run until June 25th, so if don’t see you on Saturday, please stop by for a visit.  The Maine Art Shows gallery on 10 Chase Hill is open from 11 – 5 every day.

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Drunken Sailor – Craig Mooney

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“There is a hardship facing those who toil on the sea,” says Craig Mooney. The beautiful blue life created in many of Craig’s pieces is not the only side of life on the coast. In “Drunken Sailor,” Craig captures a different view.   Hard work, tedium, and danger are just a few of words Mooney uses to describe a fisherman’s life.
A sailor doesn’t stray far from the sea.  The cloud studded blue sky, the white gull, and the rough waters are close by. Yet, the shadows are the focus of this work. “There are times when a sailor finds his salvation and comfort in a quiet, dry space,” says Mooney.  “And yes, a bottle.”
The range of Craig Mooney’s work is fabulous.  Whether your connection is to the water, the land surrounding it, or the people who call it home, Mooney’s work will find your eye and your heart. Come visit Maine Art Shows to see this and two more new pieces in the Choice Art Show, the Editor’s Choice, chosen by Maine Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Susan Grisanti, and the People’s Choice, chosen by this year’s online voters.
If you are too far away, but still want to check out what Craig is doing, visit his artist page at www.maine-art.com.

Three Boats – Henry Isaacs

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Time. It seems that is the key ingredient the average person doesn’t grasp when it comes to the work of an artist. Weeks at the easel, months in the imagination, or in Henry’s case, with “Three Boats”, years in the process. “This piece was started as a workshop demonstration several years ago, and I more recently returned to it to finish.”

Henry claims that the real invention starts once he has the canvas back in his studio, but all of his work is started on site.  “Our island,” Little Cranberry Island, off the coast of  Southwest Harbor, “is surrounded by huge scale: the mountains of Acadia National Park, boats with masts taller than any point on the island, huge flocks of migrating birds, but most of all the vast expanse of the Gulf of Maine.” With inspiration all around, it is easy to understand how a piece like “Three Boats” happens.

Many pieces in Henry’s collection are large, and his process is as big as his work. “I like working big. I never use an easel, whether the canvas is 8″ x 8″, or 80″ x 80″. I simply place the canvas on the ground, sand, or grass, and continually walk around it painting from all sides, all at once.”  The result is a kaleidoscope of color and shade bound together to produce the essence of the Maine coast.

His work is often best viewed the same way it is created. So…walk around it, see it from all sides, and experience the world through the eyes of Henry Isaacs.

Be sure to see all of Henry’s work at Maine Art Shows during the Choice Art Show at 10 Chase Hill Road,  and at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture on 14 Western Ave in Kennebunk, just across the bridge from Dock Square, Kennebunkport. If you are not in Kennebunkport, you can always visit Henry’s Artist Page at www.maine-art.com

Not a Normal Wednesday – Kennebunkport Festival 2015

Before we start in on what today brings, we have to give a huge Thank You! to a few folks for last night. First off, One Dock Prime rocked it! What a perfect way to start of this week.  After cocktails we were lucky enough to spend the evening in Jay and Erica Knudsen’s home with a crazy group of wonderful people.  Artist Jill Valliere, Sponsor Tom LaPierre from LaPierre Stone, Maine Media Collective’s Emily McConnell, and of course the fabulous Chef Cara Stadler from Tao Yuan, thank you so much. Kudos to everyone involved in the Kennebunkport Festival, last night was amazing.

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Today’s calendar of events is just as crazy and just as wonderful as yesterday’s. And, of course, Maine Art Painting and Sculpture will be celebrating the best of it. Our artists, David Witbeck, Ellen Welch Granter, Henry Isaacs, Jeffrey T. Fitzgerald, and Philip Frey are all having artwork delivered as we speak to the homes hosting dinners tonight and they will  be in on the festivities tonight, as well.

Everything begins at the Colony Resort at 140 Ocean Ave in Kennebunkport for cocktails around 5pm. John and the artists will be milling around enjoying all the wonderful treats the Colony has to offer, and listening to the wonders of Dominic Lavoie, a Portland area musician. It is sure to be a perfect way to kick off the second night of the Art of Dining. There are still a few tickets available at  the Kennebunkport Festival website.

Dinner Time.

Tonight you will find David Witbeck and his collection of fun and interesting Maine characters at the home of the Raffaellis, whom have graciously opened their home yet again this year.  Chef Harding Lee Smith from The Rooms will be joining them.  The Rooms, refers to several of Smith’s Portland restaurants.  All of which are worth a visit if you are in Portland. This is sure to be a dinner to remember.

Ellen Welch Granter and some of her new work will be found at the Turner/Bull residence tonight. Chef Jeff Buerhaus of Walters will be wooing the guests with his Asian, Mediterranean and Caribbean inspired menu.  This is a lucky crowd to be feasting on such fabulous artwork and food all in one beautiful place.

Dinner at the Hurlbutts’ is sure to be one of the highlights of the Festival again this year.  They were gracious enough to open their home to both artist Henry Isaacs and Chef Guy Hernandez of Lolita. Henry will be sharing some of his best and newest pieces from the Choice Art Show and Guy will be offering up the flavors, traditions, and simplicity of the Mediterranean cuisine from his restaurant on Munjoy Hill in Portland.  Everyone will be very well taken care of at the Hurlbutts’ tonight.

The stunning artwork of Jeffrey T. Fitzgerald  graces the walls of the Taranto/Ellms home this evening.  Fitzgerald will be joined by Chef Chris Wilcox of the Velveteen Habit in Cape Neddick. The Velveteen Habit is said to be a place that invokes, “…memories of family gatherings where food was made for comfort and nourishment and families gather together to share stories and make memories.” A few more memories will be made tonight thanks to all involved with making this dinner happen.

Even though Philip Frey isn’t a Choice Art Show artist, he is one of Maine Arts Paintings and Scultpure’s featured artists this summer. He also loves a good time for a great cause and is happy to be a part of the Art of Dining party at the Rice home.  Chef Emil Rivera of Sur Lie on Free Street in Portland is the second half of the talent joining this gathering.  While Frey will be sharing pieces from his extensive collection, Chef Rivera will be sharing the progressive and delectable plates and snacks from the cool new restaurant that is rocking Portland.

The Philip Frey Show, New Works, will start June 27th at Maine Art Shows and run to July 16th.

Well…that is what we are eating tonight.

Then its on to the After Party!

Stripers at 133 Ocean Ave., right here in Kennebunk, is hosting this complimentary event starting at 9pm. It will be a great way to work off some of this food! Todd the Rocket will be our DJ and Maine Art will be there to celebrate the end of another successful day of the Kennebunkport Festival. Come wrap up the night with us – you can sleep next week!

Remember to stop in at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture as you wander around Kennebunkport, or visit us on line at maine-art.com.

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