Good Things to Come

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As the leaves swirl to the ground, covering the lawns and streets of the Kennebunks, we are often asked two questions; “Do you stay open year round?” and, “Is it really slow?” Without fail, the answer is the same. “Yes we stay open, and no, it isn’t slow.” Even though the streets are not filled with summertime tourists, many people enjoy the quieter side of the Kennebunks in the fall, winter and spring. For us, there is always something to be planned, scheduled, marketed, revamped and rearranged, which keeps our year-round staff continually busy.

With this said, we thought we would take a minute to bring everyone up to speed on all the amazingness coming up here at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture for the remainder of 2015 and into 2016.

Now through November 25th – Tangle, a Liz Hoag show, will be on the first floor of the gallery at 14 Western Ave.  This is an incredible and vibrant show with a theme like no other.  If you haven’t stopped by or checked it out on-line, we encourage you to do so.

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November 13th to December 3rd, you need to visit our Facebook Page and vote for your favorite Lyman Whitaker Wind Sculpture picture.  This is a great way to see the sculptures in their natural habitat. The picture with the most votes wins a Spring Wind Sculpture. The winner will be announced on December 4th.

Starting November 27th and running through the rest of the year will be the Maine Art Holiday Show.  Again, this will be on the first floor of Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, and is a perfect place to do a little holiday shopping.  Kennebunkport’s famous Christmas Prelude will be in full swing during most of this show.  Be sure to check out the fabulous events and goings-on around town during this time, including the Village Art Walk on December 11th.

February, yes the whole month of February, Kennebunk and Kennebunkport will Paint the Town Red.  Come to the coast and celebrate the month that is known to be for lovers.  There are specials and events all over the community. This is a don’t-miss month.

May 28th to June 16th, Maine Art will be celebrating new and wonderful works by David Witbeck.  Many of you know and love his larger-than-life fishermen and lobstermen, but there is always so much more to see in a Witbeck show.  This event will be on the first floor of the gallery on Western Ave. Be watching for the date and time of the Artist Reception for a chance to come and chat with David himself.

2016 Maine Art Shows Schedule.

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Yes, our show schedule is ready.  We know many of you love this time of year and are already planning your annual spring and summer visits to the Kennebunks.  Be watching for the on-line show catalog announcements.  If you are not on our email list, please contact the gallery and we will make sure to keep you in the loop.

The Choice Art Show – June 11th to June 30th (opening during the Kennebunkport Festival)

Holly Ready – July 2nd to the 21st

Rebecca Kinkead – July 23rd to  August 11th

William B. Hoyt – August 13 to September 5th

Henry Isaacs – September 24 – October 22nd

Holy Moly.  See why we are open year round?  Our staff here at Maine Art works very hard to help keep the Kennebunks full of quality art and artists. Our shows are always top notch. We consider ourselves lucky to be part of such an amazing community that supports all we do… all year long.

You can always visit Maine Art on-line, but we look forward to seeing you in the gallery soon!

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The Birches – Liz Hoag

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Liz Hoag’s show, Tangle, opened last Saturday at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture. The gallery was filled with jovial banter and familial intimacy. Liz discussed the finer points of her technique and her inspiration. Each piece in this show brings the outside in by way of branches and sky. Locals and tourists alike have commented on what a presence this collection of work gives. To have an entire collection hung in this space is stunning.

Many variety of trees are represented in this collection. However, there are three distinct pieces that bring the birch tree to the forefront. These images are all available for view in the on-line show, and when seen on screen the question of paint vs. photograph immediately comes to mind. The answer… paint. These are paintings; images discovered in acrylic. These trees are captured in such exquisite detail it takes a moment to be sure. The black and white blur of bark, the multitude of greens playing in the leaves, and the lightest of blue in a perfect sky. It is all here. Up In the Birches 2, Birch Tangle, and Square Birch Tangle hone in on the wonder of the birch tree and bring it to life.

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It is here one can see those abstract ideas that Hoag loves to blend into her representational work. Whether it is your back yard, the local park, or last year’s vacation to Maine these pieces remind you of a place you have been before. Each would be a centerpiece for any room, and as a collection they would be incredible.

Tangle will be at Maine Art until November 25th. We welcome you to stop in at 14 Western Avenue. Autumn is a perfect time to visit the Kennebunks. If you can’t make it in, please have a virtual visit to Tangle, the on-line show. There are other pieces from Liz Hoag on the second floor of the gallery and on her Artist Page.

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Tangle – A Liz Hoag Show

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Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture is pleased to announce our upcoming show, Tangle.  This one-woman show is an up-close look at some of Maine’s most intricate natural works of art- its trees. Liz Hoag, a Maine artist, has found beauty in the most simple of pleasures; looking at the amazing play of light and sky as it winds around, in and through the branches of the incredible trees that decorate our entire state. We have all spent time looking up and watching the light play in the web of branches overhead.  Liz has captured these moments perfectly in this collection of work.

Hoag describes these works as, “cutting it out.” “It is just the branches and the sky and the light,” she says. “It’s balance and shape.” Liz began the collection the winter before last and has added to it this summer. After taking photographs on walks around her neighborhood or local trails, she comes back to her studio.  This is where the magic happens.  Starting with a dark canvas, or negative space, she builds up by adding light.  The result is a “stained glass” image that is both abstract and representational.

The online preview for Tangle opens today, Thursday, October 22nd.  Liz does have other work on display in the gallery, which may be viewed on her Artist Page. Please take the time to look into the wonderful world of Liz Hoag.

Tangle by Liz Hoag will run from October 24th to November 25th.  We will have an Artist Reception on Saturday, October 24th from 5-7 pm at Maine Art, 14 Western Ave in Kennebunk.  We hope you will be able to stop by and meet this amazing woman and check out this intriguing new show.

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Liz Hoag – A New Maine Art Artist

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The family at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture is growing.  Artist Liz Hoag has recently joined the gallery, and we are excited to introduce her.  Liz has been living in Maine for over twenty-five years. Presently, she resides in Portland, but her studio space is in Westbrook. Much of her work is focused, or sometimes unfocused, on the Maine outdoors.

The misty broken spaces in Hoag’s present collection at Maine Art has that “unfocused” appearance. It brings you to the edge of the woods and invites you in. It makes you question what lies beyond.  When viewing her work, you get a sense of a shift in the air. The first light of day, the slight haze before the snow flies, or the steam-filled moments after a cooling summer rain. It is difficult not to stand and wonder while taking in her landscapes.

“It seems I have always leaned toward realistic work, but I like abstract. It’s looser,” says Hoag when asked about her style. “I am trying to work more abstract ideas into my representational work.” She describes the work as “misty” when she discusses the pulling of light color over dark. “It is a limited palette, grayish. These pieces are more of a narrative,” Liz says.  “They tell of the place you are – the specific place.”

In her upcoming show, Tangle, Liz takes a closer look at these places. Much closer.  The landscapes disappear, and the branches fill the canvas. We are left looking directly into the trees. To say these new works are amazing is an understatement. We can’t give away the entire show, but here is a sneak peek.

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Tangle by Liz Hoag will run from October 24th to November 25th.  We will have an Artist Reception on Saturday, October 24th from 5-7 pm at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, 14 Western Avenue in Kennebunk.  Please stop by and chat with this interesting new artist at Maine Art. As always, you can visit the gallery to see Liz’s work, or visit her Artist Page on-line.

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Art Walking in the Rain

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Friday evening the streets of Kennebunk and Kennebunkport sparkled.  The street lights and warmer-than-normal temperatures off-set Mother Nature’s attempt at washing out October’s Village Art Walk.  Instead, we walked in the rain, celebrated a beautiful autumn, and enjoyed the company of artist, Craig Mooney.

This quiet time with Craig allowed many to get to know the artist just a bit better. Stories of travel and family, and of course art, filled the first floor of the gallery.  Almost every visitor, after walking around, had the same question, “Where is the setting of this piece?”  They would point to the rocks overlooking the ocean in Summit Light, or the girl leaning against the banister in Coastline Remembered. Craig’s answer always varied a little, but the idea was the same.  “It is a place only I have been. It is the the epitome of New England’s perfection. It is a piece and a part of each beach, mountain, or ocean I have visited. It is where I was at peace. It is wherever makes you happy.”  All of Craig’s work in From a Distance contains this peaceful, picture perfect setting. Growing up in Manhattan, surrounded by the noise and craze of the city, Mooney began creating his own bit of tranquility with paint and canvas.  “I needed quiet, so I made my own,” says Mooney. For those of us that seek out Maine and her coastline, this is a concept that is very easy to understand.

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Upstairs was just as busy as down. The patter of rain against the windows that surround the upper level of the gallery fashioned an ideal visit.  Glass of wine in-hand and background stories provided by the staff made the tour of Maine Art personal and warm. A few pieces found new homes and braved the sprinkles wrapped in plastic and paper clutched by happy customers. All in all, it was a perfect evening.

As always, the food was incredible and the wine was stellar. Thank you, Donna and Down East Wine Imports.  All who dropped in left with a smile. Columbus Day weekend brought many first time visitors to the gallery, Kentucky, Georgia, California. Then, of course, many of our favorite local customers came by to say hello. Thank you to all.

The next and final Village Art Walk of the season will be December 11th, as Prelude once again turns Kennebunk and Kennebunkport into a winter wonderland of the classic New England Christmas. Mark it on your calendar and come join us.

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Craig Mooney’s show, From A Distance runs until October 23rd.

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Sunsets in the Marsh

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Over the last couple weeks, the first floor at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture has been immersed in Craig Mooney’s Show, “From A Distance.” These paintings encompass the theme of distance, both physically and mentally, as they encourage the artist and the viewer to use both space and time to reflect on the beauty of the ocean and its shoreline.

Standing in the middle of the gallery, it is difficult to not let your eye wander from one painting to the next. There is a flow and a peace that connects each painting into a single moment and allows the viewer to float uninterrupted. That is, until your eye reaches Evening Sky.

The burst of orange light that flows over the marsh reflects in both water and sky.  The contrast of the deep green grasses and the glow of the last rays of sun is startling, but the process to take it in is completely subconscious.  It demands a step backward, a slight tilt of the head, and begs for the smallest squint in an attempt to see more clearly: as if looking into something luminous.  You must instinctively pull back in order to be pulled back in. Brush strokes of gold and grey and a faint remnant of sky blue cover the canvas, but it’s the orange. Burnt and bright. Deep and daring. “It’s all about the light and shadow, the contrast. It sets the mood, and the orange is really a combination of warm hues that draw the viewer in,” says Mooney when asked about this piece.

The companion to Evening Sky is Quiet Haze.  It has those same orange tones, but this time they are settled down and snuggled into the land.  They have seeped into the waters and clouds and appear as mere remnants of what once was.  As Evening Sky sings, Quiet Haze whispers.

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Mooney’s show, “From A Distance,” is at Maine Art in Kennebunk until October 23rd.  We welcome you to see it for yourself.  We will be open until eight o’clock Friday, October 9th for the Village Art Walk, and Craig will be here to help us celebrate. Come in to chat and enjoy.

As always, you can see the show in its entirety at “From A Distance,” or visit Craig’s Artist Page on the gallery’s website.

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When It Was Summer

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Over the last week or so, Southern Maine has started to change.  The temperatures are dropping to normal autumnal numbers, leaves of red, orange and yellow decorate the trees and the beach goers dress in cuffed jeans and sweaters instead of bikinis and flip-flops.  Fall has finally come to the Maine coast.

As much as we all celebrate this change of season, it is hard not to miss the summer. Days spent in bright sunshine, warm sand and crashing waves fill our minds. Craig Mooney knows this all too well. He spent his summer with his wife and two-year-old daughter getting reacquainted with the seagulls and seaweed. It was a summer he is not all that eager to forget.  And so, in the midst of his show “From A Distance,” you will find the paintings Beach Day and Low Tide Strollers.

In Beach Day, small shapes and colors dot the shoreline; illusions in paint. Wisps of figures, so familiar it is impossible not to smile. Mid-day is captured when summer still felt long and full. Low Tide Strollers has a different feel. The sun has dipped lower in the sky, and the smallest of silhouettes are outlined by dark blue water and wave-soaked sands. If you look closely you will see that even our canine friends have come to share this playground.

We all love the beautiful seascapes that Craig is known for at Maine Art. With these two pieces he has not only invited us to see his world, but to actually be a part of it. Come in and experience it for yourself. Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture will be hosting “From A Distance” until October 23rd.  The gallery is open until 6pm during the week, and 7pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Also, don’t forget to come and join us for the Village Art Walk next Friday, October 9th from 5pm – 8pm. Craig will be here to enjoy the evening with us. If you are away and interested in viewing the entire show, you can find it online at “From A Distance.” You can also view all of Craig’s collection in the gallery or on his Artist Page.

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The Lobstermen of Maine

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For us here at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, the name Craig Mooney is synonymous with large, semi-abstract landscapes. Even though he does not paint specific places, his work draws us in and gives off that sense of home for those of us who live on the coast.

However, there is another part of the sea and the coast that occasionally grabs Mooney’s eye and interest.  It may not be as beautiful or as picturesque, but it is still very much a part of coastal Maine life;  the lobsterman.

We have seen the craggy, sea-worn man before in Mooney’s work. The Old Man and the Sea and Storm Watch are classic fisherman. They are the men who have been here for generations and will continue to be here long after we are gone.  But why do they stay? Why do they get up at dawn and come home at dusk facing brutal wind and freezing water? The same reason that lures the rest of here – the water.

Craig has two new pieces in the show, “From A Distance,” that show off the beauty of the lobsterman and his work. Setting Traps and Back Out to Sea.  Each piece allows us a different view of this very solitary world.  One boat, one man and the water he loves. In each, the water is at its clearest and calmest. This is where biting wind and bitter cold change to warm sun and silent sea. This is where a moment of rest is taken.

If you love the coast of Maine, there are many new and interesting subjects and views in Craig’s new show. “From A Distance” is more than just a glimpse of why we love it here. We welcome you to come see it for yourself at 14 Western Avenue in Kennebunk, or view it online at “From A Distance.”  The show will run until October 23rd.  Craig will also be in the gallery for the Village Art Walk on Friday, October 9th from 5-8. We look forward to seeing you soon.

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Opening Day – From A Distance – A Craig Mooney Show

From A Distance – A Craig Mooney Show

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Saturday, the doors of Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture opened for Craig Mooney’s show, “From A Distance.”  Now, this was the first time we have ever done a show here in the gallery at 14 Western Ave. and rarely do we have shows in the fall. This was a first for us, and we truly didn’t know what to expect.

We spent all day with the over twenty tour busses that teetered into town.  The streets were full and we had a plethora of happy tourists and locals alike. By three o’clock the crowds were starting to dissipate, and a few paintings boasted the glorious little red dot… sold. “From A Distance” was off to a wonderful start, and we were only a few hours in.

The Artist’s Reception began at five and was a perfect place to come in and see the work first hand.  It was also a chance to chat with the artist himself for a few minutes.  The online show is spectacular, but there is nothing like seeing great works of art in person. Craig, his wife Kristen and their daughter Millie were on hand to share stories and details about Craig and his work.  A painting becomes more personal knowing the story behind it. While standing in front of each canvas, patrons reminisced about their where and when, their sky and sand and sun and their memories that flooded back as they took in the scenes Craig created: Goose Rocks Beach, Damriscotta, Cape Cod, Kennebunk Marsh, and Acadia among others. “I love to create a place where someone feels like they have been there,” said Mooney.  “ Like a lyricist or a poet, I want to inspire people to bring their own story to the work; to find what it means to them.” Craig still wonders at the familiar.  He finds a way to make everyday beauty a celebration and he brings to life a moment deserving of paint and canvas. This is what people love about a Mooney painting. This is why the first floor at 14 Western Ave. in Kennebunk held a crowd of art loving people. (Of course, it could have also been the food. Donna Speirs, our in-house caterer, never disappoints.)

The night flew by in a whirlwind of  people and laughter and community. By seven o’clock the street lights were coming on, and it was time to close the doors of Maine Art for the night.  There were a few of us heading out to Bandaloop, a local restaurant, to toast a fabulous first day.  Kennebunkport was still in full swing, celebrating a September like we haven’t seen in years. We were feeling blessed and grateful to be able to celebrate right along with her.

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Thanks so much to all those who came out to support Craig Mooney and Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture during his opening day.  We look forward to seeing you again soon.  Remember, the show runs until October 23rd.  Please feel free to bring a friend in and share this incredible show.  The gallery is open everyday, and as always, click here for the online show. It is a great way to take a peek if you are far away and wishing you could be here.

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Autumn Transformations – From A Distance

Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture is going through a bit of transition today.  We are still open for business, but the majority of the first floor will be a bit crazy as we prepare for the opening of “From A Distance,” Craig Mooney’s one-man show that opens tomorrow.

Normally, our show gallery is up on Chase Hill at Maine Art Shows. However, we are doing something a little different this fall. Maine Art Shows closed after Labor Day, but Kennebunk and Kennebunkport are just revving up for what is looking like a beautiful and busy autumn season.  Therefore, we decided to celebrate the changing of the leaves and cool breezes by showcasing artists on the first floor of Maine Art.

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The first of these shows is Craig Mooney’s, “From A Distance.” Mooney has always loved New England’s ocean and landscapes, and has a natural talent for capturing that place and time one promises to never forget.  Craig joined the gallery all the way back in May of 2007. “Looking back at the first few deliveries of paintings, his work has changed dramatically,” says Amy Lewia, Maine Art’s Gallery Director.  Age, skill and vision all push an artist to grow and become better. Yet, Craig’s ability to encapsulate Maine, her coast and her sky remains true.

Remember, the show starts tomorrow morning at 10 am.  Please come in. The entire gallery will be open until five, and then we welcome you to celebrate with Craig and the Maine Art staff from 5-7 at the official opening of “From A Distance.”

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The show will run until October 23rd, and as always is available to view on-line at www.maine-art.com.

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