Drawn to the Water – Insights from Artist Bethany Harper Williams

“I am drawn to the water. It is what inspires and energizes me. The colors, the sound, the smells, the calm and the movement – it overwhelms my senses and gives me energy,” says artist Bethany Harper Williams. “When I’m painting water, I get that same energy.”

Bethany loves what the Maine landscape has to offer, both the physical perspective as well as a visual perspective. The beautiful beaches and water provide an area to play and create beautiful memories while also inspiring to capture these memories and make them last forever.

“My work explores the shared emotion many of us have to our memories on the beach. As much as the image must feel real, I don’t want to get caught up in the reality of the image. I want the viewer to take a second, or third, or fourth look,” says Williams. “I want them to discover a shape or a pattern and see the whimsy in the painting that may not be visible at first glance or from a distance.”

The expanse of beach and water allows a play with texture, shape, and color while abstracting the elements. Then Williams uses the people or the boats to put it into context. She creates the unexpected, adding little circles or squares as a reminder that this is not a photo, but inspiration from a moment in time. “Sometimes when I’m painting I get too tight, trying to be too real and I have to step back and loosen up,” she says.

With the Beach Days series, Williams never knows where the people are going to be on the painting until she starts painting them. “I populate the canvas with these little gems of color following where my palette knife takes me,” she explains. “I intend to try and get the vitality and character of the people through very simple but deliberate brushstrokes. It is as if my hand dances across the canvas as I place each person, composing a rhythm of color.”

Bethany Harper Williams is part of a three artist show at Shows on Maine Art Hill. This gallyery is open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. It runs through Labor Day. You can find Bethany Harper Williams’s work year round at Maine Art Hill at the main gallery.

To learn more about Williams and her work  CLICK HERE

To see her entire available collection at Maine Art Hill CLICK HERE

To see the virtual show in its entirety CLICK HERE

Pop-Up Artist Marcia Crumley

Featured Artist Marcia Crumley is the guest artist for Pop-Up beginning August 20 to August 26. Read on to learn more about her inspiration, her process, and her work.


The colors, patterns, and textures of the natural world are the source and subject of my art. My primary focus is on landscapes, driven by my lifelong love of being outdoors, no matter what the season. I never tire of Maine’s fast-moving weather or of watching the clouds and light dance across the sky, water, mountains, and woods. I spend a lot of time outside, sometimes painting en plein air, sometimes just observing or taking reference photos. When I put paint to canvas, I always feel free to rearrange objects and intensify or modify their colors and shapes to best capture the essential feeling of a particular moment.

My contemporary landscapes capture the spirit and mood of a place through lush colors and rich textures. They aren’t meant to be accurate illustrations. When I paint a scene, I freely change the light, color, and physical layout to heighten the mood. In the end, it all boils down to my love of color, and of nature, and the pure joy I get from sharing these twin loves in paint, pastels, or inks.


Many artists say they knew they wanted to be an artist at the age of three and spent their childhoods obsessively drawing and painting. Not me. As a child, I was a cross between a tomboy and a geek and loved math and science more than anything else.

I stumbled upon painting an adult, and it quickly became an all-consuming passion. I immersed myself in studio art classes at some of the best art schools around, including the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and Massachusetts College of Art. I entered juried national competitions and was accepted into several, which led me to more advanced study and exploration of new mediums.


In addition to national juried shows, my work has now been exhibited in group exhibitions in Boston landmarks including City Hall, International Place, the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, and the Prudential Center. Solo exhibitions include Imagination and Memory at the Landau Gallery in Belmont, MA; Sacred Spaces at the Acton, MA, Public Library; and Expressive Landscapes at the Harris A. Berman Diversity Gallery at Tufts Health Plan in Watertown, MA. I was named one of five “standout artist to keep an eye on” in Maine Home + Design’s September 2017 issue, was a featured artist in artmaine’s 2017 annual guide, and was named one of Maine’s most collectible artists in artmaine’s 2019 annual guide. My art is in homes across the U.S and Canada, as well as in Europe, Australia, and Saudi Arabia, and is also in several corporate art collections, including Boston Children’s Hospital, East Boston Community Health Center, and American Tower Corporation.

If you live in the Boston area and would like to see my work in person, my SoWa study is open from 5-9 p.m. on the first Friday of every month. I’m also open by appointment. Please stop by 450 Harrison Ave, studio 225, to say hello!

A large selection of my paintings is also on view in the Boston, MA, Natick, MA, and Concord, NH showrooms of Pompanoosuc Mills furniture. With New England roots, a focus on custom, handcrafted fine furniture, and a commitment to green manufacturing, Pompy is a perfect place to show my work. Stop by to see my paintings in their showrooms at 419 Boylston Street in Boston, Route 9 in Natick, and 100 N Main Street in Concord, NH.

For more info about Crumley and her work, follow this link to her website.


Let us know if you’re coming to Marcia Crumley’s show on Facebook!

By Land, Sea, and Sky a New Collection by Artist Claire Bigbee

Pictures are spiritual beings. The soul of the painter lives within them ~ Emil Nolde

“My show is about the sky, land, and water. It is an exploration of using color and canvas to create an expression of three of the four elements. These same elements influence so much of what we see and feel around us every day,” shares Claire Bigbee about her 2019 collection at Shows at Maine Art Hill.

Silverlining is the sailboat that charts out of Perkins Cove in Ogunquit. Bigbee is friends with Capitan, Jack Gordon and his wife, Marie Christine. It is the vessels 80th birthday, and this was an excellent reason to use her for these paintings. Over the years Bigbee has sailed with them many times. From just a friendly gathering to a wedding, this vessel always provides a memorable and enjoyable experience.

“My methodology in this body of work is about expressing my feelings while sailing on the Silverlining. Through the Push and Pull Theory and using color, I create ‘pulsating, luminous, and open surfaces that emanate a mystic light,'” shares Bigbee. “I studied the concept of Push and Pull or Plasticity of Color in Painting at a few workshops. I have also studied The Hans Hoffman Approach with Robert Henry and Selina Tariff at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.”

Hoffman was one of the most important figures of postwar American art and renowned as an influential teacher for generations of artists. He aimed to create pulsating, luminous, and open surfaces that emanate a mystic light, following his most profound insight into the experience of life and nature. Hoffman was Bigbee’s primary influence and inspiration for this show.

“Plasticity is not an easy concept to wrap your head around. Color can exist and define space by way of its hue and intensity. Its relationship to the colors around it,” explains Bigbee. “This new collection of my work is about brooding seascapes, simplified shapes, extreme distance, and using a brilliant palette.”

For Bigbee, inspiration is less about the view and more about the spiritual presence. Her goal is for the viewer to feel something other than just another landscape.

“My paintings become evocative like a haunting awareness of a presence within the view,” says Bigbee. “I strive for the feeling of aloneness we sometimes feel in life. Yet there is also peace when we sense that we are not alone; that is what nature gives back to me; it’s a dialogue.”


Claire Bigbee’s entire collection can be found on Maine Art Hill year-round. Her summer show is at Shows at the top of Chase  Hill Road. It will run through Labor Day.  All galleries are open every day at 10 am.

Encaustic Art – Insights from Artist Kathy Ostrander Roberts

In addition to being thrilled to be a part of Maine Art Hill’s August show, Kathy Ostrander Roberts is excited to be reviving an ancient art.

”Encaustic paint is created by combining beeswax, resin, and pigment with heat. This ancient medium has been around since the fifth century with a renaissance of followers in the last decade,” explains Ostrander Roberts. “It is unlike any art ever experienced. I encourage viewers to touch the surface. It has a texture that begs a touch.”

She also encourages viewers to get up close and see the surface of the wax. Whether the canvas is carved, polished, raised, or smooth, each is delightfully dimensional.

Maine Waters I by Kathy Ostrander Roberts Maine Waters II by Kathy Ostrander Roberts

“Having worked for years in dry pigment in the form of pastels, I find using a blow torch very freeing compared to paint. It is not only rhythmical but can be meditative as well,” says Ostrander Roberts. “The outcome is never certain, and the result is always engaging.”

The goal is to capture the essence of Maine’s coastal waters. Kathy wants those hope who see her work to think of bodies of water and how they ebb and flow. Whether it is an exploration of the waters of a dark river like in Acqua Oscura or the surf crashing to shore like in Breakers and Waves, there is something magical in the movement of wax and resin.

“There are sometimes as many as twenty layers of wax in each painting. I use pottery tools to carve into the surface to lend a 3-D effect,” explains Ostrander Roberts. “I also try to embed a vintage piece of ephemera, ship captain’s letters, photos, mica, bark, or whatever inspires me into most paintings.”

These works replicate the movement of Maine waters, an element to which Kathy is inexplicably drawn.






We welcome you to wander Maine Art Hill in Kennebunk, Maine. All of our galleries are open at 10 am seven days a week. Shows on Maine Art Hill is featuring the work of Kathy Ostrander Roberts as well as Bethany Harper Williams and Claire Bigbee through Labor Day weekend. 

If you can not make it to the show, please see it online by click here and taking the virtual tour.

To see all of Kathy Ostrander Roberts available works visit her Artist Page.
Kathy Ostrander – Artist Page

Pop-Up Artist Dina Gardner

Featured Artist Dina Gardner is the guest artist for Pop-Up beginning August 13 to August 19. Read on to learn more about her inspiration, her process, and her work.


“Carpe Diem” 

“ I’ve always been fascinated by how artists, whether they are painters, musicians, writers or anyone who uses their gift of creativity,  work through their creative process. I’m fascinated that the process of creating art is different for every artist, regardless of their medium. 

My process for painting with pastels looks like this:  I start by turning on some music.  My musical tastes are wide and varied and they set the mood for my day at the easel.  There is a lot of singing that happens while I paint (somewhat on key but that is debatable) and dancing too (not bad for a white girl.)  Once the music is on, I then select a photograph I’ve taken and then create a thumbnail sketch.  It is usually a very simple sketch, just enough to capture three to five large shapes that I see in the photo.    I take a lot of creative license here, often adding or deleting objects in the photograph.  Then I re-draw my sketch on my ‘canvas’ which is a  gritty piece of pastel paper.  Next,  I lay down my first layers of color with both hard and soft pastels and then paint over these layers with a paintbrush dipped in alcohol.  And yes, vodka, gin or tequila do work in a pinch!  The alcohol sets the first layer in place and forms the ‘underpainting.’ Once this layer dries,  I lay down layer upon layer of color,  often letting the underpainting peek through. Once in a while, there are happy accidents.  Sometimes there are tragic outcomes. But all the time I am grateful that I found this creative outlet at this stage of my life.  

My paintings reflect the things that I am drawn: to oceans and water, skies,  forests, marshes, and meadows.  I’m also inspired by my travels and I love cities and architecture. When I paint, from a photo reference or even when I paint plein air, I’m not painting what the subject looks like but rather I am painting what my response is to the subject. 


For me, the most fascinating ‘accident’ of painting is that I now see the world in an entirely new light…literally.  I see light and shadows like I never did before and I see color very differently.  I’m constantly asking myself how it is that I’ve never really noticed the shadows cast by a tree at 2:00 pm versus the shadows at 10:00 am.  And who knew there were so many shades of green in a meadow or a forest?     Now when I look at objects in nature, I look at them through a very different lens than before I started painting.  I am constantly asking myself  ‘if I were to paint this or that, what color would I use for the underpainting?’ or ‘how would I go about painting that bright spot of light behind that cloud?’  This newfound perspective has helped me to see everything around me in a totally new light (cheesy pun but true) and I now have a much deeper appreciation for colors, light, shadow, the way the sky reflects on the water, color harmony….all of which I work to express in my paintings.   


For more info about Gardner and her work, follow this link to her website.


Wind, Water and Waves – A Summer Show at Maine Art Hill

A woman is a full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture, and transform. ~ Diane Mariechild

Shows on Maine Art Hill is hosting a three-artist show, featuring the works of artists, Claire Bigbee, Bethany Harper Williams, and Kathy Ostrander Roberts. This show begins Saturday, August 10 and runs through September 2. 

“Once again we have brought together three talented, local, female artists,” says John Spain, owner of Maine Art Hill in Kennebunk. “As diverse as these three women are in style, the culmination of color and beauty this show exudes is nothing short of stunning.”

Three rooms, three artists. Each has a distinct and separate space at the gallery on the hill where they are featuring their new works.  It is the inspiration found in the local landscapes that make a fluid connection between these artists. The blues and greens of their subjects bring the outdoors inside. Boats and buoys, water, wind and waves, the walls are filled with the fantastic beauty of the southern Maine coast. 

Bethany Harper Williams, an oil painter who splits her time between Toronto, Ontario and Biddeford Pool, continues to capture the beaches and harbors at their very best. 

“I love the Maine landscape and all it has to offer, from a physical perspective as well as a visual perspective,” says Harper Williams. “The beautiful beaches and water provide us an area to play and create wonderful memories. They also provide me with the inspiration to capture these memories and make them last forever.”

The local waters have also impacted artist Claire Bigbee. She lives and works in Wells, Maine and studied graphic design and painting at the Maine College of Art in Portland. Even though she is from Massachusetts originally, she quickly found solace in being a local Maine girl.

“My show is about the sky, land, and water and is an exploration of using color and canvas to create this expression,” says Bigbee. “The elements influence so much of what we see and feel around us.”

Kennebunkport artist, Kathy Ostrander Roberts takes one element even further. Water. She works in the ancient medium of encaustic. She is combining beeswax, powdered pigments, and dammar resin into her ocean-inspired paintings. She then applies this to birch wood panel. 

“I am trying to capture the essence of Maine’s coastal waters,” says Ostrander Roberts. “I hope that all who see my work, think of bodies of water and how they ebb and flow.”

If you love the coast and want to experience art that genuinely celebrates this area, this is the show to visit.

Shows on Maine Art Hill welcomes the community to a free Artist Reception on Saturday, August 10 from 5 – 7 pm to kick off this three-week-long show. Meet the artists and share in the beauty they have come together to create. Shows on Maine Art Hill at 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk is open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. FMI 207-967-0049 or www.maine-art.com


Pop-Up Artist Robin Swennes

Featured Artist, Robin Swennes is the guest artist for Pop-Up beginning August 6 to August 12. Read on to learn more about her inspiration, her process, and her work.


I am an artist who enjoys pushing color boundaries and expanding my work to include more than one style of painting and many different collections.  My non-abstract paintings ride the fence between realistic and impressionistic; my goal is not to recreate an exact, tight, photographic scene because I find that paintings are more relaxing to the eye.  

I hope to eventually do more abstract pieces, but am continually applying my creative energies towards other design avenues as well. I recently designed a house and some coordinating furniture for it. That 3D work put a heavy demand on my artist’s brain, but I felt strongly about creating a unique vision and somehow knew that I could do it. I believe that true Artists are born with some innate ability that can be expanded and put to use in a broad range of scenarios—whatever the chosen media. We Artists can’t help that we are attracted to color, shape or texture; it’s just a natural response that produces some sort of ‘tickle on the brain’ that we live to repeat as we seek new opportunities to create.

Swennes will be showing her work at Pop Up on Maine Art Hill at 5 Chase Hill Rd. in Kennebunk from August 6 to August 12. The gallery is open every day at 10 am. For more info about Swennes and her work, follow this link to her website. www.designchoc.com

Let us know if you’re coming to Robin Swennes’ show on Facebook!

















When Big Canvases Get Small – Insights from Artist Craig Mooney

When most of our clients think about Craig Mooney, they think big. He is known for his large canvases that barely can contain the New England skies and shores. When he showed up for this solo show with fourteen 12 x 12 pieces, we knew something fun was about to happen.

“The little ones are studies in reverse,” says Mooney. “They are complete paintings, just small.”

Usually, an artist makes a study to see how the colors are going to play out. Then they scale up. Mooney has taken a large painting he had already completed and scaled-down.

 Breezy Bay Islands 60x60

“Regarding the 12 x 12’s, most cases, I already know they work large, but what I don’t know is how they work small,” admits Mooney. “This was a real challenge for me. I paint large, it what I do. Even my brushes are large. When I have so much space, I can solve problems easily. Here, I am almost claustrophobic. I have to say a lot in a little space. The small pieces have to be as compelling as the large pieces. For me, that is hard to do.”

Breezeway 12x12

The islands in the big and beautiful 60 x 60, Breezy Bay Islands are found again in the smaller Breezeways. Likewise, is the Dory.

Dory 12x12

“I have been painting these boats since I was a child. They continue to reappear throughout my life and career,” shares Mooney. “Beach Shack is a return to that childhood theme. Whether the dory represents safety or escape, I am unsure. They are just always with me.”

Beach Shack 42x42

We welcome you to wander around Shows on Maine Art Hill up at 10 Chase Hill Road. It is a quiet and relaxed space that allows the viewer time and peace to absorb the work and the stories. Mooney’s Show runs until August 8. Visit from 10 am to 5 pm every day. FMI call 207-967-0049 or visit CRAIG MOONEY”S ONLINE SHOW to see the show virtually.

To read more stories and insights from Mooney, visit our blog posts that feature him by clicking this link.


To see our entire collection of available works visit his Artist Page.


Pop-Up Artist Julia M. Doughty

Featured Artist, Julia M. Doughty is the guest artist for Pop-Up beginning July 30 to August 5. Read on to learn more about her inspiration, her process, and her work.

JULY 30 to AUGUST 5 

I am a stone scavenger and an iron hound. Since I was a child, rusty iron remnants discarded by past lives, have lured me. Old beds and cars and other rotting, wonderful iron carcasses call out to me. They are rich in history and speak of, perhaps, a simpler way of life. I love the color and texture of the rust, especially when combined with stone and wood. I love that nature has changed these objects in its process of reclaiming them. After I find these special objects, I continue their metamorphosis in my studio. Sometimes I know right away how I will incorporate them into my sculpture and sometimes it takes years. 

Mindful scavenging insists that I step outside of myself to immerse in and study nature. Its beauty and the patterns found in every living or dormant thing, never cease to spark within me, a deep and soulful appreciation. This solitary time feeds me with renewed passion and strength which sees me through my artistic process in the studio and thus, my journey as an artist. Each piece I create is unique. They continue to evolve alongside the artist in me. I am most passionate about my seahorse and lobster series. It amuses me that the lobster is also a scavenger. 

Originally from Nova Scotia, Julia has now lived in Maine for 15 years. Her art has always been impassioned by the sea and in its proximity, she feels alive and creatively complete. With a BFA from The Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, Julia’s journey in textile, graphics and costume design has led her to the joyful discovery of ‘found object’ sculpture. Every aspect of her creative process, from scavenging the woods and coastlines to hours spent in her studio, brings her profound peace. Julia is drawn to the elements of iron (the rustier the better), copper, stone and wood and strives to balance them in her sculpture. She has had several solo shows as well as group shows in Maine and in Nova Scotia. 

Julia is currently represented in Maine by Down East Magazine in Rockport, Island Artisans in Northeast Harbor and Bar Harbor, Ironbound Gallery in Camden, Northport Landing Gallery in Northport, Casco Bay Artisans in The Old Port, Portland, Maine Art Hill Pop Up Gallery, Kennebunk and in Canada by Amicus Gallery in Chester, Nova Scotia. Julia’s studio is in Freeport, Maine. 

Doughty will be showing her work at Pop-Up on Maine Art Hill at 5 Chase Hill Rd. in Kennebunk from July 30 to August 5. The gallery is open every day at 10 am. For more info about Doughty and her work, follow this link to her website. juliamdoughty.com

Let us know if you’re coming to Julia Doughty’s show on Facebook!

New Techniques and Tools – Insights from Artist Craig Mooney

Artist Craig Mooney opened his Summer Solo Show at Shows on Maine Art Hill on July 20.  In less than twenty-four hours, almost half of the show’s pieces have sold. 

John Spain, the owner of Maine Art Hill, says, “It was fabulous. The works Mooney brought to this event are spectacular. I knew it. He knew it. The question always comes down to if the public recognizes it.”

They did. Both collectors and people seeing Mooney’s work for the first time fell in love. The most intriguing and most commented-on part of this show is its diversity. From the size to the subject there is a fantastic variety of work. Each is, without a doubt, a Mooney, but all hold something just a little unique, including a collection works that he has created using a new technique. 

Both Sandbar Light and Shadow and Above it All are lovely examples of this. He has continued with his big brushes but has added in a trowel of sorts to his repertoire. 

“The tool is something I picked up at the hardware store, not from the art supply catalog,” says Mooney. “It is a large flat metal tool.  It reminds me of something you might use for bricklaying or plastering. I love it.”

Mooney uses this to create a more geometric design, both in subject as well as the paint itself. The windswept skies and seas and stunning green islands and marshes have a new and exciting appearance that forces the viewer to lean in. 

“With solid and smooth strokes, I can create movement with the trowel,” explains Mooney. “Done is successive strokes; it adds a little bit of texture that I have not been able to create with a brush.”

Earth Meets Sky is another example of this work. 

“When I work big, the paint has to be compelling. It can’t just be an object or a place,” says Mooney. “It is not about how well I can paint. I want to show something interesting, the history and the mystery.”

This show is full of Craig Mooney stories.  We invite you all to see it for yourself. Shows on Maine Art Hill is open every day 10 – 5. Mooney’s show will run until August 8. FMI call 207-967-0049 or visit CRAIG MOONEY SOLO SHOW 2019

To read more stories and insights from Mooney, visit our blog posts that feature him by clicking this link.


To see our entire collection of available works visit his Artist Page.