Everyone sees through a different eye. Beauty, as well as art, is objective. Artists can stand before the same landscape, encapsulated by the same surroundings, yet the results captured on canvas vary in a way that is indescribable. Jeffrey T. Fitzgerald describes this well when talking about the creation of “Meeting House.” “I met with this group down by the ocean. We all had different opinions and were projecting somewhat different paths, but we stood together under the most beautiful sky.”
In Maine, the sky before us changes with a heartbeat. Trying to capture it in paint is a skill in which many find envy. To be able to witness the reproduction of these moments through the eyes of so many talented artists and friends must have been truly overwhelming. And thus, “Meeting House” was born. “With all our differences, the sky, as the big picture, became the cohesion or symbol for our friendship. It was a roof on a small town meeting room where ideas and messages are offered,” explains Fitzgerald.
So often, the story behind the work is one we, as admirers, do not have the privilege of hearing. To be part of the inner circle is a gift that helps us to engage in art at a different level other than with just our untrained eye. Now, we can stand in front of Jeffrey’s work, and bring not only our own experiences and stories to the table, but his as well. With this newfound information we see, “the colors of the piece and their colonial or primitive stoic New England sensibility” come to life.
We encourage you to come and visit with Jeffrey’s work in the Choice Show at Maine Art Shows, 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk. The rest of his collection can be seen down the hill at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture at 14 Western Avenue, also in Kennebunk. As always, you may view Jeffrey’s work on his Artist Page on the website, but we hope you come see it for yourself.
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Reflection – the throwing back by a body or surface of light without absorbing it. Reflection – a thing that is a consequence of or arises from something else. Reflection – serious thought or consideration.
For artist Susan Wahlrab, “Reflection” is all of these, beautifully balanced in the pulse of quiet and flow. “I choose a place that is personal to me, yet still a universal image of the conversation between the two islands and the warm, safe cove. It is the relationship of earth and water, where water and land meet, dancing together,” says Wahlrab. With the physical comes the mental, the emotional. “The word reflection is also contemplation for me; an inner and outer connection where a balance of stillness and movement meet.”
It was only after a conversation with Vermont State Curator, David Schutz, that Susan truly began to understand her work’s connection to the concept of reflection. “I was so excited about the ‘ah-ha’ moment, I wanted to paint the largest painting I could.” This piece is a 48 x 36 varnished watercolor on claybord, and is destined to be a focal point in any room. “Laying the panel flat, I literally had to sit on top if it as I worked. Lots of up, down and crazy positions. Definitely the most physical challenge ever!” The end result is a feeling of beauty and wonder that only standing in front of this piece can bring. The scale and color and subtle nuances are blended together in a way even Mother Nature would respect.
It has been over thirty years now that Susan has been discovering landscape through her art. “Reflection” represents those years, both in nature and in the studio. Even though this one was a very personal venture, it is with great happiness that she will pass it off to new owners. “I hope they find their own connection and discover something new each time light and life changes; each time moments are spent in reflection.”
All of Susan Wahlrab’s work can be seen on her Artist Page on Maine Art Painting and Sculpture’s website. Please consider, however, coming in to see it for yourself at Maine Art Shows at 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk. Words and images do not do it justice.
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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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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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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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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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“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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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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.