Pop-Up with Artist Diane Beem

Featured Artist, Diane Beem is the guest artist for Pop-Up beginning Tuesday, July 21 to July 27. Read on to learn more about her inspiration, her process, and her work.

Modern Fauvist

The following exchange between professor and student marked a pivotal point in Diane Beem’s artistic journey. The class was Abstract Expressionist Painting with New York Abstract Expressionist, Pat Lipsky at Hartford Art School in 1992.

After walking around and silently taking in what we were working on in the studio, Pat walked by my easel and pronounced, “You’re a Fauve!” 

“….a …what?? …What does that mean?” the student, Diane Beem, stammered. 

“Let that be your homework then. Go look up the Fauves!” , Lipsky insisted.

After graduating from Franklin and Marshall College a few years earlier with a Major in German and a minor in Fine Art, Beem threw caution to the wind and decided to pursue her love of painting. She had landed in Connecticut by chance and chose this school by chance as well.

Having had a pretty traditional art education up until this point, Beem was not at all familiar with Abstract Expressionism. Like many who are not educated about it, she thought it might be an “easy, fun class”. Her experience was anything but easy. It turned out to be the most challenging, enriching and intellectually stimulating experiences of Diane Beem’s art journey. It also determined the trajectory her art career would take for decades to come.

It is well known that with Pat Lipsky, painting class is never  just a painting class. You were to become a student of Art History, Philosophy, Literature, Culture, along with all the esoteric phenomena that create an art movement. You were to paint, critique, read, study, write, speak, and breathe fine art. Exhaustive writing assignments, oral presentations, copious reading assignments, along with prodigious art production were expected. 

Although the academic part of Lipsky’s class was something that Beem relished and enjoyed, the actual art production was for the first time in her life, extremely difficult.  “I was in such uncharted territory trying to paint non-objectively. It was humbling, embarrassing, and at times excruciating – especially the critiques!” Says Beem of the experience. And although she  never fully clicked with the Abstract Expressionism for her personal artistic expression, she feels extremely fortunate to have had a teacher who was able to really see into the strengths of individual students and become their personal champion. “I couldn’t even spell Fauve……I was so embarrassed that I had to ask her to spell it so I could go to the library and look it up!”, admits Beem.

She was so intrigued that she went right after class and looked up the movement. Sitting on the library floor, with about a dozen art books open and splayed out all over the floor, an entire new world opened up to Beem, and she was hooked!

Diane Beem never remembers not making art. She always seemed to be working with her hands. As a small child she drew and painted with watercolors, stringing up clothes lines in her room on which to hang her paintings to dry. School was something to “get through”, so she could come home and do her “real work” of painting and drawing.

When she was around even or eight, she wanted to take a “real” drawing class. She begged her parents to find a “serious” class, not to be confused with a “kid art” class. To her good fortune, her parents obliged, and as luck would have it, their small town had an art institute, then named the Wyomissing Institute of Fine Arts, now known as the Yokum Institute for Arts Education, in West Lawn, PA. Taking this “real” art class along with adults was a complete thrill. Beem admits, “To this day I have no idea how my parents pulled that off, but I’m so grateful that they did!”

Diane Beem grew up in a very rural area of Pennsylvania, between Reading and Lancaster. At around age five, her family left the suburbs for a hilltop house surrounded by many acres of forest. Her father built a large tree house, and she and her brothers enjoyed endless hours playing in and exploring every inch of their new wilderness. She remembers also learning to love being alone in nature, and relishing the relationship to the natural world. Beem believes that it was these early formative times spent in the woods that helped form her ability to observe, and to enjoy the long hours of solitude so necessary for producing art. Today, the landscape, trees, and subjects related to nature feature strongly in her work.

Although Beem’s parents were not artistic, her maternal grandfather, her “Opa” was. One Christmas, she had been gifted a very detailed oil paint-by-number set depicting a scene in Venice. At the age of ten, the kit just stumped her. When her Opa visited and saw how she struggled to mix the colors and add them to their tiny pre-defined shapes, he said to her, in his heavy German accent, “Vee Vork on zis togesah…Ya!” And for the next few weeks, she watched in amazement as he not only mixed the colors, but took off on his own, creating an amazingly beautiful water scene depicting the canals, gondolas, and houses of Venice. “Every day was a new adventure watching him paint!” Beem says. “To me it was pure magic!”

Although Beem had many opportunities in school art classes, she found the school assignments restrictive, and not much of an outlet for free expression. She continued to take classes and the Art Institute, and found real encouragement there.    Diane Beem went to high school outside of Philadelphia, to Westtown School, and was very fortunate to have had wonderful art classes and teachers there who encouraged her very much. The school had a very strong art department, and the facilities provided lots of room for experimentation from print making to sculpture. Her art teachers encouraged her to move forward with more formal training.

During high school she became fascinated with another subject, the German language and culture. Her mother grew up in Berlin and came to the US after World War II. Not only was Diane Beem extremely curious about her German ancestry, she learned the language easily and became quickly fluent.  She began traveling to Germany every chance she got. Beem eventually majored in German, in at Franklin and Marshall College, but also kept up with art classes. Even while studying in Germany, she found time to take art and photography classes, and enjoyed seeking out art museums in the major cities.

After leaving Hartford Art School, Beem concentrated on spending as much time painting as possible. At this time she realized she was at a crossroads, and found it difficult to pursue more schooling. She really felt that she needed to retreat into the studio and just concentrate on trying to emulate her beloved Fauves, and see if anything could come of it. She worked temporary office jobs for a few months at a time, then would take off a few months to paint full time. This pattern continued until she and her husband started a family. In the solace of her studio, Beem began an intense study of the Fauves and how their paintings worked. She was fascinated with the composition, and how they seemed to flatten the picture plane using geometric chunks of space. Also, using what she had learned from Lipsky, who insisted she study Joseph Albers, she continued her in depth study of color relationships.

In her style today, you can see these elements drawn from both Abstract Expressionism and Fauvism. For example, she begins each piece with a colored ground, which sets the mood for the entire piece. This ground color is meant to be seen through the points of color that make up the complete image. That way it sets a mood or a feeling for the overall piece. Then it really becomes a puzzle of color relationships, as the individual points of color have not only relationship to each other and the whole composition, but the ground color as well. Beem keeps the goal of abstract expressionism, for the piece to be “synoptic”, or seen all at once without a central focal point. Beem  works hard to balance this with the fact that her works are subjective, so she must also have the goal that all her points of color will come together and elevate the subject matter to something new and inspiring.

During the next decade Beem continued to paint and hone her “Modern Fauvist” style. A breakthrough came one day in 2004 when she felt like everything she had learned from both Abstract Expressionism and Fauvism collided together in one piece. She had painted a canvas with a bright red “ground”, and the next day came in and painted in short strokes of saturated color, letting the ground show through, and being very cognizant of how these points of color related to both each other as well as the ground color, and having the goal of the entire piece being “synoptic”, taking from her Abstract Expressionist training, but at the same time delighting in her subjective themes of the landscape and other themes of nature.

While she was raising her four children, she began to market her work through direct mail and the internet. This worked very well for her and allowed her to work while being home with her children. Diane Beem has worked both independently and through galleries, and her work is currently in private collections throughout the United States.

For more info about Diana Beem check out the following links: 

Website

Email

Facebook

Instagram

 

 

A Coupling of Paint and Place – Margaret Gerding and William B. Hoyt

Making mental connections is our most crucial learning tool. The essence of human intelligence; to forge links; to go beyond the given; to see patterns, relationships, context. ~ Marilyn Ferguson.

Shows on Maine Art Hill in Kennebunk features a dynamic duo of talent and color, painters Margaret Gerding and William B. Hoyt. This show opens at 10 AM on Saturday, July 18, and runs until August 6. 

This summer, Hoyt and Gerding come together for three weeks. They may have separate bodies of work, but they share a place of inspiration and love for an area that holds not only beauty but memories.

“Both artists have strong ties to Maine, either having visited or lived here for years. They capture the true essence of the state,” says gallery owner, John Spain. “Hoyt celebrates the incredible precision of his paintbrush, where Gerding’s strokes are looser and less defined. Yet when the two come together to represent our state, magic happens in full color.”

Margaret Gerding, once only a childhood visitor of Maine, has called Cape Porpoise her home for quite some time now. Her canvases are filled with the landscapes of close to home, some easier to recognize than others.

“This show offers marsh, ocean, woods, and rocks. If you are familiar with the area, Timber Point is one of my favorite places for painting,” says Gerding. “It holds an emotional attachment for me. I vacationed in Maine as a child, and it was a rite of passage to be old enough to go to the island during low tide. Somehow being out on that island makes me feel like I’m standing on the edge of the land.”

William B. Hoyt has also stood on the edge of the land, and has sailed there as well. Hoyt’s work is an incredibly realistic representation of the same places as Gerding but captured in true Hoyt style, detailed and delightful.

Hoyt says, “There is a challenge and a joy in seeing something ineffably beautiful or moving and resolving to make a painting of it. The threads of the canvas, the sea, family, friends, and Maine have woven themselves inextricably into my psyche and my work.”

If you love Maine, all aspects of Maine, this is a show worth a visit.

 

To see the show virtually click this link

MARGARTET GERDING AND WILLIAM B. HOYT

Shows on Maine Art Hill is housed at 10 Chase Hill Road .

Open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM. FMI maine-art.com or 967-0049.

 

To read more about each artist and see their entire collection of work, click links below.

Margaret Gerding – Our Available Collection of Works

William B. Hoyt – Our Available Collection of Works

Margret Gerding – Stories and Insights

William B. Hoyt – Stories and Insights

The View of an Artist – Plein Air with Margaret Gerding

It is a rare treat to watch an artist paint. Many prefer not to be seen, and to hide in their favorite spots out of sight. Wether it is outside painting plein air or in their studio privacy is important.

In these lovely real view vs. artist view images, we get a special inside peek into the world of artist Margaret Gerding. All of these pieces were created for her show, here on Maine Art Hill. This show runs until August 6. See the links below for more information.

Close to Home Day 8 (8×8)

Close to Home Day 9 (8×8)

Close to Home Day 17 (8×8)

Close to Home Day 20 (8×8)

Close to Home Day 21 (8×8)

Close to Home Day 22 (8×8)

Close to Home Day 24 (8×8)

Close to Home Day 30 (8×8)

Granite Point II (16×16)

 

 

We are open every day from 10-5 at 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk.

This show runs from July 18 – August 6.

LINKS

READ MORE ABOUT THE 30-CHALLEGE

VIRTUAL TOUR OF MARGARET GERDING AND WILLIAM B. HOYT SUMMER SHOW 2020

A COMPLETE COLLECTION OF MARGARET GERDING’S AVAILABLE WORKS

A COLLECTIONS OF ARTIST INSIGHTS AND STORIES FROM MARGARET GERDING

The Making of Sunset Sail – A Video from William B. Hoyt

“Sunset Sail” by William B. Hoyt, Oil on Canvas Stretched on Panel, 16″ x 24″

A peek inside William B.Hoyts studio for the making of Sunset Sail.

Hoyt will be hosting this summer show along with artist, Margaret Gerding. The show opens on July 18 and runs through August 6. Shows on Maine Art Hill is open everyday from 10-5 and is located at 10 Chase Hill Rd in Kennebunk, Maine.

LINKS

THE WILLIAM B. HOYT AND MARGARET GERDING SUMMER SHOW 2020 VIRTUAL TOUR

COMPLETE COLLECTION OF AVAILABLE WORKS FROM WILLIAM B. HOYT

ARTIST INSIGHTS AND STORIES FROM WILLIAM B. HOYT

Close to Home ~ a 30-day Challenge from Margaret Gerding

The 30-day Plein Air Challenge ~One painting every day for thirty days painted outside in less than sixty minutes.

“Close to Home” ~ a 30-day Challenge for 2020

This is our third summer celebrating the 30-day Challenge with artist Margaret Gerding. Each year she challenges herself and we are thrilled to display the amazing works. The lovely little 8×8 paintings are perfect for any space or grouped together to fill a larger space.  This is part of her three-week show at 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk. July 18 – August 6.

“With the topic ‘Close to Home’ I was definitely influenced by events in our world right now,” shares Gerding. “It was a way of recording the beautiful nature around me, as I stayed within a few miles from my home in Kennebunkport. This series is how this landscape is interpreted through my eyes.”

Gerding has engaged in this challenge the past few years since her move to Maine. She genuinely enjoys the process, the ups and downs, and the final grouping of the full body of work.

“Part of this challenge for me is working so small, 8×8 paintings,” laughs Gerding, “a choice that was made to remind myself to simplify and feel the moment.”

We are open every day from 10-5 at 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk.

This show runs from July 18 – August 6.

LINKS

VIRTUAL TOUR OF MARGARET GERDING AND WILLIAM B. HOYT SUMMER SHOW 2020

A COMPLETE COLLECTION OF MARGARET GERDING’S AVAILABLE WORKS

A COLLECTIONS OF ARTIST INSIGHTS AND STORIES FROM MARGARET GERDING

An Artist’s Insights – from William B. Hoyt 2020 Part One

We love it when our artists share stories and insights into their paintings. These are stories only they know and give us a peek through the eyes of the artist.

Enjoy these words from William B. Hoyt.

I was inspired for Winter Quarters when we came over to Kennebunkport this winter and stayed at the Breakwater Inn over the shops in Dock Square.

In the morning, I saw this clutch of lobster boats at the yacht club. I figure they came in from their moorings for the winter, avoiding damaging ice flows in the river, and taking advantage of the open docks not being used after the season.

Ceaseless is all about this oddly square rock. I found it over the cement wall on a walk from Gooch’s Beach to Mother’s Beach in Kennebunk. It was peeking out of the water at half tide. The sea never lets up in its twice daily assault and retreat, but it will be many of our lifetimes before it’s worn down to the size of the nearer stones. Which, in their turn, will have become sand.

.

Crabbing, all you need is a piece of string and some bait tied at the end. Perhaps a fish head supplied by a nearby fisherman cleaning his catch. After painting Crabbing, I wanted to paint the view down into the water and did Along the Breakwater.

Hoyt will be hosting this summer show along with artist, Margaret Gerding. The show opens on July 18 and runs through August 6. Shows on Maine Art Hill is open everyday from 10-5 and is located at 10 Chase Hill Rd in Kennebunk, Maine.

LINKS

THE WILLIAM B. HOYT AND MARGARET GERDING SUMMER SHOW 2020 VIRTUAL TOUR

COMPLETE COLLECTION OF AVAILABLE WORKS FROM WILLIAM B. HOYT

ARTIST INSIGHTS AND STORIES FROM WILLIAM B. HOYT

Coastal Light and Clouds – Artist Insights from Margaret Gerding

Margaret Gerding’s present show is full of the ethereal landscapes, so many have come to recognize. However, she has reminded us to pause and take the time to look up.

“The coastal light is intense and so evident on the ‘white’ of the clouds. It is a subject matter I have only begun to explore through paint, and am finding the sky more and more a priority in my work,” shares Gerding. “I love the organic shape of clouds, their movement, and the emotions they evoke. I am drawn to the coast because of the vast expanse of marsh and sky that offers calm and peace.”

In Timber Point Sunrise, the sky may not start as a focal point, but once the eye moves up, it is evident that the clouds are being celebrated. However, this piece is an accurate representation of everything that makes the Maine coast special.

“Offering the marsh, ocean, woods, and rocks, Timber Point is definitely one of my favorite places for painting,” shares Gerding. “It also holds an emotional attachment for me…. vacationing in Maine as a child, it was a ‘rite of passage’ to be old enough to go to the island during low tide. Somehow being out on that island makes you feel like you’re standing on the edge of the land.”

Trees Along Winter Marsh also shares in the beauty of the sky, even though it is the trees that take center stage.

 

“I go on long walks almost every day. During the winter, it is always interesting to have views that are unavailable once the leaves come out in spring,” says Gerding. “It’s almost like a sweet little secret that winter is willing to share if you are brave enough to venture out in the cold.”

No matter what the Maine sky is your favorite, you will find it in the works for Margaret Gerding’s summer show.

We are open every day from 10-5 at 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk.

This show runs from July 18 – August 6.

LINKS

VIRTUAL TOUR OF MARGARET GERDING AND WILLIAM B. HOYT SUMMER SHOW 2020

A COMPLETE COLLECTION OF MARGARET GERDING’S AVAILABLE WORKS

A COLLECTIONS OF ARTIST INSIGHTS AND STORIES FROM MARGARET GERDING

 

An Artist’s Insights – from William B. Hoyt 2020 Part Two

We love it when our artists share stories and insights into their paintings. These are stories only they know and give us a peek through the eyes of the artist.

Enjoy these words from William B. Hoyt.

Recently I completed Along the Breakwater, a companion piece for Crabbing. This was done from the perspective of the crabbers as they looked into the water. This painting and a few others got me looking down on subjects closer to view, the horizon well above the canvas. (More about these two pieces can be read by clicking here.)

From there, I painted a series of shells and rocks I discovered as I wandered the beaches. Littoral is one of the firsts and an actual scattering of ocean treasure. The definition of littoral is related to or situated on the shore of the sea or a lake. It seemed fitting to name it as such.

Beach Rose and Beachcomber…I think this was a collection from a raccoon…Wet Sand Dry Sand and Lobster Tale are all samples of this new point of view. They are small pieces with many details. If you are a beachcomber and lover of coastal treasures these pieces are a perfect part of any collection.

There is a challenge and a joy in seeing something ineffably beautiful or moving and resolving to make a painting of it. The threads of the canvas, the sea, family, friends, and Maine have woven themselves inextricably into my psyche and my work.

Hoyt will be hosting this summer show along with artist, Margaret Gerding. The show opens on July 18 and runs through August 6. Shows on Maine Art Hill is open everyday from 10-5 and is located at 10 Chase Hill Rd in Kennebunk, Maine.

 

LINKS

THE WILLIAM B. HOYT AND MARGARET GERDING SUMMER SHOW 2020 VIRTUAL TOUR

COMPLETE COLLECTION OF AVAILABLE WORKS FROM WILLIAM B. HOYT

ARTIST INSIGHTS AND STORIES FROM WILLIAM B. HOYT

Multi-block Lino Cuts – from Artist David Witbeck

Words from David Witbeck regarding his Lino-cut.

 

“Color’s hard especially when you only use 3 or 4 or 5 of them. I used this motif a couple months ago as a reduction woodcut. I’m revisiting it as a multi-block Lino cut. Three blocks, I’m thinking 5 or 6 colors so some will have to cut as reductions. I have a bad habit of cutting away too much too soon. In the future I’ll try to save more black and just do one other color…a chiaroscuro print. I can handle that without overtaxing my brain. The print here is on the tracing paper that the other blocks were offset from.

Btw: if you get pre-cut Lino from Blick make sure it’s square before you start cutting. These were off 1/2 an inch in 18 inches which I didn’t notice until I set up my registration device.”

David Witbeck is represented at Maine Art Hill year round, both his prints and his originals. Use the links below for more information.

 Complete Collection of Available Original Works

Complete Collection of Available Prints and Woodcuts

Artist Insights and Stories

Pop-Up with Artist John Marcus

Featured Artist, John Marcus is the guest artist for Pop-Up beginning Tuesday, July 14 to July 20. Read on to learn more about his inspiration, his process, and his work.

July 14 to July 20

John Marcus is a wonderful emerging artist, who recently made Kennebunk his second home. For most of his adult life, he is a successful television writer and producer, having produced national and regional television programming, print and radio advertising; and ads for five US presidents.

But what does a man like this do in his free time?

John’s release from production work is oil painting. He has painted florals, still lifes, portraits, plein air landscapes, landscape murals, and golf course landscapes. Some of his favorite landscapes include U.S. Open and British Open courses.

“I am a fan of Winston Churchill and Churchill’s book ‘Painting as a Pastime’.  I openly admit to having copied Churchill’s “Le Beguinage” for practice,” shares Marcus.

John is a member of the Portrait Society of America and his work is in private collections in Maryland, DC, Virginia, Michigan, Florida, and Besancon, France.

John Marcus has studied with varied and talented instructors.

The Smithsonian Institution

The Alexandria Art League, under Robert Johnson

National Gallery of Art’s curator Ross Merrill

Noted Southwest landscape painter Matt Smith

Noted Maine landscape artist Margaret Gerding

The Art League of Hilton Head under Uschi Niner

The Yellow Barn Studio under Gavin Glakas and Walt Bartman