Craig Mooney on Trade Winds – An Artist’s Choice

Mooney_Trade Winds

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” – T.S. Elliot.

Craig Mooney has been exploring.  Not in a sailboat. Not out on the sea. He has been exploring in his studio in Stowe, Vermont, and he has invited us to join him.

“Ironically, I’m not a seafarer. My knowledge is from reading and skirting the coastline,” says Mooney. As a kid, he lived on a dead end street in Manhattan that overlooked the East River. He watched huge freighters and barges pass by en route to some unknown location, with the help of tugboats in many cases.  “My father took me to the piers on the west side, and we visited the huge ocean liners,” says Mooney.  On a good day, he and his father were allowed to step on board. Sometimes it was only for an hour as passengers readied to disembark. “It was exciting to me, even if I wasn’t really a passenger. It stirred something in me.”

In part and in pieces these memories resurface in Trade Winds. Daydreams of what it is like out at sea and wishes of travels that may one day come.  Craig Mooney is proof  you don’t have to experience the open ocean first-hand to find that connection and fall in love.

“I didn’t want to create a cloyingly sweet vignette of a romantic sailing voyage, but in some cases, ironically, it is where I ended up,” says Mooney. On a deeper level, he connects with the quote above he shares from T.S. Elliot and arrives back at the beginning with new eyes. “When I started this series based around Trade Winds, I was unsure what my motivation was. I do know it was a journey for me. The immense power of the sea, the endless heavens above and the lone vessel carried me along.”

Commanding a room, this six foot by six foot piece has a life of its own. It fills a space with a blend of the luminescent light of the sun and the deep blue shadows of the ocean. It pulls the viewer in yet still leaves enough space to enjoy one’s own personal journey.

As beautiful as the images are on the website, this piece is worth a visit to Kennebunk. Trade Winds was Craig Mooney’s Artist’s Choice for the Choice Art Show and will be on display at Maine Art Shows at 10 Chase Hill in Kennebunk until June 30th. Please stop in any day from 11am – 5pm.  The Choice Art Show is also available to view online by clicking here; Choice Art Show.


If you are interested in reading more about Craig Mooney and his work at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture on our blog, click here. You can also visit his Artist Page at to view our entire collection of Mooney work.

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Maine Art Shows Opens June 11th


On Saturday June 11, Maine Art Shows will start the season, and continuing with tradition, will open with the Choice Art Show. This is the fifth year for the Choice Art Show, and as always, the art itself stays true to the charm and appeal of our area. All twelve artists have submitted works celebrating every aspect of Maine life. From the shores, to the forests, to the farms, this state is incredibly diverse, and all of its beauty is represented here.

The People’s Choice, the Editor’s Choice, and the Artist’s Choice have been voted on and selected, and we are ready to toast the curation of this one-of-a-kind show. With over six-hundred voters this year, the People’s Choice decision was overwhelming and exciting. “It’s the best way to start out the season at Maine Art Shows. To have the public be a part of the curation is rare. We enjoy the entire process more and more each year,” says Amy Lewia, Maine Art’s Gallery Director. “This year’s twelve artists submitted stellar pieces. It was a challenge for our voters. Happily, it was a fun challenge.”

Susan Grisanti, Editor-In-Chief at Maine Home+Design/Maine/Old Port Magazine and the woman behind our Editor’s Choice, also loved the challenge. “I always enjoy the process of selecting a favorite piece of artwork from each of the artists in the Choice Art Show. Considering each piece in the context of a larger, related body of work brings an extra layer of meaning to the work, but one piece usually rises to the top pretty quickly for me,” says Grisanti. “I’m always interested to see, after my vote, how my choice compares to the majority of voters. Weeks later, it’s fun to see the show in person and reconsider my choices, but I cannot recall ever changing my mind.”

Grisanti is not alone in her curiosity about the choices for this show. Many customers are incredibly anxious to see which three of the six pieces from each artist made it to the walls. For those who cannot wait until Saturday, the online preview can be seen here.  To find out the Artists’ and Editor’s Choices, you will have to visit Maine Art Shows starting at 11 a.m. on June 11th. But wait! Maine Art Shows will be open for a sneak peek of the final pieces during the Village Art Walk on Friday, June 10th from 5 to 7 PM.  This event is for viewing only, no sales will happen until Saturday morning.

Don’t forget – the opening reception for the Choice Art Show is Saturday, June 11, from 5 to 7 PM, as part of the Kennebunkport Festival. There will be many of our artists attending and available to talk more about their work. This catered reception is a ticketed event for the Festival, with the proceeds to benefit Full Plates Full Potential. Tickets are $40, and can be ordered online at For more information about tickets and the show, visit, or call the gallery at 207-967-0049.

Click here to see the online show now.

The Artists in the Choice Art Show: Daniel J. Corey, Jeffrey T. Fitzgerald, Philip Frey, Ellen Welch Granter, Liz Hoag, William B. Hoyt, Henry Isaacs, Craig Mooney, Janis H. Sanders, Jill Valliere, Susan Wahlrab, and Abbie Williams.


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The Witbeck Boys of Summer

Amos, Wade, Lumper, Newman, Eliot, and Barry. They work the local docks. They are Mainers, born and raised. They are coastal life personified. They are the iconic fisherman of David Witbeck. And from now until June 16, you will find these boys on the walls of Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture.

Through the years we have become quite familiar with Witbeck’s fishermen. Still, questions remain. Where did they come from? And more importantly, how did they find their way into Witbeck’s studio? Lucky for us, Witbeck is not only an artist but a storyteller.

As a freelance photographer, he used to love to go out on commercial fishing vessels when he had free time. Often, he toyed with the idea of doing an extended photo-essay, but he could never justify the amount of time away from ‘paying jobs.’ “Truth be told, I usually had more fun talking with the crews and helping to sort fish than making pictures,” says Witbeck, thinking back on the memory.

When he later started painting, fishing seemed to be the natural subject matter for him. “I wanted my paintings to be iconic rather than descriptive. For descriptive focus, photography would have been a better way to do it. I wanted to paint.” Initially, it was just for the fun of it, but then one morning about ten years ago, just before waking up, he found his inspiration.

“I had had one of those wonderful little REM sleep dreams. A guy was holding a fish. There just happened to be a sketchbook on the floor beside the bed, and I made this little ten-second doodle,” laughs Witbeck. “The rest is history.”

FMDoodle copy-1

They have certainly come a long way.

And so goes the story of how Amos, Wade, Lumper, Newman, Eliot, and Barry came to spend the first part of this summer at Maine Art in David Witbeck’s one-man show. We welcome you to come and meet these characters for yourself. They are even more spectacular in person. The gallery is open every day from 10am – 5pm at 14 Western Avenue in Kennebunk. If you aren’t able to make it in, view the entire show at For more Witbeck, view our complete collection by clicking his Artist Page.

A David Witbeck Side Note –

“I also made another doodle, tentatively called, ‘The Last Fish.’ Yet, after ten years, and more than 300 fisherman paintings, I haven’t quite got to it yet.” For a few reasons we, as loyal Witbeck fans, hope the last fish never comes.

thelastfish copy-1

To read more about David Witbeck on our blog, click here.

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David Witbeck – Celebrating the Start of Summer

On Saturday, May 28th, help us at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture to celebrate the beginning of summer in the Kennebunks the best way we know how; with David Witbeck, New Work.


Witbeck is an artist with a special talent, a unique eye and an unconditional love for coastal life. His canvases are full of characters from working fishing villages and harbor towns. He captures the fabulous personality of the lobsterman and the sarcastic sass of the seagull while maintaining the charm and appeal of New England. He has an appreciation for their hard work, but also for their humor. “I’m most pleased when my paintings evoke smiles. Humor is an element too often missing in art,” says Witbeck. Living and working the Maine coast takes a sense of humor.  This is evident in the subjects of his paintings.

Witbeck_Family Business

Witbeck is no stranger to the working man. From truck driver to school teacher, journalist to photographer, he held many a job before finding success as an artist. His path was not straight or easy, but lucky for us he found his way. “I never had a studio as a photographer, always working on location, but in 2003 I rented a mill space to paint in in my spare time,” says Witbeck. It wasn’t long before his spare time became full-time. “By 2007, I was selling enough art to turn down the occasional photo job that came my way… and the rest is history,” he says with a humility we have grown to love at Maine Art.

That same humility comes though when Witbeck speaks of his mentors and his development as an artist. “When I first started painting again in 2001, after not having painted since 1968, I painted watercolors,” he says. It started out as a practical decision. “I found painting en plein air with acrylics next to impossible. The paint dried so fast on hot windy days, and oils made a mess of the leather upholstery on my then brand-new Outback,” he laughs. All that was left were watercolors.


It was then David discovered Edgar Whitney, a kind of guru for many watercolor painters. “The most important thing I took from him,” says Witbeck, “is his definition of an artist.” It was an epiphany of sorts to discover he didn’t have to change the course of Art History. He didn’t have to have something earthshaking to say. He didn’t have to alter the world. “According to Edgar Whitney,” David paraphrases, “an artist is simply a shape maker, a symbol finder and an entertainer.” This was Witbeck’s proverbial “ah-ha” moment. “Wow! What a relief. I can do that,” he laughs.

And that he can. His new show is full of interesting shapes and symbols that represent coastal life, and even a few rare pieces influenced by of his own life. Witbeck doesn’t often work from photographs. “Every once in a while,” he admits, “a photograph will trigger an idea.” Lobstah for Suppah and A Fine Catch are examples of these triggers; they were both inspired by a dory built by the Landing School in Arundel and a fond memory shared with his wife from the summer of ’88.

Witbeck_Lobstah for Suppah Witbeck_A Fine Catch

This show is going to be a great deal of fun,” says gallery director Amy Lewia. “David is a character himself. Having him at the opening on the 28th will allow our customers an exciting chance to meet the man behind the work.” The Artist’s Reception will be held at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, 14 Western Ave. in Kennebunk, from 5-7 pm, and all are welcome to join.

These larger-than-life works and this incredibly talented artist need much more than just a night, so the celebration will last for three weeks. Through June 16th, David Witbeck’s show can be seen at Maine Art. We are open daily from 10 am to 5 pm. For more information please call 207-967-2803. The show can also be viewed online at starting today. Works will be available for purchase at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Come and celebrate summer on the coast of Maine. There is nothing like it anywhere else in the world.

Read more about David Witbeck and his work on Maine Art’s Blog.

See our entire collection of Witbeck work on his Artist Page.

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Maine Art Joins The Nonantum’s Kennebunkport Progressive Dinner Tour


This Sunday, May 22nd, Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture is happy to join The Nonantum Resort in hosting the first of two Spring Kennebunkport Progressive Dinners. May’s tour will be a small group visiting several of Kennebunk’s quality establishments in the resort shuttle. With only fourteen guests, this will be an intimate gathering. This visit will start with a private party at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture for appetizers, followed by Jillyanna’s Woodfired Cooking School, Ports of Italy, Kennebunk, and One Dock Prime. At each stop guests will enjoy one course and a beverage.

Last year, the owner of Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture had the opportunity to experience one of these Progressive Dinner Tours. “It is a wonderful way to dine your way around Kennebunk and Kennebunkport,” says John Spain. “When The Nonantum approached us about being the kick-off location for this year’s spring tours, I thought it was a great idea.”


The next scheduled Kennebunkport Progressive Dinner Tour will happen on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 19th. Again, Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture will be hosting the first stop. Guests will gather at Maine Art Shows for a cocktail and appetizers, and a private look at the Choice Art Show. Other stops planned are Salt & Honey and 95 Ocean at The Nonantum Resort. One more local restaurant will soon be announced.

The Nonantum Resort offers the tour as part of an overnight package. It includes two tickets to the Kennebunkport Progressive Dinner, breakfast the next day, and two Nonantum Resort etched wine glasses to take home as a souvenir. To book online click here. Individual tickets can also be purchased for $95 pp by calling the resort at 207-967-4050. There are one or two tickets left for this Sunday’s event and several left for the event on Father’s Day.

Be looking for three more Kennebunkport Progressive Dinner Tours this fall.

nonatum-resort-sign-300x200photo credit to Greg Burke,

To read a more detailed account of one of last years tours visit www.kennebunkportmainelodging,com


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James “Riv” Pyne – A Sculptor



James Rivington Pyne is a Mainer. Maybe not born and raised, but he certainly has done his time.  He is a life-long summer resident who just couldn’t stay away.  In 1983, he moved here permanently, and now is happy to call it home. There is just something about this state that captures a heart and soul and refuses to let go.

“Riv” feels the same way about the subject of many of his sculptures, birds.  “I could be cynical enough to say my love of birds began when they started making money for me,” Pyne says with a smile. “But before that–in fact when I was 15 or so–I came to the realization that birds, even condors, turkeys, and vultures, are the most beautiful creatures on this earth.”

Pyne’s sculptures, especially his birds, have a unique and interesting feel, both literally and figuratively.  The use of mixed media and composite gives a rough and real texture to the pieces he creates. The wings of his birds are life-like and natural, encouraging the admirer to reach out and touch them.  “In the spring when the sap is running, I put split-in -half poplar logs into a vice, chisel a couple of inches into the wood, get my hand around the cut piece and rip it off the far end of the log. The results are bird wings, fish fins, and a number of other things,” explains Pyne. This technique is seen in the tail feathers of this Pair of Whimbrels.


Figuratively,his work captures a personality that may normally not come through in the physical characteristics of his subjects. “My work is stylized, but the subject is never unrecognizable,” says Pyne.  “I find that the best way to express a bird’s edginess on a limb or briskness in flight is by rough, almost blurred outlines, similar to a sketch, rather than smooth finishes.”  Even his bronze work has a texture that catches the eye and the imagination.  The surface of the Bronze Greyhound has a dimension which not only captures his character, it makes him real.



Recently, Riv delivered a wonderful sculpture of a flock of Kingfishers. They are crafted with care and detail, and urge the viewer to move closer to take them all in. The title of this piece is Set of 8 Kingfishers. What makes it curious? There are only seven.  “I’m assuming the eighth one is in flight,” says Natalie Lane, the gallery manager. Maybe that is what they are all looking at. This piece is only five inches tall, but they are perched on a platform that is almost two feet wide.  There is a window sill out there that is just perfect for this work.


Pyne has been a part of Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture since 2012, and we have quite an extensive collection of his work. This new work has such personality and charm, it truly is meant to be seen in person. Of course, his work is also available to view online by visiting his Artist Page.

To read more blogs about Pyne and his work with Maine Art Click Here.


Let the Voting Begin – The Choice Art Show

“I know very little about art, but I know what I like.”

This is a phrase we hear many new customers use the first time they walk into the gallery. For new art buyers, just walking through the door is a bit outside their comfort zone.  The feeling of being overwhelmed and undereducated is a common one. At Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, it is our goal to change that. We want the gallery to be a place where beauty not only surrounds the customer, but it welcomes them in.

We are have an amazing and varied inventory and an incredible array of artists. But we have always found it beneficial to listen to the opinions of others with different views. And so, the Choice Art Show was born. This one-of-a-kind Maine art show allows you to help curate the final show. No matter how well we know our clients, it is still often difficult to know for sure what you, our customer, will fall in love with. And so, we ask.

The Choice Art Show starts with seventy-two original works from twelve artists.  The six pieces each artist submits will be narrowed down to three.  One, the artist chooses. One, Susan Grisanti, Editor-In-Chief at Maine Home+Design, chooses. The last piece is all up to you. Your vote chooses the last and final piece of the three (per artist) which will be featured at The Choice Art Show at Maine Art Shows in Kennebunk. Each and every artist represented in the show is one of the very best in the area. You can trust that no matter which piece you choose, many others will be in complete agreement.  All you need to do is click the link and let us know which one you like best. You have until Sunday, June 5th to vote. The “People’s Choice” winners will be announced on Monday, June 6th.

After clicking, you are directed to the Choice Art Show page. Here you begin voting.  Each screen shows you the six paintings each artist has submitted.  All you have to do is tell us which one you love most by clicking it and then clicking “Vote.” Once you decide, the site will show you what other customers liked and then move you forward to the next artist.

On Saturday, June 11th, the Choice Art Show opens at Maine Art Shows at 10 Chase Hill in Kennebunk. When you walk through the doors, you will immediately recognize all the work you saw during the voting process. The question will be whether or not your favorite made it to the walls of the gallery.  The show will run for three weeks, until June 30th.  However, if you are in town for the Kennebunkport Festival, the reception for this show is one of the culminating activities on the final day of the festival. We welcome you join us from five to seven and enjoy the opportunity to meet the artists who created the work you voted on. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here.

We look forward to seeing you soon, and happy voting!

By The Way –

If you cannot make it to Kennebunk to see the show in person, the full catalog will be available for online viewing. Join our mailing list to receive an email on the day it goes live.

Also, if you can’t find the piece you fell in love with, visit the Artist’s Page on our website or the gallery on 14 Western Ave. All these pieces are far too beautiful to not showcase somewhere at Maine Art and will be on display at one of our two locations once voting is closed.

The Artists: Daniel J. Corey, Jeffrey T. Fitzgerald, Philip Frey, Ellen Welch Granter, Liz Hoag, William B. Hoyt, Henry Isaacs, Craig Mooney, Janis H. Sanders, Jill Valliere, Susan Wahlrab and Abbie Williams.

First Lives – Philip Frey


Like so many artists, giving back and sharing skills and knowledge found its way into Philip Frey’s life. Aristotle said, “Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach.” Not only did he teach students at the high school level, but Philip was just crazy enough to take on the role of the K-8 art teacher on Swan’s Island right here in Maine. Teaching is still very much part of Philip’s world. He hosts various workshops and classes for children and adults throughout the year.

He wasn’t always lucky enough to find work in his field. However, working with his hands and creating seems to be a common theme in his past and present.  “I worked on an organic farm, spent some time doing carpentry work and like so many other artists, found odd jobs to keep busy,” says Frey. He also spent a bit of time in a few framing galleries.

Apparently, those skills have served him well. Having been fortunate enough to wander through Philip’s studio, the discovery of a small woodworking shop in the back was a pleasant surprise. Philip often designs and frames many of his own pieces. In addition, he has left his mark on the wonderful little house which sits adjacent to his studio space.  The entire property has the look and feel of an artist’s sanctuary.


This “feel” didn’t just happen. Philip has spent many years studying Buddhist philosophy, epistemology, psychology and mindfulness meditation. The sense of peace Philip has created is proof of his studies. “Hiking, walking and mindfulness meditation keep me grounded,” says Frey. Even talking with Philip brings a sense of this same calm. We always look forward to his visits to the gallery.

Its hard not to wonder where someone so inspired has found his own motivation and guidance. For Philip, it is the people who surround him, both in and out of the art world. “My dear parents, Jim and Mickey,” says Philip before giving credit to any others. “I also have close friends, Bill and Jane, and of course, Ken Mike, my high school art teacher,” he continues. “Maine artist, Alan Bray is amazing. Fairfield Porter’s and Eve Mansdorf’s works and writings continue to inspire me.” The thoughtful look that is such a part of Philip’s charm tells me he has many more, but he limits his list with a smile.

Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture has a wonderful collection of Philip Frey’s work in the gallery at 14 Western Ave. In June, you will also be able to see a few of his new pieces in the Choice Art Show up on Chase Hill at Maine Art Shows. If you can’t make it for a visit, please visit his Artist Page, and click here to see other posts that feature Philip and his work.

Voting for the Choice Art Show will begin on May 2 at



The 2016 Summer Season

As everyone in Maine begins to celebrate the coming of spring, here at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, we are already looking toward the coming summer. Which means… The Summer Show Schedule! We have planned four single-artist shows and one group show.  All will contain new and unique pieces from many of our amazing artists.

Normally, our summer shows are held up on Chase Hill in the Maine Art Shows gallery. However, this year we are starting a bit early, and thought it would be fun to have our first show right on the first floor of the 14 Western Ave. location. And who will we be kicking off the summer with? David Witbeck, of course.

David’s solo show will run from May 28th to June 16th, and will not only feature his classic men of Maine and coastal working life images, but a few new perspectives on the wonderful state we love. You can still see many original Witbecks in the gallery and online on his Artist Page, but be sure to check his online show catalog for new work. It will be live soon! Even better, put your name on our mailing list to receive a reminder when his new work from the show is available. While you are waiting, please click here to learn more about David and his work.

 zjvxzv0cxlwyygtlg6viDavid Witbeck: May 28, 2016 – June 16, 2016

Maine Art Shows, at 10 Chase Hill Rd., will again host the Choice Art Show from June 11th through June 30th. This show not only features twelve of our top artists, it is also the only show that lets you, the public, vote for the work you want to see on our walls.  Voting doesn’t begin until May 2. Again, watch for the link or join our mailing list to get a behind-the-scenes peek at this one-of-kind show.

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On July 2nd, one of our new artists will open her solo show at Maine Art Shows. Holly Ready is no stranger to the gallery, but this will be her first solo show with us.  A few examples of her work are in the gallery now and on her Artist Page, but for the first three weeks in July all the walls of Maine Art Shows will display her stunning landscapes and a few more wonderful surprises. We are happy to send you a reminder when this show catalog is available to view if you join our mailing list.

c1isqitsm1c7fqjelot7Holly Ready: July 02, 2016 – July 21, 2016


In the spirit of celebrating our new artists, we will also be featuring Rebecca Kinkead this summer.  Her solo show begins on July 23rd and will run through August 11th. Rebecca’s work is nationally known and celebrated, and we are very excited to be able to share it with you here in Maine. To learn a bit about Rebecca, visit her Artist Page or click here to read more.

lrddpjxq6ngwqsrguyahRebecca Kinkead: July 23, 2016 – August 11, 2016

There is no better way to end a perfect summer than a William B. Hoyt show.  His timeless works capture his travels in both grand sweeping landscapes and with the tiniest of detail. He celebrates Maine and New England like no other. His show opens on August 13th and runs through Labor Day. Click here to read a bit more about Hoyt or visit his Artist Page to see our present collection of his work.


William B. Hoyt: August 13, 2016 – September 05, 2016

This summer holds a plethora of talent and personality that embodies who were are here at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture. We look forward to celebrating this summer season with you and yours. There are so many ways to stay updated on what is going on here. Be sure to check out the links below. We look forward to seeing you soon here in Kennebunk, Maine.

Our Website –

Our Blog –

Facebook –

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Jay Sawyer – New Artist and New Work


We are very happy to welcome a new sculptor to Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture.  Jay Sawyer is a Maine native who has taken his love of metal, background in engineering and fabrication and experience in repair and maintenance and created a place for himself in the ever-popular world of Maine art.


“Most of the sculpture is inspired by found objects or discarded materials. This inevitably leads to a body of work with a wide variety, however, most are rustic and very suitable for outdoor environments. My appreciation for form and balance is applied to these materials that represent time and a previous purpose for existing, giving each piece its own unique story,” says Sawyer.  One of his more popular repurposed metal objects are horseshoes.  Perfectly placed and welded, they create a stunning outdoor sculpture. Maine Art presently carries two sizes, a 55” round, large and a 30” round, small. You’re Lookin’ Over a Four-Leaf Clover.


Since 2007, Jay’s work has been found in galleries and public spaces. If you are a local there is a chance you have seen his work as you enter the Portland International Airport, A Spirit of Its Own. While many of Sawyer’s pieces are meant to be outside, there are a few that are small enough to bring inside. Untitled I and Untitled II are both part of Jay’s drill bit “Borin’ Art Series,” and measure under two feet tall. However, each would be fabulous in a garden or patio, as well.

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Maine has a wealth of very talented artists.  When exploring the art scene, it is easy to see why someone could be intimidated.  It has taken Jay time and experience and still he has difficulty grouping himself in with the talent that Maine holds. However, Jay Sawyer has definitely earned his place in this exclusive community. “It is an honor to be spoken of as a Maine artist and a privilege I do not take lightly,” says Sawyer.

Jay is one of a handful of new artists who have joined us in the past year. We are very excited about each of them. Coupled with the amount of winter work from the artists you all know and love here at Maine Art, our gallery is full of artwork. We invite everyone to stop by for a visit and catch up with this winter’s goings-on. Remember, all of our artwork are can be viewed online at

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