The Lobstermen of Maine

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

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

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

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

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

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Opening Day – From A Distance – A Craig Mooney Show

From A Distance – A Craig Mooney Show

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

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

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

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

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

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Autumn Transformations – From A Distance

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

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


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

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


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

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From A Distance – A Craig Mooney Show

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It’s important to take a step back, take a deep breath, and truly embrace the beauty surrounding us. In this new show, this is exactly what Craig Mooney has done. “From A Distance” is that step back. This is a show filled with new works and new perspectives on his classics. If you are already in love with Craig Mooney’s work, you will be amazed at what he has created. If this is your first experience, you are in for a treat.

When “From A Distance” was in it’s early stages, Craig connected with the theme. “It is necessary to put distance between you and the work,” says Mooney. “I have to stand back. Right up close, it just doesn’t make sense. It’s just blobs of paint. The distance is necessary to really see the whole picture.” Strokes of blues and greens come to life and become the ocean as we step back. Paint produces emotion. It breathes life.

Craig has been lucky enough to experience places where skies change from orange to pink to blue in the course of a day; where seas reflect dark and grey, and in just a moment change to crystal blue; where land, sky and ocean converge to produce a perfect contrast of nature. These places are familiar to us. We live here. We have created memories here. “Before this show, I went back over the last ten years,” says Craig. “ I discovered the paintings where people felt connected. Over and over, it was the sky and the sea.” It was these works that Craig revisited, creating new and original pieces that hold the same familiar feeling – a feeling we are just not quite ready to let go.

On Thursday, September 24th, the online catalogue for the show will be available to view. On Saturday, the 26th, “From A Distance” officially opens at 10 am. You will find Craig’s work on the first floor of Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture on 14 Western Ave in Kennebunk. Consider this your invitation to come in, step back, take a deep breathe and enjoy.

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End of the Season at Maine Art Shows


While our group gallery, Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture is open year-round, Maine Art Shows is closed – not for the night, but for the season. Labor Day has come and gone and the last of the BIRD show has been shipped off to happy customers leaving the first floor of 10 Chase Hill Road quiet and resting. It is early evening and the Maine Art Shows gallery is full of shadows created by just a few of the small warm bulbs still illuminating the now bare walls. Small brass hangers sit above the hearth, empty. The vases, normally bursting with the fresh flowers of summer, have been scrubbed and put away and the mantels are clean and bare.  The hardwood floor is warm and smooth, and if one listens carefully the bouncing echoes of the voices of summer memories can be heard.

First it is the high-pitched chatter of happy Festival goers visiting the Choice Art Show, seeing long-time summer friends for the first time of the season. Then, the friends and family of Philip Frey uttering words of encouragement as they come out in huge support of his one-man show. Soon, it is both tourists and locals wandering and whispering words of recognition as they find familiarity in Maine. As they see it. And finally, the people’s chatter fades to the sound of the birds that claimed this space as their own for the last four weeks during BIRD.

The end of a season is always bittersweet.  Hard work and long hours are offset by loyal customers, tourists and frequent visits from our artists. Every show is new and fun and full of beauty, but soon enough our summer staff begin to venture off to autumn adventures and our veterans begin work on projects for next summer with barely a blink.

However, before saying goodbye for the season, we must first say thank you.  It has been a successful, engaging and lovely summer thanks to all of you.  We appreciate your kind words and continued support of Maine Art Shows.  We have big plans for next summer, and we can’t wait to include you.

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Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture is open year-round at 14 Western Avenue in Kennebunk. Please come by for a visit anytime.  As always, you can visit online at

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James Rivington Pyne and Tern


James Rivington Pyne | Tern | Composite | 29″ X 28″ | $500

As you first walk into Maine Art Shows at 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk, a curious little sculpture, of what at first glance is a seagull swooping in to grab his lunch, is there to greet you. However, after a closer look, something is just a little different; a little smaller, a little more unique about this particular bird.

This sculpture is actually of a tern, not a seagull. To many of us the two are almost indistinguishable, but not for James Rivington Pyne. “The seagull, in its varieties, is, of course, the archetypical bird of coastal Maine. Yet, I have always thought its smaller cousin, the tern, to be more interesting; more beautiful, elegant and graceful with its backstroked wings,” says Pyne. “What’s more, terns make far less noise.”  This one in particular makes no noise at all.

“The tern I have submitted for this show is larger than the terns one sees over the water, and more threatening,” says James. “I wanted her to be this way because, despite her actual size, she is every bit as capable of feeding and protecting her young as any other seabird, be it osprey or gull.” She definitely holds her own among the dozens of birds in the show.  Tern brings a little touch of Maine with her and would be perfect inside or on a covered patio.

Pyne is one of six artists in the show BIRD. He has a few other pieces on display at Maine Art Shows, as well as a collection of work at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture down the hill on 14 Western Ave.  We welcome you to visit both galleries, either in person or on-line at BIRD or Pyne’s Artist Page.


BIRD runs until September 7th. Maine Art Shows is open from 11-5 every day.

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Elizabeth Ostrander and Her Crows

“My fascination with crows continues to grow. Perhaps it’s their close knit family units and other shared human traits, like cooperation and ingenuity that win my allegiance. Mostly, I am drawn to a mystery; a spirit energy surrounding them,” says Elizabeth Ostrander. “They are a portal where my soul seems to find an easy connection with nature.”

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Curious, a small ceramic and acrylic crow, focuses on the inquisitiveness and intelligence of these birds. With his head cocked and lowered, he appears to be looking for just a little more. The title fits. According to Ostrander these two traits are mutual for these birds and humans. “We both have a desire to learn new things. I think we must both recognized this familiar trait in one another.”  This is true as well for our mutual love and fascination with all things shiny. “Shiny Heart Cache” is a larger crow that represents this. His heart is filled with a nest of “shiny.”  Even the tiny gold heart placed in the center of it all leaves us to wonder at our own “treasure troves of delight and entertainment.”

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“Crows in Eastport, along with the gulls, have become our resident totems.  They give our island community an exciting, aerial tambour – a pulse of shared activity and connection,” says Elizabeth. “But it is indisputably the black-feathered crows who dwell the deepest inside our human imagination. Crows have become like deep wells of inspiration not only in myths and legends but also in our visual arts, literature and music.”

Elizabeth Ostrander’s work is interesting and unique both visually and conceptually.  If you would like to see more of her work, please visit the gallery at 14 Western Ave in Kennebunk, Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, or take a peek at her on-line Artist Page.

The show, BIRD, including these two pieces as well as others, will be running until September 7th.  Maine Art Shows can be found on 10 Chase Hill Rd. in Kennebunk and is open from 11-5 every day. Please visit either in person or on-line at BIRD.


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A Peek Inside – Ellen Granter talks about BIRD

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When it came to curating the show BIRD, artist Ellen Welch Granter was an obvious choice.  Her work was meant to be featured on the walls of Maine Art Shows, surrounded by other artists with the same adoration for birds.  “As a group, I think this work will create an environment that transports a viewer to the shallow water at the beach,” say Granter. They, the birds, are so much a part of the coastline here in Maine; it is a wonderful way to remind the locals and the tourists alike how integral they are to our landscape and charm.

Ellen Welch Granter has an affection for birds.  They appear frequently in her work, and when first walking into Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, she and her birds are easily recognizable. Another distinctive trait for Granter is the characteristic gold leaf found in her work. Be it a wire her birds are perched upon as in Every Fifth, a puddle they are watering in as in Wild, or the shimmering moon in Robin Moon No.2, this gold leaf brings a touch of beauty to each of her pieces that feature these winged wonders. “The long legs of the sandpipers make an interesting calligraphic pattern, especially over the brightness of the gold leaf and the color field behind them all.”

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Ellen’s connection to her work becomes even more obvious as she explains her choices for this particular show. “These paintings are iterations of three themes I have been working on, sandpipers, egrets, and the lowly house sparrow. They congregate, then move apart, and reform a flock, so the shape of the group, as well as the spaces between them, are always changing.”  With a varied collection such as hers, the motion she speaks of is felt as the visitor moves through the gallery from one piece to the next.  There is a fluidity. It is natural and elegant and graceful.

The show BIRD runs until September 7th and will be open everyday from 11-5 at Maine Art Shows in Kennebunk. Please come by and see Ellen Welch Granter’s work for yourself, as well as the additional five artists showcased. If you cannot make it in, visit the collection on-line at BIRD.  Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture also boasts a large collection of Granter’s work and is only a few steps away down at 14 Western Avenue in Kennebunk. Again, you can also view all of Granter’s work on her Artist Page.

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End of Summer Celebration

Thirteen people gathered around a table at Academe at the Kennebunk Inn. Our ages ranged from twenty-two to sixty-two; men and women, teachers, real estate agents and grandparents. So what on earth did we have in common? Maine Art. Part-time, full-time, seasonal and year-round, the staff at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture came together to mark the approaching end of  yet another summer season. We all had a part in Maine Art’s success this summer, and John wanted to take the evening to say “thank-you.” The table was full of laughter, conversation and fun.  Everyday we celebrate our customers.  Everyday we celebrate our artists. Tuesday night, we took the night off and celebrated us.


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Patrick Plourde in BIRD – A Maine Art Show

Patrick Plourde by Ric Kasini Kadour

Patrick Plourde studied art at the Maine College of Art and received his Masters of Fine Art from Washington University. For over twenty-five years, he has used vintage steel and found objects to express natural forms: various plants, flowers, seeds, and birds. His sculptures play with form, color, and humor to engage the viewer. Plourde converts everyday objects, like croquet balls, into sculptural elements that evoke classical forms and industry. In his depictions of birds, there is also an element of drawing, using the metal to make the lines of a heron’s back in a manner that resembles the bird’s plumage.

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Joan Miró once explained the success of his sculpture, “A rich and vigorous material seems necessary to me in order to give the viewer that smack in the face that must happen before reflection intervenes. In this way, poetry is expressed through a plastic medium, and it speaks its own language.” Plourde’s sculptures achieve success in a similar way. The various pieces of steel and other found parts come together to form a Vulture. What was once a tool or a spoke or a gear, becomes a neck, a talon, or tightly held pair of wings.

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His work has been featured in Architectural Digest, Log Home Designs, and Maine Home and Design. Collectors include Ralph Lauren, Robert De Niro, Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, Toucan Corporation (Florida), The Portland (Maine) Museum of Art, and Payson Art Gallery (Maine). He has completed a number of public and private commissions, including Untitled-Armillary, on Commercial Street in Portland, Maine near the Casco Bay Ferry terminal.

BIRD shows at Maine Art Shows at 10 Chase Hill from August 8th to September 7th.  We are open from 11-5 every day.  You can also see the show in its entirety on-line at BIRD.

If you like Patrick’s work, Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture has a lovely collection in the gallery on 14 Western Ave in Kennebunk and on-line on his Artist Page.

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