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 with Artist Dina Gardner


Featured Artist, Dina Gardner is the guest artist for Pop-Up beginning Tuesday, July 28 to August 3. Read on to learn more about her inspiration, her process, and her work.

July 28 to August 3

“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 licenses 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 peeking 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 Dina Gardner check out the following links: 






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.


Artist Julia M. Doughty

“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. 

Below are several links to learn more about Doughty and see all of her available works.

Julia M. Doughty – Artist Page

Julia M. Doughty- THE BLOG – Artist Insights and Stories



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.


Pop-Up Lynn Ericson

Featured Artist, Lynn Ericson is the guest artist for Pop-Up beginning Tuesday, June 23 to Monday, June 29. Read on to learn more about her inspiration, her process, and her work.

June 23 to June 29

As a graphic designer, Lynn Ericson spent years capturing the essence of a product or service and communicating that message with immediacy. She has traded designing logos and advertising campaigns on the computer for acrylic paint, but the goal of her painting is very much the same: capturing the essence and making a connection.

She attempts to communicate the feeling of a scene that captures her attention. She is struck by the blueness of a coastal cove, the liveliness of a field of flowers or the intensity of a sky. Often it’s the memory of a color combination or the strong composition in a landscape that first attracts her.

Though she starts with photos, the painting takes on a life of its own, and the variety of the Maine seasons and the lushness of the French landscape are endless sources of inspiration. Lynn has a B.A. degree in English Literature from the University of Maine and an M.F.A from Rochester Institute of Technology. She lives in Hollis, Maine.

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


Let us know if you’re coming to L.K. Sleat’s show on Facebook!


New England’s Perfection – Artist Craig Mooney as Solo Summer Show

“It is a place only I have been. It is the epitome of New England’s perfection. It is a piece and a part of each beach, mountain, or ocean I have visited. It is where I am at peace, but it is wherever you find happiness,” says artist Craig Mooney.

We are happy to be hosting artist, Craig Mooney for his one-man show beginning July 20th at Shows on Maine Art Hill. This show will run for three weeks and contain, not only his classic seascapes and landscapes but also many fabulous new works. 

Born and raised in Manhattan, Mooney left the city in 1988 to attend Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, where he received a fine arts degree in 1992. After so many years in the city, he has now found a quieter place to live and work, Vermont.

“All the places I have called home have inspired me, my native New York, the mountains and farms near my studio in Stowe, Vermont, and the beaches of Maine and Massachusetts,” says Mooney. “In all my work, it is always the sense of atmosphere I am after.”

In Mooney’s upcoming show,  he has a variety of newer themes as well as older ones. The romantic themes of weather and storms that were familiar to the 18th and 19th-centuries seascape painters have always influenced his work, but this show will be more. 

“In the past, I tried to capture a ‘moment in time’ which evolved into works more about symbolism. The sea and land, the sailboats in the distance, these are more metaphors for a more in-depth dialogue with the subject,” explains Mooney. “This way, the paintings can be entered by anyone.” 

All the works for this show are done in oil, and some pieces are quite large, exceeding sixty inches, which is classic Mooney. The hook this year, he is also experimenting with small 12 x 12 inch works.

“I want to capture the essence of my inspirations in smaller works. Can the vast skies and landscapes be felt in miniature? I have proven they can,” Mooney says. “There will be a few more surprises, though. I have departed from past shows with the inclusion of a variety of new subjects – seals, waterfowl, and different wildlife of coastal Maine. It is going to be fun.”

Mooney loves his studio in Vermont, but with all the time he spends in Kennebunk and the weekends spent with family on Cape Cod, he has become a “coastal painter.” He is not sure when it happened, but it is part of who is, so the new works are a fascinating new addition.

John Spain, owner of Maine Art Hill, notes, ”I am always thrilled to have a solo show with Craig Mooney. His talent and ability to capture Maine and its beauty never cease to amaze me. With the addition of small works and new themes, this show is a must visit.”

Mooney looks forward to discussing his work and his process during his Artist Reception on Saturday, July 20th, from 5 to 7 PM.  This show runs through Thursday, August 8th. Shows on Maine Art Hill is at 10 Chase Hill Road and is open from 10 AM to 5 PM daily. FMI visit www.maine-art.com or call  207-967-0049.

Virtual Tour will be available the evening of Friday, July 19th. Click here to view.

To read more stories and insights from Craig Mooney follow this link

To see our entire collection of Mooney’s work follow this link

Protected Places  – Insights from Artist Ingunn Joergensen

For this show, Ingunn Joergensen is revisiting her barn and boathouse theme. These works have the simplicity which comes from her native Norway, yet they hold the warmth of an old New England barn. 

“I don’t think I will ever grow tired of these structures,” says Joergensen. “It’s the idea of protecting the crop, the herd, the lively hood, and in that the future of those who rely on it. To me, that is love in its purest form.”

For Joergensen, the barn becomes a symbol of hope and hard work. It is a connection to the land or sea and holds purpose and presence.  These structures tie us to those before us and future generations. 

“It is a circle of life. It’s a sense of place and belonging we all need and crave in our lives,” says Joergensen. “I have always said that a barn is my Cathedral. These new works are a place of peace, decluttered, and expanded from our ego.”

Likewise, Joergensen’s nest series carries the same metaphor.  

“My nests are a continuation of the same idea, just in a very organic version,” she shares. “They are a brilliant structure, both strong and fragile, and made to protect something much loved.”

To see Joergensen’s entire collection for this show, please visit before July 18. These works are hung at Shows on Maine Art Hill, along with works from fellow artists Julie Houck and Margaret Gerding. You may also see the online virtual tour by following this link. VIRTUAL TOUR – JOERGENSEN, GERDING, and HOUCK.

To read more about Ingunn, click here – Stories and Insights – Ingunn Joergensen.

To see our complete collection of Ingunn’s work, click here – Artist Page Ingunn Joergensen. 

All three artists show with Maine Art Hill year round. Please visit anytime or call for more info.