Pictures are spiritual beings. The soul of the painter lives within them ~ Emil Nolde
“My show is about the sky, land, and water. It is an exploration of using color and canvas to create an expression of three of the four elements. These same elements influence so much of what we see and feel around us every day,” shares Claire Bigbee about her 2019 collection at Shows at Maine Art Hill.
Silverlining is the sailboat that charts out of Perkins Cove in Ogunquit. Bigbee is friends with Capitan, Jack Gordon and his wife, Marie Christine. It is the vessels 80th birthday, and this was an excellent reason to use her for these paintings. Over the years Bigbee has sailed with them many times. From just a friendly gathering to a wedding, this vessel always provides a memorable and enjoyable experience.
“My methodology in this body of work is about expressing my feelings while sailing on the Silverlining. Through the Push and Pull Theory and using color, I create ‘pulsating, luminous, and open surfaces that emanate a mystic light,'” shares Bigbee. “I studied the concept of Push and Pull or Plasticity of Color in Painting at a few workshops. I have also studied The Hans Hoffman Approach with Robert Henry and Selina Tariff at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.”
Hoffman was one of the most important figures of postwar American art and renowned as an influential teacher for generations of artists. He aimed to create pulsating, luminous, and open surfaces that emanate a mystic light, following his most profound insight into the experience of life and nature. Hoffman was Bigbee’s primary influence and inspiration for this show.
“Plasticity is not an easy concept to wrap your head around. Color can exist and define space by way of its hue and intensity. Its relationship to the colors around it,” explains Bigbee. “This new collection of my work is about brooding seascapes, simplified shapes, extreme distance, and using a brilliant palette.”
For Bigbee, inspiration is less about the view and more about the spiritual presence. Her goal is for the viewer to feel something other than just another landscape.
“My paintings become evocative like a haunting awareness of a presence within the view,” says Bigbee. “I strive for the feeling of aloneness we sometimes feel in life. Yet there is also peace when we sense that we are not alone; that is what nature gives back to me; it’s a dialogue.”
Claire Bigbee’s entire collection can be found on Maine Art Hill year-round. Her summer show is at Shows at the top of Chase Hill Road. It will run through Labor Day. All galleries are open every day at 10 am.