Seeking peace and celebrating the small joys in life, these subjects center on nature and my surroundings. I enjoyed painting on a small, intimate scale this year. I don’t paint with an easel but hold my work in my lap and hold the brush like I’m holding a pen. They’re turned this way and that. I look at them very much as objects, with small illusions on their surfaces.
“I’m painting what I love; what grabs my attention and makes me pause. Mornings and evenings are particularly inspirational because colors can be intensified, and light can make the ordinary interesting. Boats, whether for work or play, merge with the seascape. And coastal trees stand out like resolute figures, and I appreciate their determination. “
“My favorite is Beach Stones #8,” says Alex Dunwoodie. “I love the tumbled rocks along shorelines; the mix of colors and textures. Sitting and studying the stones is calming to me.”
“I love being close to the water’s surface. I love the bright white of noon sun on boats. My eye moves over the water, not stopping on any one area for very long,” explains Dunwoodie. “I want to spend time in that place and take in the details, remember them and take them with me.”
This year we began with seventy-eight original works from thirteen artists; six pieces each. Then, as most of you know, this is where the process begins. Between the artist, local designer Louise Hurlbutt from Hurlbutt Designs, and you the voters, the show was curated down to three pieces from each artist. These three were carefully “chosen” to be in the show, and we so appreciate all the help we had making these difficult decisions. The three choices for each artist were just as arduous this year as in the past.
“I chose these six paintings for the show after spending the winter trying new approaches, taking a break from closely-cropped small still-life and water studies to work on larger surfaces and subjects. The result is partly the consequences of moving to a new workspace. My work was bound to reflect a transition,” Alex explains. “I wanted to work on a variety of subjects, sizes, application of paint; I was free to try new things.”
“A goal this past year was stepping out of my comfort zone. This included painting larger, and trying some subjects I’ve been contemplating and meaning to get to, especially the beach rocks,” says Alex. “The larger scale allowed me to loosen up, and I can breathe in the spaces working larger. I realize my idea of “larger” is still others’ small works, but for me, these 12 x 12s and especially the 20 x 16 feels big.”
All told, we have over thirty artists at Maine Art Gallery and many have new pieces that have been or will be featured in shows this summer. New works arrive every week. Our website is real time and is always up to date. Be sure to watch our Facebook page, as well, for new additions to our inventory. If you want to be contacted when new work comes in from any specific artist, please add your name to our email list, indicate which one, and we will be sure to contact you.
“Beauty is to be found in the small things, the cast-offs, the “ordinary”, and we pick these things up — the bone-colored shells on the beach that stand out against the rocks,” says Dunwoodie. “We put them in our pockets, find a place for them on our shelves and in our lives. They take on a new significance in our domestic spaces, and a life of their own. Some even become talismans, more than decorations, but objects we pick up now and again to appreciate a special quality about them.”