“I am drawn to the water – it’s what inspires and energizes me – the colors, the sound, the smells, the calm, and the movement. It overwhelms my senses and gives me energy. When I’m painting water, I find that same energy,” says Artist Bethany Harper Williams, one of thirteen artists in the 8th Annual Choice Art Show on Maine Art Hill.
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.
There is no better way to celebrate summer than to be on or near the water. With that comes boat trips and harbor wandering. Both David Witbeck and Bethany Harper Williams have captured the love of each but in very different ways.
“Each time I return, I am amazed at how the views continue to captivate me. I find myself literally stopping and taking photos again and again, often of the same scenes,” she laughs. “The light is always different. The clouds. The water. I love seeing how the light and colors change through the year.”
Williams often has figures in her paintings. “I am trying to capture a moment in time. I’m not concerned with who the people are, but I’m trying to invoke a memory others can relate to,” shares Williams. “My people have become even more simplified, much less detailed.” In her latest series of Beach Days, the figures are simple strokes of color. But as simple as they are, she still captures the movement and interaction, the mood and activity.
Starting on Saturday, June 30 at 10 am through July 19th, we fill the walls of the gallery at 10 Chase Hill with these stunning celebrations of color and summer. Both artists will be at Shows on Saturday evening from 5 – 7 pm. They each are excited to share their process, inspiration and new works. The Artist Reception is a free event. Food, wine, and music provided.
“I am having fun with the Beach Days series, especially the long horizontal format. It works so well for a long stretch of a sunny beach that feels like it goes on forever,” shares Bethany.
“I need the mountains and the ocean just like I need to paint,” she claims. “It is this power and energy in nature that draws me to continually paint it. I go into my zone when I am painting. The hours pass by, and I am totally absorbed. It is the same connection as when I am surrounded by mountains or looking out to the water. I am at peace.”
“I only painted a few paintings a year for the next few years but all were inspired by summers in Biddeford Pool. It wasn’t until 2011, I decided to have a show,” says Williams. “I knew I wanted to do something in Biddeford Pool, but I didn’t know what. We ended up throwing a cocktail party for all our friends. Many friends had no idea I painted. Needless to say, it was a big success.” This inspired her to want to go further with her painting and changed her focus from graphic design to painting.
We are celebrating the fall colors, the cool air and the addition of two new artists to the gallery. Both are excited to join our family, and we want to give them a proper Kennebunk Welcome. There is nothing like hot apple cider and fall bites to make a Maine gathering complete. We are also thrilled to have live music from local guitarist Beau Dalleo. So, as you are out wandering and enjoying the sunshine this weekend, we hope you take some time to come say hello and visit.