There have been so many new and exciting changes going on in our little corner of Lower Village, Kennebunk, we can hardly stand it. Along with new buildings and new branding, we have also welcomed a few new artists. One of which is Claire Bigbee.
Bigbee lives and works in Wells and studied graphic design and painting at the Maine College of Art. Even though she is from Massachusetts originally, she quickly found solace in being a local Maine girl.
Bigbee shares, “I moved to Ogunquit at the age of twelve when my parents divorced. I was at an age where I felt really displaced. I wasn’t connecting to the school system or to the people in school, so I turned to the landscape.”
It was the marshes in Maine that helped ease a lot of her anxieties as a teenager. “I could feel this peace.” Now as an adult, she still finds her place in all Maine has to offer. “The winters are stripped down and everything slows down. I like that solitude. The light is incredible. The blue shadows in the winter and the skies. The beach. The water. The coastline. The pastoral inland views,” Bigbee raves. “The whole state is just a huge canvas waiting to be painted.”
When in the presence of Bigbee’s work there is a sense of energy. While the composition and light may attract her to a scene, it is the free use of color and expression that drives her.
“My process is a response to the atmosphere, the view, and the painting. I am not so concerned about the rendering of the piece,” she shares. “When I’m painting, music keeps my unconscious and conscious connected. As I mix my paints and apply them to my canvas, I’m not necessarily using a formula. I don’t create my palate the same way every time. Sometimes I just apply the paint directly to the canvas.”
It is through music Bigbee finds the soul of the piece she is painting. “When I am working on my floral paintings which are more gestural, I throw the canvas on the floor. I turn up the music and get into the beat of it. It is apparent in the strokes and in the overall energy of these pieces,” she says.
Bigbee is the creative director at Dietz Associates, a certified yoga instructor and has a dance background. She is a very busy woman. Music helps to tap into her intuition. “Music keeps me on a plane between consciousness and unconsciousness. I’m in a space where I’m responding to the rhythm in notes of the music,” she says referring to dance, “and when painting, to the rhythm in the notes of the paint.”
Bigbee’s work will be debuted in the 7th Annual Choice Show beginning on June 9 at Shows on Maine Art Hill. Gain a sneak peek on May 1 when voting begins.