David Witbeck – Three Views of Maine

Ten Artists. Three Pieces Each. Thirty Reasons to Celebrate.

Ten of our well-loved artists delivered three pieces of never before shown work adding up to 30 paintings celebrating thirty years in the business.

Here is what artist David Witbeck had to say about his part in this amazing show.


“I chose a basic guy-holding-a-fish painting because that’s what I first became known for, and I wanted to show a bit of progression over the years. When I first started painting them, I never imagined they would strike a chord with many people. I’ve lost count, but I’ve done well over four hundred of them. When I think I’ve said everything I have to say about a guy holding a fish, I manage to crank out another couple. After a couple of years of showing them in Maine, it was suggested that I do a similar thing with lobsters.  I was resistant at first. It’s easy to make a simple generic shape that people will accept as a fish, but a lobster has particular anatomy. I didn’t want to make a silly cartoony lobster like you sometimes see on tee shirts and lobster bibs. But, over the years, I’ve gotten so I can fake an acceptable lobster that’s not too silly looking and is about as anatomically “correct “ as my lobstermen.”

Burning Off, Morning

“There is a misty painting with some buoys in the foreground in this piece. Bouys are one of the staples of Maine clichés. It’s impossible to avoid clichés, but I think if I’m going to succumb to them, I should try to improve on them. The first buoy-in-the-foreground-boat-in-the-background painting I did was 72 x 48 and was the client’s idea. I thought she was nuts at first, but she was insistent. I was surprised how well it came out.”

Red Boat

“What can I say? I love small, sometimes shabby workboats. I need to make them sometimes ridiculously small, so the human elements in them don’t get lost. Like almost all my work, the relationship between the human element and an object interests me most. So that’s the first red boat I’ve done. Usually, I don’t even have bright red on my palette. Usually, my boats are white, with most bright colors concentrated on the lobsterman to make him the center of attention even when he’s pretty small.”



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