“I am drawn to the water. It is what inspires and energizes me. The colors, the sound, the smells, the calm and the movement – it overwhelms my senses and gives me energy,” says artist Bethany Harper Williams. “When I’m painting water, I get that same energy.”
Bethany loves what the Maine landscape has to offer, both the physical perspective as well as a visual perspective. The beautiful beaches and water provide an area to play and create beautiful memories while also inspiring to capture these memories and make them last forever.
“My work explores the shared emotion many of us have to our memories on the beach. As much as the image must feel real, I don’t want to get caught up in the reality of the image. I want the viewer to take a second, or third, or fourth look,” says Williams. “I want them to discover a shape or a pattern and see the whimsy in the painting that may not be visible at first glance or from a distance.”
The expanse of beach and water allows a play with texture, shape, and color while abstracting the elements. Then Williams uses the people or the boats to put it into context. She creates the unexpected, adding little circles or squares as a reminder that this is not a photo, but inspiration from a moment in time. “Sometimes when I’m painting I get too tight, trying to be too real and I have to step back and loosen up,” she says.
With the Beach Days series, Williams never knows where the people are going to be on the painting until she starts painting them. “I populate the canvas with these little gems of color following where my palette knife takes me,” she explains. “I intend to try and get the vitality and character of the people through very simple but deliberate brushstrokes. It is as if my hand dances across the canvas as I place each person, composing a rhythm of color.”
Bethany Harper Williams is part of a three artist show at Shows on Maine Art Hill. This gallyery is open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. It runs through Labor Day. You can find Bethany Harper Williams’s work year round at Maine Art Hill at the main gallery.