Artist Liz Hoag finds inspiration in the simple act of taking a walk in the woods near her Portland home. It isn’t just about what she sees – it is also about what she feels.
“When walking in the woods, the trees surround us. We cannot see the quiet, but we feel it,” says Hoag.
We are so excited to be featuring Hoag’s work in a three-week show beginning Saturday, September 2. We are also thrilled that she will attend the opening reception Saturday evening, from 5 to 7 PM.
Hoag, who has lived in Maine for about 25 years, has a studio in Westbrook. After taking photographs on walks around her Portland neighborhood or one of the many trails around the state, Hoag goes to work in her studio. “This is where the magic happens. I normally start with a dark canvas, or negative space, and build up by adding light. For me, the result is both abstract and representational,” she says.
Hoag blends the ideas inspired by her nature experiences into her work, using mostly acrylic paint on canvas. “It seems I have always leaned toward realistic work, but I like abstract. It’s looser,” Hoag says. She describes the work as “misty” when she discusses the pulling of light color over dark. “It is the light and color that makes a space quiet,” she says.
Hoag especially focuses on trees, as she feels they are the part of the landscape that gives depth and frames the beauty of the outdoors. “They are an integral part of nature. We take them in without thinking about them,” she says.
Besides the “treescapes” Hoag has become known for, she also paints seascapes and landscapes, which will be part of her upcoming show. Nature is constantly inspiring her to paint. “It’s balance and shape,” Hoag says. “For each of us, there is a need to find beauty and balance in the everyday. Much of what I paint is considered ordinary. They are things usually passed by, but if a second is taken to stop and see, it’s impossible not to notice how truly dramatic they are. The balance of the light and dark always manages to create calm.”
Although her work is an expression of her relationship to nature, Hoag ultimately is hoping to evoke feelings in those who view her work. “I personally do not think of the ‘story’ or ‘narrative’ of my paintings,” says Hoag. “That being said, these paintings truly reflect the feel of the moment when I was in this beautiful place.”
Hoag is looking forward to discussing her work and her process at the reception opening night. Please come in and visit at 14 Western Avenue in Kennebunk.
The online show is live Friday afternoon, Septemeber 1. Watch our Facebook page for the update.
FMI maine-art.com or 967-2803. We are open daily – please check our website for times.