“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.” — Rachel Carson
Rebecca Kinkead is one of those adults. She has held onto the child inside her. In her work she captures the exuberance children have for life; especially the little things, like cannonball splashes and skipping stones. These are favorite moments for children of all ages. These are Kinkead’s children.
“A few years back I received a Christmas card from a friend. Her daughter was on top of a mountain leaning into the wind. I remember that feeling, that freedom. It reminded me of trust – trusting one’s self and trusting one’s environment,” says Kinkead. “I think some of my best paintings have come from trusting my gut, letting go, and not thinking too much.”
And so, Kinkead’s Stella in the Wind series was created by trusting her gut. The piece Stella in the Wind is one of many of Kinkead’s children in her show at Maine Art. This same childhood trust and freedom is found in her Starry Night series. Pieces like Traveler (Starry Night) and Wish (Starry Night) bring back summer memories of staying up late and making wishes. Not only do we remember these moments, we want to relive them with our own children.
“I leave the faces of my children open and ambiguous. It’s up to the viewer to fill in the blanks,” says Kinkead. “For me, if I add facial features, they become someone else’s child, strangers. The ambiguity allows them to become yours.”
John Spain, owner of Maine Art, says, “There is a strange feeling of gratitude in Rebecca’s voice when she speaks about her work.” She is quite quiet and still a bit overwhelmed with her success. Her eyes light up when she looks around at what she has created. Being able to make someone happy with the stroke of a brush is a true gift.
“When I was young, there was only one time I remember considering what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was about six. I decided I wanted to be a masseuse or a craft-person, something with my hands,” says Kinkead. “Then I spent the next two and a half decades of my life having no idea what I wanted to do. I didn’t find art until I was thirty.”
But even at thirty, that child was there, and lucky for us, still is.
For all of you who have children in your world or still embrace your inner-child, we welcome you to come in and see Kinkead’s work in person. This one-woman show will run until August 11. Maine Art Shows is open daily from 11am until 5pm.
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