Witbeck has been working on figure drawing almost every week for several years. The drawings and sketches, however, piled up in his studio, unseen by anyone but him. Then one day, that changed. “I thought it would be fun to turn some of them into paintings. An artist should paint what he loves,” grins Witbeck. “ ‘Nough said.”
This is by far the most diverse collection of Witbeck’s work we have seen here at Maine Art Gallery. We love the variety of both subject and size. It is really a wonderful show. The work is simple and clean, but never loses the honest feel of Maine and the way it should be.
“I love walking low tide mudflats around and under pole wharves looking for whatever secrets the receding water may have revealed,” Witbeck says. Last October he spent a couple weeks recharging his “Maine batteries” and explored amongst the pole wharves of Friendship and Stonington. “The actual wharfs in these harbor villages don’t look a bit like the ones I painted for the show. As always, my work has always been more about what it feels like than what it looks like.”
You take a photograph of a sunset over a lake and realize later when you look at the photo that there were branches in your view. You unknowingly wiped them from view when you were looking through the lens. But they’re there; part of the landscape that gives depth and frames the beauty. They are an integral part of the beauty. You take them in without thinking about them.
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.
“I began painting boats recently because I love the way they evoke a sense of peace and calmness,” says Granter. “However, some of my fondest childhood memories of the sailing world were not on the water nor were they calm and peaceful.” While speaking with Ellen about her newest collection, she shared some of her… Read more »
Margaret Gerding is not only a painter, she is also a teacher. Spending many days in the marshes or on the beaches of the Kennebunks, she shares her gift or art with her students. It was during one of her recent sessions that she asked her students to push themselves a little further. She issued the 30 Day Artist Challenge, a test to push skills beyond their normal comfort zone. Not only did Gerding issue this challenge, she joined in.
“All three artists have strong ties to Maine and capture the true essence of the state,” says gallery owner John Spain. “Though each has distinctively different styles and subjects, the show as a whole is a wonderfully cohesive body of work.”
Mooney says, “In this time and age we are entering, people are looking for an escape. This new series of work offers that. My recent works are more romantic motifs. I want to give people a place to go for a bit of peace. Its that feeling found when spending time with a painting, then suddenly it captures you. It holds on, and you are there, even if only for a while. Its more than just seeing it, it is feeling it. The work has to be sincere.”
If you missed the opening, but want a chance to see the show, it runs until Thursday, June 29. We are open every day from 11AM to 5PM. If you cannot make it to Kennebunk, please check in out on line at www.maine-art.com and contact us if you have any further questions. 207-967-0049 or [email protected]