The state of Maine is famous for her diverse scenery and skies, and of course, colors. For most of September, three local female artists are celebrating it all.
This collection at Shows on Maine Art Hill, 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk, features the work of Julie Houck, Claire Bigbee, and Liz Hoag. This is the last show of the season for the hilltop gallery, and it is slated to be a beauty. The doors are open on September 5 through September 24.
John Spain, the owner of Maine Art Hill, says, “These three talented, local women continue to amaze. Each sees this area they call home through different eyes and from different vantage points, so together, they capture the best of our state. Separately, they are incredible. Collectively, they are magic.”
Artist Julie Houck finds her magic in the sky. Many of her paintings are in oil, but a few are encaustic or a blend of both. The essence of light and classical training is seen in her work. Transparent layers are used to create luminosity. Landscapes and seascapes are a primary theme in Houck’s work. This year, however, she has also added abstracts.
“My abstract works veer sharply from the physical world. They find their inspiration by delving into the realm of painting what can only be felt, experienced, or thought,” says Houck. “Conversely, I am inspired by the interplay of light on the landscape. Painting softly allows me to recreate that one particularly special moment when the land, light, and atmosphere seamlessly fuse.”
Artist Claire Bigbee’s process with oils is also a response to the atmosphere and the view and the painting. For Bigbee, art is an expression of those moments when struck by her surroundings. There is something behind the scenery that drives her to return to nature. Everything is interconnected and part of one force, a genuine feeling of oneness.
“My paintings are inventions of nature through careful observation of the color relationships when the painting is underway. I prefer this approach rather than the idea of reproducing nature,” shares Bigbee. “Staying open and in the moment where you get lost, or the accidents occur, can turn the painting on or thrust it in a new direction. Those are thrilling moments when you’re on the edge of a painting. You get lost for a while.”
Lastly, we wander inland and change to acrylic paint, and no one does this better than Portland artist Liz Hoag. Finding her sanctuary, Hoag walks in the quiet of the woods, and in her studio, her new works focus on the soft and pure and represent even more of Maine.
“It’s important to find ways to focus on simpler things in life and remember that beauty still exists. Especially in Maine. The brooks, ponds, lakes, woods, and ocean give me that quiet calm I desperately need,” says Hoag. “I’m so lucky to be an artist who gets to interpret the beauty of this world. Taking the peace I find out there, I bring it to paintings so that others can also maybe find peace in beauty.”
This art show is a piece of quiet, a deep breath, and a gentle blossoming of Maine’s colors, and is not to be missed. It opens at Shows on Maine Art Hill starting Saturday, September 5, and runs through Thursday, September 24. The gallery at 10 Chase Hill Road is open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM. FMI call 207-967-0049. This show can be viewed online beginning Wednesday, September 2, at www.maine-art.com/shows.