This past fall we introduced Liz Hoag to the Maine Art extended family. The entire first floor of the gallery at 14 Western Ave. was filled with a collection of her work which was centered around her love and interesting perspective of trees. “Tangle” was a wonderful success. However, Hoag is not the only artist we represent that has a fondness for these incredible works of Mother Nature.
Hermann Hesse, the winner of the 1946 Nobel Prize in literature, wrote, “For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone.” Our artists have expressed this exact sentiment through paint and brush. The up close look at the intricacies of birch branches like the the work of Liz Hoag, the blur of green from a “tribe” of pine and spruce in Dusk, Mink Island by Karen McManus and of course, the strength and courage found in the simplicity of Lone Pine by Abbie Williams and Majestic Pine by Sandra L. Dunn.
We are familiar with trees that represent all aspect of our lives: the family tree, the tree of life and even the famous children’s book by Shel Silverstein, The Giving Tree. Strong branches and deep roots are personified in poetry and song all over the world. Metaphors are found scattered in literature both new and classic. Confetti-like leaves, strong as the old oak, or the centennial pine. For years these wonders of nature have sheltered, decorated and inspired. So it comes as no surprise that these same themes are seen in art. Be it the famous works of Van Gogh or O’Keefe or new pieces just created, like Catherwoods from Trip Park. We surround ourselves and celebrate the trees.
Most amazingly, their beauty is found in all forms from the stark bark waiting in hibernation as in Susan Wahlrab’s varnished watercolor, Snowflake or the resting Catharsis from Jill Valliere. We celebrate the color of autumn we see in Edge of the Woods by Alex Dunwoodie or even the promise of spring and new beginnings which Henry Isaacs illustrates in Saturday Afternoon, Santa Barbara. Even in the death or darkness of these plants we find meaning and beauty. Our own Philip Frey displays this perfectly in Forest Floor.
We house so many beautiful and inspiring pieces that spark viewers to stop, take a breathe and enjoy. We welcome you to come in and share them with us. You may just want to wander through and appreciate the work, or maybe, just maybe, you will take one home to help fill your house with this happiness.
“Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth… whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.” – Hermann Hess
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