Monday, April 13, 2009

Five Artists From Maine Talk About Their Work in Still Point I

The inaugural exhibition of Still Point Art Gallery - Still Point I - attracted artists from all over the country. In this post, we hear from five exhibiting artists who are from Maine.

Mary Brooking, from Westbrook, Maine, has two landscape paintings in the exhibition...

I am an acrylic painter with many years of professional experience in art and graphic design and figure drawing, including teaching experience. Most of my images currently take the form of landscapes, definable as such to greater and lesser degrees. Most are unpopulated, and I try to impart to them a sense of either memory or anticipation that someone or something might inhabit them in the past or future. They have been called expressionist landscapes, and while I've never been totally comfortable with labels in general, this one probably fits my work best. . . . I like to test the balance between representation and abstraction; creating fields of color and texture which form a visual space that the viewer can enter mentally and emotionally.
Fellow Maine artist, Frank Valliere, said about Mary: "Mary paints like a Mainer talks - exactly enough said to make her point, with nothing unnecessary or extra to blunt the effect of her truth."

Anne-Claude Cotty, from Stonington, Maine, has three photographs in the Still Point I exhibition that were taken in the Sahara Desert...
I returned from seven days walking in the Sahara Desert with pebbles, brittle bones, small bags of sand the color of cinnamon and a few rolls of film taken with a plastic toy camera. The walk as done in silence, in the company of strangers and alongside a dozen camels and their handlers. While the Berbers fasted in observance of Ramadan, we entered the New Year feasting on the desert's spare landscape, senses and spirits awakened and nourished in its vast oceans of sand
and stars.

My soft-focus cameras would capture some of the mystery that held us captive in the desert. Fellow travelers were shooting with fine equipment and recording the beauties that were immediately visible to us in full and dazzling color. But I found that the desert had more to say and would have us see more. As stolid and immobile as the dunes appear, they are centuries-old grains of sand in perpetual motion, gliding along the desert bottom, reforming themselves. In this cycle of reconfiguring, my Holga and pinhole cameras became accomplices, joining in the play of wind and sand, conspiring with the elements in their sculpting, shifting, balancing, ordering, erasing.

Laurie Downey, from West Baldwin, Maine, has a series of four Snow Drawings, in the exhibition...
These Snow Drawings are from a series of large charcoal drawings done over several years. During this time, forms half-melted into spring snow exerted a very strong pull. There seemed to me to be some mysterious tenderness in the way the objects and the snow altered their relationship to each other slowly, over time. Like runes, the quiet arrangements felt weighted with meaning, and worth recording before they disappeared. I particularly like the way the snow became the surface of paper, and the objects hinted at depth.

Liddy Hubbell, from Bar Harbor, Maine, has two landscape paintings in the exhibition...
I use the landscape to express a hopeful, elevated vision through a colorist style. My palette includes both strong, deep colors and transparent hues and washes.

These landscapes [in the Still Point I exhibition] were influenced by my home region, Downeast Maine

Phil Stevens, from Windham, Maine, has three monotypes in the exhibition...
I seek the sublime through nature. I seek beauty, the universal, and a sense of place. I constantly search the countryside to find images. The effect I seek is fleeting. I am interested in the primordial so I look for abandoned fields and nature preserves. The images are slices of nature where color, form, and light combine to create a unique visual sensation.

The monotypes are unique, one of a kind, prints which I create using two layers of ink. Printmaking is a transfer process where the pressure of the press transfers the ink from the plate onto the paper. I first mix the inks to create the desired colors. The background color is rolled on to the first acrylic plate and then transferred to the paper. Next inks are brushed and rolled onto a second place to create the image. The paper is then placed on top of this plate and printed again.
Return to Still Point Art Gallery

Christine Brooks Cote
Still Point Art Gallery
April 13, 2009

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