September 10 – October 3, 2020
August 14, 2020
One morning in April I awakened with the title “Sight Specific,” in my thoughts. I wondered,
“Was that a dream?” Or was it an extension of my creative pursuit, since I had been painting on
Harpswell and Georgetown peninsulas, and in Bath since 2018? Upon reflection, I believe the
exhibit is an ongoing fulfillment of a commitment I had made to myself as a child. Dissatisfied
with my first attempts painting my Grandparent’s ridge of hardwoods in autumn, I vowed,
“Someday I will learn how to paint those colors.”
Since 1969 when I first fished, canoed and camped in Washington County, I have been enmeshed
in Maine’s landscape. I’ve played with my children at State Parks, skied most mountains with
my family, and I’ve continued painting. Now on many Wednesdays, April through November, I
paint with three friends I’ve known for at least a decade. The remainder of the week I strike out
on my own, return to those places, and others, to resolve a collection. I work from still life in
winter, but if I could stand the cold, I would also be in the open air year round, where a large part
of my heart lives.
When I look up from mixing my palette, I’m stymied by a certain place in that moment and stop
to rediscover what drew me there. Something is hidden in the shadows, or the light captures a
glint of a house behind trees. The boathouse is indeed nestled into its environment.
In the water I see geometric shapes when two boats move in sequence with, or against currents.
Perhaps a scent, a silky warmth in the breeze? There is an existence that calls me from another
time in another place.
Disparate relationships of time and subject matter intrigue me. There are many considerations
that draw me to a subject, but most important is the vulnerability of its substance. Whether I
paint or just look over multiple seasons, I go back to familiarize myself with everything about it
and want to see it better. My focus is my time with it, because in all respects that experience
becomes part of history, and a memory.
In May where Rose and Middle Streets meet in Bath, within a group of trees shared by
several abutting properties, a weeping cherry tree blossoms.
I returned everyday to capture its ephemeral beauty, questioning how to describe that transitory
phenomenon in paint. With subsequent visits, I learned it was impossible to trace daily growth of
new blossoms to supporting branches —they appeared suspended mid-air in that breathing place.
Methodology and Acknowledgements
How I paint
A look through a viewfinder divides my vision of the subject into fractions and I clearly see
where strong contrasts meet. I mark those on the canvas with charcoal. I grind paint onto the
palette with my knife, and with broad brushstrokes I weave large amounts over the canvas with a
hunt for an overall spirit. Varied textures describe my search for spacial relationships. Distance
or foreground is implied with thin washes or scraped off paint. Thick paint may identify form,
middle ground or detail. As I filter through cognitive, physical and intuitive practices, my
engagement with the work ceases being a record of my process. The painting materializes with a
spirit of its own.
A Huge Thank You
The Crew at Greenhut Galleries
Kenneth Woisard Photography
Johanna Moore of Lone Pine Projects, LLC
Twin Brooks Stretchers
Martha Baum, Gary Lumeax, Susan Dunnbier, my painting buddies
Kathy Grammer and Mary Britt