Sunday, May 31, 2009


Island Artists exhibit

I just delivered two large (for me) paintings to the Courthouse Gallery Fine Art in Ellsworth, Maine, for a group exhibit opening on the 14th of June. The exhibit is entitled Island Artists: Fairfield Porter, Eliot Porter, the Porter Family, and the Great Spruce Head Island Art Week Artists and Poets. The Porters summered and still summer on this beautiful island in Penobscot Bay, and several years ago I was somehow lucky enough to attend their annual retreat for artists and writers. The experience was tremendous and still continues to resonate. This fine gallery has put together a curated retrospective about the island and its continuing influence on artists of all kinds.

So here are my two paintings - this first one is Double Beaches, Great Spruce Head Island, and measures 40" x 56". The view is of the west side of the double beaches, looking to the north at the other end of the island, and the mainland beyond:

The second is Path to the Double Beaches, measuring 38" x 48", and showing one of the many island pathways. Eliot Porter designed much of the trail system on the island, and it is still maintained by the family and checked on by the Nature Conservancy. In many places the spruce trees are encroaching and thick, and the feeling on some of these paths is of a decidedly eerie closeness:

So, there they are. I submitted smaller works too (most of my paintings are 18" x 24" or smaller), but these are the ones the curators chose. I made them this size because I wanted something I felt I could walk straight into. For me, they represent a bigness of feeling. Around sixty artists are in this exhibit - some I know well and many I've never met, so I'm looking forward to the opening, and to the accompanying poetry reading at the gallery in July. This island is a very special place (how special? read Eliot Porter's beautiful book Summer Island: Penobscot Country, Sierra Club Books 1966, one of my very favorite books about Maine, and find out for yourself), and I can't wait to see more representations of it.

Great paintings! Congratulations.

Dan Chambers
Thanks, Dan - I'm framing more work for shows in July and August, next. And painting outside, since the weather has been so fine.
Hi Sarah--Thank you so much for the email and photos of your paintings. They are lovely indeed.
Congratulations on these accomplishments!
MIL xox
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