With a BA from University of New York in Plattsburgh and subsequent study with Michael Vermette and Michael Lewis, Deb Grabber brings to the Katahdin landscape, where she also lives, a delicacy and sensitivity to the light that is uniquely hers. Reminiscent of English watercolor painting, her patient washes of color are able to capture those fleeting moments of light brushing the landscape when caught at a glance. A selection of new works of Deb's is available and on view at North Light Gallery during the month of July.
The owner and founder of North Light Gallery, Marsha Donahue has degrees in the fine arts from American University and the Maine College of Art. After many years of working in galleries both in Washington, DC and Portland, Me, she opened her own in Millinocket, ME in 2004 where she could paint the landscape she loved. She was influenced early on by Winslow Homer and painted in the Adirondacks for several years during the summers before returning to Maine in 1985. At some point John Singer Sargent's influence took over and never quit. She also shows her work at the Gallery at Somes Sound on Mount Desert Island.
Michael graduated from the Maine College of Art in 1980 with a BFA in Painting and the University of Maine Orono with an Art Education Teaching Certificate in 1986, going on to teach in the Indian Island schools in Old Town.He has been the artist in residence in Acadia National Park and will be this years artist in residence in Baxter State Park in the Maine woods. His work is a vivid, intensely-colored and personal view of the world in the woods but he also paints on Monhegan.
We welcome Suzanne Savage Brewer to North Light Gallery. She is a painter on fire, having waited many years to pursue her dream of painting full time. She writes about her life:
"Growing up in Maine's Aroostook County gave me time to explore and contemplate the beautiful world around me. I have a vivid memory from when I was about 5 years old of crawling under the low hanging branches of a white cedar tree to lay in a patch of varigated bishops weed carpeting the ground there. The afternoon sun broke though in patches contrasting against the shadows from the branches of the tree above. It was a simple yet profound moment.
Like many artists, I started drawing and painting at an early age. My parents indulged my tendencies and encouraged my efforts. Adult life brought with it responsibilities, marriage, raising a wonderful son and a career in home design. In 2011 I closed my home design business to become a fine artist full time. Painting under my maiden name " Savage", I work in oil and watercolor depicting the coast and inland scenes of Maine. Often I work "en plein air" striving to capture one beautiful moment in time. "
Pamela Redick studied at the Worcester Art Museum and Valparaiso University and has shown extensively and been included in many collections since the mid 1970's. Pam has been featured in Baxter State Parks newsletter Wild Notes for a couple of seasons now and has firmly established herself as one of the premier painters of Baxter State Park's vistas, ponds and woods. Her depictions of the natural beauty of the North Woods and the resulting acrylics available at North Light Gallery are clean, intimate and beautifully designed. A selection of her new work is featured during this month of July.
Educated at Ohio State University and Valparaiso University, John has exhibited since the mid 70's throughout New England and the mid West United States. He writes about his work, "I do abstract paintings and landscapes that portray the wildness of nature in the mountains, the sea and the wonderful forms of windswept sand dunes. I use a non-traditional technique. It is important that the paintings not show the technique, to look natural without noticeable drawing or brushwork. The effects of controlled accident or chance are fundamental to this process." We are pleased that John has turned his vision on the Katahdin region. You can see what a great marriage his technique is with this landscape.
John also shows his work at L'Attitude Gallery on Newbury Street in Boston.
An internationally-known artist and teacher, Evelyn Dunphy has dedicated a good part of her career to her passion for the north woods and Katahdin, in particular. She resides in West Bath, Maine and makes regular trips to the Katahdin region to conduct workshops and refresh her spirit at the foot of the mountain.
Since the gallery opened in 2005, I have tried to present a less expensive alternative to originals. Though I believe in collecting one-of-a-kind artworks, not everyone can afford to do that. I do encourage layaway for the purchase of originals, which I will carry for as long as you need at no charge, but there are still times when a reproduction is better, ie., in rec rooms or camps, as mementos of your stay or when you are not quite sure of what you would collect and would rather spend less until you are. I think reproductions of work from our artists are the next best thing to an original and are all unique to this gallery. In other words, you won't find these prints anywhere else. Most, unless matted, can be shipped for very little in a tube. Perfect gift for the holidays!
The technique of our prints, called giclee (jee-klay) prints, roughly translating into "ink spray", is the state of the art reproduction process used today. If treated like a watercolor, being susceptible to water damage, and kept from moisture, and not displayed in full sunlight, it should keep its vivid color for at least 75 years. Unlike the old offset lithography that was used on posters, it will not turn pink and blue but retain its full range of color when cared for correctly.
Candace writes about herself:
As a child growing up in Connecticut, I always liked to draw pictures and later, to paint, as I watched my father painting for a hobby. Hence, when my husband and I moved our family to Sherman in 1974, I continued to paint, to draw and to do crafts.
In 1986, I attended the University of Maine, Orono to become certified as a Maine art teacher. The art history, drawing, sculpting, and painting classes stretched and challenged my approach to art. I have taught art (but am now retired) at Katahdin Middle/High School, MSAD#25 since 1988 as the district art teacher. It was a rewarding and exciting way to involve children in creating personal expressions in school.
Mt. Katahdin has had a constant attraction as an inspiration in my art. I find it fascinating and alluring and fresh every time I decide to paint it. It is a challenge to climb and to paint and, although I have only climbed Katahdin six times, I have painted it over a hundred times in the last 33 years or so. It is mysterious and enticing, beautiful and forbidding and always calling to me.
Within the next week there will be more of Candace's works on her page. Stay tuned...
Originally a native of Minnesota with a degree in Social Antropology from Wesleyan University in Connecticut, Milton Christianson has studied all over the world in search of his unique, colorful, and often whimsical style. A direct and facile watercolorist, Milton reports in paint the scenes and characters of his life from a mountainside in rural Maine.
Sandy Dolan is from Searsport and paints coastal and Katahdin region scenes, some with figures. After graduating with a BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and studying photography at the New England School of Art in Boston, Sandy also studied with nationally-known landscape painters Stapleton Kearns and John Cosby.
Sandy's work is guided by her deep love of and connection to the Maine outdoors. Through her art she seeks to capture the luminous light and the ever-changing moods of the Maine landscape.
Sandy Dolan is a member of Plein Air Painters of Maine and the Katahdin Plein Air Painters.
Nancy Meader is an accomplished ceramic artist living in Central Maine whose work has been widely exhibited in Maine. We have a selection of raku pots, fanciful masks and ceramic objects that are both decorative and functional. The latest invention Nancy has offered is the horse hair raku pots, several of which are seen on this site, where she takes a raku pot out of an 1,800 degree kiln and dangles horse hair on it to make patterns. These are individually pictured and priced, as are the masks. The rest of the items on her site are examples of items we regularly have in stock and, by emailing me at North Light Gallery, I can send you specific pictures of what is available for purchase.
William Bentley is probably the most dedicated contemporary photographer of Baxter State Park. To browse through his images is to be on the spot at all times of the year, in all weather and times of day. For the fan of this unique place, there is guaranteed to be a memorable view among his images. All are available in black and white, as well as color, which only enhances the timeless quality of the park. The prices are for unframed photograaphs but may be ordered in a simple framing. Photographs are also available larger and smaller sizes. Call for information.
Friday morning, September 16th, 2011 dawned to a brisk, bright and somewhat cloudy day after a rainy night, feeling like the first day of fall. We knew we were in for a hike so everyone had layers of clothing to adjust to the variances in the weather and physical activity. There was great camaraderie amongst the artists as many of them got to know each other for the first time, 13 of us in all, coming from points all over Maine, Massachusetts and one from Connecticut. “Painting the Unknown: Artists Paint the Proposed National Park” was hatched a week and a half before and the invitation was put out on the Maine Arts Commission site and in the Bangor Daily News and the Maine Sunday Telegram to come and hike unknown trails and produce a piece of work that could be used to illustrate what is special on Roxanne Quimby’s 70,000 acres that could make it fit to be a national park. The artists who participated were: Jen Holmes, Mary Lou Moulton, Gaile Nicholson, Caren-Marie Michel, John and Pam Redick, Melinda Campbell, Renee Lammers, Evelyn Dunphy, Sandy Dolan, Milton Christianson, Michael Branca and myself, Marsha Donahue.
Most people, except the locals who have walked, hunted, fished and paddled this land with its rivers and streams, don’t know the lay of the land here. Photographs would be one way to show the public but, in the spirit of Frederic Edwin Church and Albert Bierstadt at the turn of the last century, sending in the artists for their interpretation often produces some timeless results. Church and Bierstadt were able to show New York society what was so remarkable about the American West at a time when no one had traveled there. Artists, too, seem to like being on the cutting edge of knowledge and able to herald change in society.
With a 16-person van donated by New England Outdoor Center’s Matt Polstein and driven by Dave Weatherbee, which carried one canoe, we packed the back of a truck from Sewall Company, driven by Sarah Spencer, our guide, and headed off to Stacyville to the turnoff to Lunksoos Camps, 12 miles in on the East Branch of the Penobscot River. Historically, this is known as the site of Donn Fendler’s rescue in “Lost on a Mountain in Maine”. Each artists equipment is a very personal assortment of things, unique to each artist and honed over a lifetime of trial and error. Taking that assortment of things a mile and a half into the woods is quite another thing and some realized upon arrival at Lunksoos that the lawn chairs couldn’t make the trip. Others, however, took everything they might need, and, in the spirit of respect, we helped each other carrying equipment, no matter what it was.
Five of the artists stayed at Lunksoos and painted on the grounds of the camps from the big, sweeping front lawn stretching to the banks of the East Branch. The other eight artists, plus our two guides, began the shuttle across the East Branch, two at a time, plus the guide, up stream about an eighth of a mile to the trailhead. Eventually we were all assembled at the trailhead and, carrying our equipment, started off across virtually uncharted trail, marked only by scraped blazed in the tree bark. Everyone was chortling away until very soon we ran into a stream we could not cross. What to do? Sarah, our guide, was apologetic and trying to think of an alternate route but we all just dropped our packs, went into the woods and, at her suggestion, dragged fallen trees to build a bridge. Never a discouraged word was expressed, we just worked until we got everyone and the equipment across the stream. Michael Branca said, “We’re artists. We solve problems everyday. That’s what we do.” Having taken part in many a team building exercise at Hyde School in the late 70’s I can tell you that it was remarkable that, hardly knowing each other, we immediately pulled together and, in 15 minutes, were on our way. The only one who charged ahead and actually walked through the water was Caren-Marie Michel, not atypical for her. Nothing stops her. This led to talk about how a reality show about artists would work; building bridges in the woods or going to outdoor shows where it pours for 4 days straight, etc.
Along the forest floor that wound through fern glades and up ridges and down, along streams, with occasional holes in the canopy shedding big golden sun spots, were a multitude of beautifully colored mushrooms and an occasional tree turned to fall color. Except for the low chatter of the hiking artists, the forest was quiet and cool and lovely. At one point I posited to the artists to imagine this as national park. Did they think this landscape was of that caliber?
After a half mile we came to a tote road which was much easier hiking and fairly quickly walked the other eight tenths of a mile to the Wassataquoik Stream. We first came to a beach with a bridge visible in the distance up the stream. Caren-Marie stayed there and painted while Evelyn, Milton, Michael, Melinda, Sandy, Pam and I went to the bridge. It was quarter of twelve. Some ate a snack but most of us got right to work, some going down the precipitous bank to the shore and some of us staying up in the wind on the bridge. The stream is wild, tumbling water with large diagonal juts of shale stretching almost to the center of the stream on which you could walk. Above and below the bridge were large sections of quick water, making me wish I had my fishing pole, though it’s out of season anyway. I heard later that a ways above the bridge is a place where another stream joins the Wassataquiok, known to be where the Native Americans traditionally took out large amounts of salmon every year. I could believe it, seeing the quick water where we were. The dark-bottomed clouds were accents in a sharply lit landscape, whipped by the wind, all-in-all a beautiful fall day, the kind artists love.
Everyone worked intensely for 3 hours until we packed our equipment and headed back, reversing our crossing of the bridge, which had been made much better by Sarah while we painted. We shuttled back across the East Branch and communed on the shores at Lunksoos to have a preliminary look at what each of us had done, including John, Renee, Jen, Gaile and Mary Lou, who had stayed at the camps. It never ceases to amaze me that you can put a group of artists in front of the same scene and get such different results. This was a very accomplished group of career artists, making the results very polished, as well.
We loaded up and headed back to North Light Gallery, stopping for one sweeping view of Katahdin from Sherman. We were all too beat to do any more sight seeing so headed straight back. We were greeted at the parking lot across from the gallery by press and friends and, once in the gallery, proceeded to frame and prepare the work for exhibition, including a photograph of each piece for use by the campaign for the feasibility study for a national park.
Saturday continued the clear, beautiful weather. The show was hung for all to see and, though there were a wide variety of styles and views, there was a common visual thread to the collected work. No one seeing it could believe all the artwork was created in one day. Some of the artists stayed all day and painted on the street around the gallery and were joined by Mark Miller, who set up and played into the intersection. Being as it was the Trails End Festival that weekend, it seemed entirely appropriate to take it to the street, thus a cultural happening took place on our corner. Some artists stayed around Sunday as well and painted along the Golden Road.
I am very grateful to Matt Polstein, Dave Weatherbee, Sarah Spencer, the Sewall Company and Eliotsville Plantation, Inc. for the time, equipment and man hours to help this event happen. I have been on expeditions enough to know that unless there is good planning and careful guidance, any number of things can go wrong. Thankfully, this day went smoothly and the artists were allowed a carefree day to explore this land and produce their work. My thanks to those who made it possible, especially to Roxanne Quimby who responded so enthusiastically to the initial idea.
We are hoping something like this will become an annual event, or possibly twice a year, and welcome any artists who would like to participate in a North Light Gallery Paint Out to email us your information at firstname.lastname@example.org. This work is for sale and will be on display until the 30th of September. Prices are listed with the individual pieces.
September 22, 2011
Bert Lincoln Call photographed Henry David Thoreau's path through the North Maine Woods and over Katahdin from the 1880's until the mid 1930's. Master printer and internationally known photographer Todd Watts, who was Berenice Abbott's printer until her death, has taken Bert Lincoln Call's negatives and, with a grant from the Quimby Family Foundation, produced a world class traveling exhibit that will appear throughout Maine and New England over the next year. The photographs are available for sale through this gallery and the exhibition schedule may be emailed if you contact us. Smaller photographs are $700 unframed, $825 framed; larger photographs are $950 unframed, $1,100 framed.
If one's only impression of Maine were a Connie Hayes painting, it would represent the lush, intimate and unique place that only Maine is. She is a native with deep color instincts and a life long vocabulary of visions to draw from. If you would like to see more of her work go to www.conniehayes.com. We offer five of her beautiful giclee prints, elegantly framed and ready to ship.