View 5 galleries to visit this fall in a larger map

September 15, 2013

5 views: Fine-arts picks for the fall

There is art beyond Labor Day, and quite often it's the best of the year. Check out these venues easily reached from Portland.

By Bob Keyes bkeyes@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Those who follow the visual arts scene in Maine know that the best time to see art is the fall. Galleries and other venues that exhibit fine art have learned that it's wise to stay open beyond Labor Day, and many save their best shows for September and October.

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"Spring, Thomas Point," by Felicity Sidwell. Sidwell credits the light outside her West Point studio that makes her want to paint. It’s “always different every morning. Everything looks different every day.

Image courtesy of Sidwell Art Gallery

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”“Sam’s Boat,” by Felicity Sidwell

Image courtesy of Sidwell Art Gallery

Additional Photos Below

Here are five fine-art picks for the fall, featuring venues that are tucked away or new to the scene, showing work by artists you probably don't know much about, all within an easy drive -- or boat ride -- of Portland.

1. PHIPPSBURG

Felicity Sidwell has been painting since she came to America from her native England in 1971. But it's been in the last decade, since she and her husband bought a summer home in Phippsburg, that her work has taken on the character of Maine.

Sidwell makes her studio in the porch of a century-old summer cottage built onto a ledge overlooking the still-unspoiled fishing village of West Point.

Lobster boats ply the water below. Islands, both distant and near, provide ample subjects. But it's the light, the ever-changing light that illuminates the water and the islands in her immediate view, that gets her up every morning and makes her want to paint.

"The light is always different every morning," she said. "Everything looks different every day. It's never the same."

Sidwell paints her local surroundings in oil. The four walls of her gallery, which will remain open weekends through October, are filled with representational renderings of local scenes: The cove just around the bend from her studio, the house on the island across the way, a fisherman's boat on its mooring just below her studio window.

She ventures out too -- to Cape Elizabeth, Boothbay Harbor and the salt marsh at her year-round home in Brunswick. This past winter she spent time in the western U.S., and she's showing a few of those scenes as well. The lighter, desert tones in those works are vastly different from the greens and blues of her Maine paintings.

But consistency is present in all her work, no matter the subject. Sidwell's paintings are sharply focused, detailed and loyal to her surroundings. She paints not only what she sees, but how she feels. Her paintings feel alive, tactile and vibrant.

In her relatively short time in Maine, Sidwell has become part of the community of painters working here, and she knows well that she is a tiny part of a much larger tradition, noting that modernist painter John Marin came to West Point in 1914 and returned to these environs twice before heading up the coast.

"I just paint. Every day. I'm trying to get better and better all the time," she said.

In addition to showing her work in her own gallery, Sidwell shows her paintings at the Chocolate Church in Bath, the Boothbay Region Art Foundation and River Arts in Damariscotta.

Sidwell Art Gallery, 79 Wallace Circle, Phippsburg. 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday to Sunday and by appointment through October. 389-1031; sidwellartgallery.com

 

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Additional Photos

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Mae's Cafe, Bath

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"Hobson's Whart" is one of Ann Mohnkern's realistic views of the waterfront.

Jay York photo

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Sidwell Art Gallery

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Ann Mohnkern lately has been painting en plein air. This is “Plein Air #3”.

Courtesy of the artist

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Rendall Fine Art, Wiscasset

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“I want to be true to these creatures,” says R. Keith Rendall of his subjects, including “King Eiders.”

Image courtesy of Rendall Fine Art

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Keith Rendall's “Kingfisher.”

Image courtesy of Rendall Fine Art

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Richard Boyd Art Gallery, Peaks Island

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"American Eagle," by Gwen Sylvester

Image courtesy of Richard Boyd Art Gallery

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"Lawnmower#1: The New House" by Gordon Carlisle

Image courtesy of Richard Boyd Art Gallery

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Studio 53, Boothbay Harbor

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Abstract by Terry Seamon at Studio 53

Image courtesy of Studio 53

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"Quiet Time," by John M.T. Seitzer at Studio 53

  


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