November 10, 2013

A night out with the guys

Four buddies – who happen to be artists – gather once a month or so to talk shop (and kids) and hoist a brew or two.

By Bob Keyes bkeyes@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

YORK — These art buddies gather once a month to critique their work, talk about art, look at other people’s art and engage in the time-tried ritual of male bonding: They drink beer.

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“Chimney Pond” by Michael Boardman.

Courtesy photos

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From left, dads, friends and artists Tom Flanagan, Roy Germon, Michael Boardman and Jeff Woodbury.

Additional Photos Below

IF YOU GO

“NIGHT OUT – FOUR MAINE ARTISTS”

WHEN: Through Nov. 17; 10 a.m. to 4 Wednesday to Saturday, 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: George Marshall Store Gallery, 140 Lindsay Road, York

HOW MUCH: Free

INFO: 351-1083; georgemarshallstoregallery .com

This month, they also show their work in an unlikely group show titled “Night Out” at the George Marshall Store Gallery in York.

The exhibition, on view through Nov. 17, features the paintings and sculpture of Tom Flanagan, Michael Boardman, Roy Germon and Jeff Woodbury. All live in greater Portland, all have regular day jobs, all are busy with family obligations that include raising kids, and all are working artists.

Each has a studio in his home, and each carves out time in a busy schedule full of commitments to make art.

And as often as they can – usually once a month – they get together to talk about their work or just to hang out and do what guys do.

Gallery director Mary Harding hatched the idea for the exhibition when the others all showed up in support of Germon when he had a solo show at the George Marshall Store Gallery in fall 2011.

Collectively, they were introduced to her as “the art dads.”

“I was just so impressed with their commitment to each other and the commitment each of them makes to his own work,” said Harding, who visited with each separately to select work for this show. “It’s really hard to find time to be an artist when you have a job and family. The ability to balance their art careers with their daily life is commendable.”

As it so often does with guys, this friendship started with a beer. Or maybe two.

They found themselves at a Portland gallery of a mutual friend. The gallery closed for the evening and the lights went out, but the conversation continued at a nearby bar.

Germon, who works at Greenhut Galleries in Portland and lives in Portland, remembers that evening well. “We just started talking about art, about painting and about the show that we had seen. I think we all found it kind of nice to be hanging out with like-minded guys who had similar interests and who had opinions about art, and often strong opinions.”

That was about five years ago. The group continues strong with the same core friends. It’s an informal affiliation. They try to get together for most First Fridays in Portland, usually with a specific destination in mind. But there are no parameters. They’ll often do studio visits and help each other prepare for shows.

Flanagan, a self-employed carpenter from Yarmouth, cherishes nights out with his buddies.

“Any serious artist who has arranged their life so they can do this work is also working completely alone. That is sort of required. So it’s nice to have a network of supportive people who are willing to tell you what they really think. It takes some time to build up that sort of trust, but we have been hanging out for a long time now,” he said.

Boardman, a graphic artist, illustrator and painter from North Yarmouth, appreciates the diversity of opinions and styles of work that each brings to the conversation and friendship. They certainly are not in lock-step with one another. Woodbury is a conceptual artist. Germon makes landscape paintings in oil. Flanagan is an abstract painter who takes his cues from jazz.

Boardman works mostly in watercolors, making beautiful scenes from his favorite places around Maine, including Baxter State Park and Acadia National Park. When not painting for himself, he makes natural history illustrations for commerical use.

(Continued on page 2)

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Additional Photos

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“Five A.M.” by Tom Flanagan.

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“Green Grid” by Jeff Woodbury.

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“Island to Island” by Roy Germon.

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“Rock and Pines” by Roy Germon.

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“Great Horned Owl” by Michael Boardman.

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“Small Measures” by Tom Flanagan.



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