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
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

“Chimney Pond” by Michael Boardman.

Courtesy photos

click image to enlarge

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

Additional Photos Below



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


INFO: 351-1083; georgemarshallstoregallery .com

Hanging out with guys who make dissimilar work but are similarly motivated is enormously helpful, because it helps each find common ground. They talk about shared struggles, frustrations and successes.

“No matter what we do when we get together, we always talk about what we are up to with our work. Sketchbooks are always being passed around. We give each other feedback on the work, and we talk about the business end of things. We talk about dealing with galleries and all the different problems you can have with making art a business and finding time in your life for art and being successful while also supporting your family,” Boardman said.

Woodbury, whose day job involves creating litigation graphics for courtroom trials, said the monthly gathering with his buddies is his best opportunity to talk seriously about art, whether it’s about their own work, each other’s work or a show they have seen. He called the process somewhere between a college studio critique, which can be brutal, and a drinking session with friends.

The discussions may sound serious to an eavesdropper – and they are on a certain level – but they’re laced with humor and fun.

“We can be honest with each other without insulting each other and without stroking each other. We take feedback from each other with respect. It’s just a treat to be able to get together with other guys, who also have no time, and talk about art,” said Woodbury, who lives in South Portland.

“We’ll shoot out opinions from the hip in order to have our opinions tested. It’s not judging. It’s a way to clarify your thinking.”

When Harding proposed to this show to the group, they wondered if she might be making a mistake. Yes, they share a friendship and bonds, but their work is very different. That aesthetic diversity appealed to Harding, because it demonstrated how similarly motivated individuals who live parallel lives can approach their practice from such different perspectives.

She sees each as a point on a compass.

“They are linked by their friendship and their mutual respect,” she said. “These guys are busy. They’re in the thick of it with baseball games and soccer games and getting the kids to school. I think that other side, that family side, is very important. It fuels their work and informs their work, and that’s what they have in common.”

Indeed, inevitably, the art conversations always turns to family. To a man, these guys all credit their spouses for supporting their art and their friendship. And because they are all fathers, they help each other with child-rearing tips and advice.

“Oh, yeah, we talk about parenting. We absolutely do,” said Boardman. “It comes up, and we joke about getting a pass from our spouses to go out for the evening. It’s all a negotiation. We have supportive wives. They understand. My wife is an artist too, so she gets it. But we’re all juggling. Getting out is hard. It really is.”

This show proves the effort is worth it.

Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or:

Twitter: pphbkeyes

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors

Additional Photos

click image to enlarge

“Five A.M.” by Tom Flanagan.

click image to enlarge

“Green Grid” by Jeff Woodbury.

click image to enlarge

“Island to Island” by Roy Germon.

click image to enlarge

“Rock and Pines” by Roy Germon.

click image to enlarge

“Great Horned Owl” by Michael Boardman.

click image to enlarge

“Small Measures” by Tom Flanagan.

Further Discussion

Here at we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)



More PPH Blogs