April 6, 2011

Lakes Region: Windham artist finds a link to golf courses

It's almost time to hit your favorite fairway and take in the light breezes and solitude as you concentrate on that challenging putt on the back nine.

click image to enlarge

This painting by Corrine Bongiovanni is "4 Guys on the 16th at Willowdale."

Courtesy Corrine Bongiovanni

click image to enlarge

This work is called "Oscar's Afternoon Round (Sable Oaks)."

Courtesy Corrine Bongiovanni

When on the course, bird song makes the forest come alive; every detail of the terrain becomes heightened.

Windham artist Corrine Bongiovanni captures golfing scenes right to a "tee."

"I don't golf, but I love photographing courses and then painting them," Bongiovanni said. "I always loved painting landscapes. In 2003 my brother-in-law suggested I start painting golf courses."

Her golf art is now found at several golf pro shops, as well as Gallery 302 in Bridgton and select shows at River Arts Gallery in Damariscotta. She calls her endeavor Signature Looks.

"Each course has its signature holes," she said. "Oftentimes golfers will say 'isn't that a great look,' meaning isn't that a great hole. That's how the name came about."

Unlike golfers, who like to keep their game on the grass, Bongiovanni is drawn to a course's sand traps and bunkers; those contrasting elements within a sea of green.

"It's the light and shadows that grab me more so than the colors in the scene," she said. "The colors, however, help me portray the feeling or atmosphere of the location, including the time and temperature."

Bongiovanni said she is not allowed to take any license with the view of a particular course. She knows her customer base.

"It has to be very representational," she said, "very exact. Golfers are very knowledgeable about the holes they play. If there's a tree a hundred feet to the right of the green, they know exactly where that tree is and how tall it is."

Her most popular works are the courses at Sugarloaf, Belgrade and Winnipesaukee. But as a recognized artist catering to a niche market, she gets commissions from courses all over the country and Canada -- even Grand Cayman and New Zealand. But Bongiovanni doesn't have to travel far and wide; a course will email photos of its holes directly to her home-based studio.

Paintings are the mainstay of Signature Looks, but notecards, bag tags, coasters and even furniture are available. Scenes painted on tilt-top tables are a line Bongiovanni has developed. She finds antique tables, applies her artistry, and then seals them so they're perfectly functional.

A licensed clinical social worker in private practice in Portland, Bongiovanni also works a few days a week at Windham schools. To view her work, visit www.signaturelooks.net.

Don Perkins is a freelance writer who lives in Raymond. He can be reached at: presswriter@gmail.com


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