ALNA ARTIST Kate Nickerson works on a piece. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

ALNA ARTIST Kate Nickerson works on a piece. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO


Alna artist Kate Nordstrom will unveil her latest work this weekend at Carriage House Gardens in Wiscasset.

Carriage House is hosting An Evening of Art and Garden from 5:30-8 p.m. on Saturday to highlight the Connecticut native’s newest fantastical images on canvas. The public is invited to enjoy the gardens, sip some champagne, listen to live music, and view Nordstrom’s original art.

Nordstrom, who has been living in Maine for 15 years, established her reputation as an artist with a unique depictions of iconic buildings spread throughout the region. The architectural portraits, from the historical Alna Meeting House to a humble local farm stand, are elegantly sparse but familiar — as if each building was revealing its story through the medium of Nordstrom’s canvas.

Her newest paintings are a dramatic departure from that past work.. The artist said she’s now allowing her creative vision to flow wherever it chooses, and the result is abstract landscapes, boldly colorful images, and fantastical interpretations of the built and natural environment around her.

“My newest paintings might fall into the category of magical realism,” Nordstrom said. “The paintings play with dreamlike imagery and pay little attention to the usual structure of things.”

That is how, she explains, in her large oil painting ‘Rabbit in a Dory,’ a rabbit in a red dory keeps company with a vigilant crow as they sail over housetops through a darkening sky while other creatures see them on their way.

“Those of us who are transfixed by nature are occasionally blessed by unusual sitings,” she said. “My paintings speak of the mystery and science of our complex world.”

Another series of Nordstrom’s large canvases show her interpretation of gardens in various seasons. The paintings are bountifully floriferous and are the artist’s own vision of “garden essence.” In ‘Starry Garden,’ the blooms are mostly colored circles with several garden inhabitants perched among them. The playful garden transitions into an inky sky which then bursts into a luminous ether full of floating stars. Not a classic garden scene and yet so evocative of the earth’s energetic beauty.

Carriage House Gardens in Wiscasset Village is the summertime home of Nordstrom’s work. Shop owner Lucia Droby finds a compatibility between the paintings, her gardens and her shop’s offerings.

“After making gardens for many years, the gardens here are the synthesis of all that experience — favorite colors and shapes with lots of experimenting with form,” Droby said. “Garden art, vessels, old and new furnishings, all seem to get along, and Kate’s paintings, with her unique imagery, fit in so well.”

Carriage House Gardens is located at 62 Pleasant St. in Wiscaset Village. Nordstrom plans to donate 10 percent of the earnings from artwork sold during the evening to Midcoast Conservancy, a regional land trust and conservation group.

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