Carol Wiley, “The Answer My Friend”, oil on canvas Courtesy of Pemaquid Art Gallery

This season’s two new guest artists at the Pemaquid Art Gallery, Brooke Pacy and Carol Wiley, are a study in contrasts in their approach to painting.

Pacy works mainly in oils and to a lesser extent, watercolors, and Wiley uses several different media including watercolor, pastel, oil, acrylic and encaustic. They share an interest in wide-ranging subject matter, inspired by the natural world of Maine, as well as flowers and gardens, interiors, still lives, people and animals.

Pacy paints often in a descriptive, generally realism-based style, often pastel-toned or with a deliberately limited color palette. She revels in the beauty she sees around her, the delicate color and value contrasts in the natural world, shadows on snow, reflections of light on flower petals, objects, windows, land and sea, viewed through mist or dramatically sunlit. Investigating lighting effects in the landscape is a major theme for her and can alter her style to a more dynamic contrast of values and shapes, back lit or stark.

“There are moments when light picks out the shape of an ordinary thing … and invests it with character and a history,” she said. “Those moments suggest an ongoing story and make me happy to be a part of it. I try to catch them in paint.” She also paints appealing and sensitive portraits of children and animals.

Carol Wiley, on the other hand, grapples with the interaction of realism and abstraction and tries out many different approaches and styles. She investigates a range of paint applications, including unexpected combinations of patterns, negative spaces, outlines, jagged paint edges, linear versus broad strokes, thick versus thin paint. Rich colors and strong contrasts can play a major role in her images, ranging from a simple flower in a vase suffused with rich color, to her clothesline series where negative spaces and strong, flat shapes change a line of drying clothes into a dancing play on the roles of color and shape in abstraction. Her figure paintings seem to be mainly of models, in constantly changing styles.

Although she has an undergraduate degree in art history, Wiley’s advanced degrees were in special education and education leadership, supporting her career in special education. She is a self-taught painter, having taken many classes and workshops at The Art League in Virginia, Massachusetts and in Maine, including at Round Top Center for the Arts in Damariscotta and with many local artists. She moved with her husband to Jefferson in 2004 and has her studio there. She has shown in many venues in Maine since 2004 including in Damariscotta, Wiscasset, Friendship, Jefferson, Waldoboro, Boothbay Harbor and Bristol. She is an active exhibitor in shows in the Midcoast.


Brooke Pacy, “Aerie”, oil on canvas. Courtesy of Pemaquid Art Gallery

Pacy was raised in Chappaqua, New York, grew to love the Maine coast as a teen, studied classical drawing and painting with Elizabeth Byrd Mitchell in Baltimore, and, after a 20-year hiatus for raising a family and a teaching and writing career, started creating small watercolors to commemorate scenes while sailing with her husband along the Atlantic Coast.

Since moving to the Midcoast she has concentrated on “catching the beauty of local ephemera in oils.” She paints both plein air and in the studio, and currently paints with Katharina Keoughan’s class in Damariscotta. She has shown in juried shows locally at River Arts, The Maine Botanical Gardens and at the Boothbay Regional Art Foundation, as well as solo exhibits at the Waldoboro and Skidompha Libraries, Miles Hospital Memorial Gallery and other local venues.

She also has a literary career, publishing poems and a novel.

The other 2021 Pemaquid Art Gallery artists include Barbara Applegate, Debra Arter, Bruce Babb, Julie Babb, Stephen Busch, John Butke, Dianne Dolan, Gwendolyn Evans, Peggy Farrell, Sarah Fisher, Claire Hancock, Kay Sawyer Hannah, Kathleen Horst, Hannah Ineson, Will Kefauver, Jan Kilburn, Barbara Klein, Patti Leavitt, Sally Loughridge, Judy Nixon, , Alexandra Perry-Weiss, Paul Sherman, Cindy Spencer, Liliana Thelander, Kim Traina, Barbara Vanderbilt, Bob Vaughan, Candace Vlcek, Bev Walker, Jefferson and Sherrie York.





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