“American Mutt,” oil, by Liliana Thelander.

Two artists currently on view at the Pemaquid Art Gallery in Bristol’s Lighthouse Park are Barbara Klein and Liliana Thelander, both oil painters with distinctive realistic styles who depict coastal scenes among other subjects.

Each followed a different path to painting, with Klein having had a passion for painting since childhood and being largely self-taught, and Thelander having started her art career with drawing designs for stained glass, which led to painting.

Klein moved to Maine from New York in 1973 and juggled her art around family and a nursing career. She took classes and workshops locally and now paints full time as a member of the Gallery for over 15 years. She is drawn to the structural elements in the coastal landscape – houses, fishing shacks, lighthouses, rock outcroppings and trees. Her technique is impressionistic but with a strong composition created by distinct contrasts in light and shadow. There is often a sense of gentle isolation in her scenes, with individual buildings dramatic in their settings on a lone hilltop or at the water’s edge but painted with soft blended edges. She is known for her small, jewel-like landscapes with richly colored isolated houses but recently she is exhibiting more expansive, more abstract paintings. Her work can frequently be seen in area exhibitions and at Gifts at 136 in Damariscotta.

“Pemaquid Point,” oil, by Barbara Klein. Courtesy photo

Thelander was born and educated in Venezuela, taking computer science skills into the banking industry, which brought her to the United States. In 2006 she moved with her family to mid-coast Maine where she joined the Pemaquid Art Gallery in 2015. She describes her style as “contemporary realism,” with her paintings executed usually in oils and sometimes in acrylics. Her technique is expressed with great clarity, a natural eye for detail, and dramatic use of light and color. Her work rewards close inspection but also distant viewing due to its strong compositional order and striking light effects. Her subjects range broadly from moments in family life, weathered still life objects and close-ups of wild animals and birds, to charming pet portraits and Maine scenery. There is a clarity, luminosity and order in her work which is very appealing. Her paintings have been on view in many area galleries and at Gifts at 136 in Damariscotta. She is also represented by Lincolnville Fine Art Gallery and may be seen online at lilianathelander.com.

The other 2022 exhibiting members of the Pemaquid Group of 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, Patti Leavitt, Sally Loughridge, Judy Nixon, Alexandra Perry-Weiss, Belva Ann Prycel, Paul Sherman, Marnie Sinclair, Gary Smith, Kim Skillen Taina, Barbara Vanderbilt, Bob Vaughan, Candace Vlcek, Sherrie Yor

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