Sheila Aldrich, left, and Lorinda Bradford will display their paintings at a resident art show at Piper Shores retirement community in Scarborough on Saturday. Aldrich is this year’s featured artist. Drew Johnson / The Forecaster

Sheila Aldrich’s paintings are often based on photographs and are done carefully with constant tinkering and a lot of patience.

“I’m never quite finished with it,” she said.

Scenic landscapes make up much of Lorinda Bradford’s works which she can complete swiftly with few tweaks or, sometimes, none at all.

“A little 9-by-12-inch one, I can do in an hour,” she said.

While every artist’s approach is different, Aldrich, Bradford and dozens of other residents at Piper Shores in Scarborough collaborate with, learn from and inspire one another as part of the nonprofit retirement community’s thriving art culture. The residents’ talent will be on display from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Autumnal Equinox Resident Art Show at the Piper Shores campus, 15 Piper Road.

The show will include paintings by Aldrich – this year’s featured artist – and Bradford, along with other works, including collages, ceramics and knitting, from over 50 residents and waitlist members.


Like much of her recent work, Aldrich’s painting of a catch of fish was inspired by a photograph. While clay sculpting and woodwork have been her primary mediums since college, she took up painting when she moved to Piper Shores. She takes her time to make sure the final product is just right.

“I just sort of get crazed about it,” Aldrich said. “‘Oh God, it needs this!’ So I’m in there for hours, all day, really just fine-tuning.”

Bradford’s painting depicts canoes near a dock with Maine’s highest peak towering in the background.

“One of the bus drivers here absolutely loved kayaking by Katahdin, and he told me about this particular view,” she said.

Bradford said it took her longer than usual, roughly five hours, to complete the piece.

“The canoes gave me a bad time.”


Both are excited to show their work at the free event this weekend.

“The first few times I ever hung anything were terrifying because you’re really exposing yourself,” said Bradford, who first displayed her paintings at art shows in Florida. “After that, it becomes a pleasure.”

Piper Shores has held resident art shows for the past 20 years. The addition of the Bigelow Art Center at Piper Shores in 2018 further fueled its art community, CEO Phil Jean said.

“It was really driven by residents who had a desire to have a specific place on campus where they could showcase and work on their arts,” Jean said.

The facility has a kiln for ceramics, space for painting and textile arts, and a woodshop, the latter of which is frequented by Aldrich’s husband, David.

“He is crazy about the woodshop,” she said. “I say, ‘So now, when you create something, you know how I feel.'”


“Sheila’s husband is also the framer. He makes the frames for us,” Bradford added. “It’s good for him – unless he’s getting sick of it – and it’s certainly good for us.”

Aldrich said she does most of her painting at her residence, but Bradford makes use of the art center often.

“I can’t work at home because I’m very messy,” she said. “I don’t want to throw my paint around.”

The annual show is a way to celebrate, support and grow the art culture at Piper Shores that has taken flight, Jean said.

“It’s something we’re really proud of, and I’m glad that we have the forum to be able to do it in a really meaningful way,” he said. “It’s something that people really look forward to every year.”

“It keeps us busy, that’s for sure,” Bradford said. “And you certainly want that.”

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