Donald Rainville

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Don Rainville was born in Salem, Massachusetts and presently lives in midcoast, Maine where he maintains his studio. Foregoing acceptance to art school at the Massachusetts College of Art, he parlayed his interest in the natural world by attending the Essex Institute of Agriculture in Hawthorne, Massachusetts, studying Forestry and Ornamental Horticulture. Upon graduation, Don entered the world of high end antique and art restoration. For twenty years, he was able to hone colorist skills and the ability to experiment with diverse materials; the consistent nature of such refined work is in direct contrast to how he approaches painting.

Employing action techniques, his works have been likened to landscapes of "abstract realism." Don paints in house oils, using torn shapes of lightweight cardboard and plant clippings rather than brushes; by doing so, paint to a greater degree can dictate form. Don’s paintings begin with abstract intensity, leading to a concentrated focus on refinement—the last 10% of any painting takes 90% of the time to complete—and most of his paintings take several months to finish.

Primarily, his work focuses on “treescapes” and the never ending inspiration provided by Maine and New England forests—Don likens his paintings to orchestrations of visual music, much like jazz which is different from more formalized concepts of music.  His paintings are invented as they proceed, and as each portion of the composition comes forward on a moment by moment basis, the components are random and abstract, yet consciously orchestrated—the growth of a living forest works in much the same way.

Don works to create paintings where a viewer feels themselves present within the scene to a point where there is an actual unconscious desire or instinct to use all of one's senses, not just sight.

www.donaldrainville.com

Ben McGinnis

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Ben McGinnis has been an award winning illustrator, graphic designer and fine artist for over thirty years, Originally from Ohio, Ben attended Kent State University to study all forms of art and has primarily worked in advertising since then. His personal work however, ranges from small sculptures and wood carvings to paintings and drawings and lately, unique drawings of trees.
 

“There’s just something amazing about them, especially the older ones that have seen so much in their lifetimes... they just have to have souls
 and if so, I have to wonder what kinds 
of souls they might
 be. Some are shaped by man and others by elements of nature and a natural adaptation to their surroundings.
 Like human life, rot and decay, injury followed by healing and years of living and growth mold their bodies into positions that are a direct result of their experience. Regardless, they are wonderfully expressive and I find that to be an endless source of inspiration.”

http://www.bmcginnis.com/

 

Liz Gribin

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Liz Gribin was born in London in 1934. She and her family moved to the United States just as World War II broke out. Arriving in Manhattan, she began her studies at the Museum of Modern Art and the Art Students League, obtaining her degree in fine arts from Boston University. Niece of the world famous Danish sculptor, Harald Salomon, she has exhibited her work nationally for many years. In New York City her prize-winning paintings have been shown at The National Academy of Design, the Parsons School, Pace University, The National Arts Club, the Lotos Club and the Broome Street Gallery. Outside of the city they have been shown at the Nassau County Museum of Art, The Heckscher Museum, Guild Hall Museum, Sarah Lawrence College, B.J. Spoke Gallery, and the Arlene Bujese Gallery. Gribin has had over a dozen solo exhibitions. She is the winner of innumerable awards, including the Bruce Stevenson Award from the National Arts Club, the Pall Corporation Award at the Heckscher Museum, the Knickerbocker Artist's Gold Medal and the top award from the Audubon Artists, two years running. Her work is part of the permanent collections of the Emily Lowe Gallery at Hofstra University and the Manhattan Bowery Corporation in addition to many outstanding private collections. She was chosen to be honored with the prestigious Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Advancing the Arts on Long Island.

Honored by the Hampton Library as a "living legend" during the bicentennial celebration of the U.S. Library Of Congress. Listed in "Who's Who in American Art" and "Who's Who of American Women". Artist spotlighted on the first "Originals", Public Broadcasting System's television show. The artist and her work have been profiled in The Southampton Press and Dan's papers, Portfolio, Northshore, Boulevard and Long Island magazines. Interviewed on Art Scene on Long Island, Meet Your Neighbors and Focus On Women, which is part of Harvard University, Schlesinger Library Archives. Now back in Massachusetts after half a century, she enjoys working and living in her spacious studio in Gorse.

www.lizgribin.com

Joan Wye

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1926-2006

Joan Wye was born in the U.S. but lived in Berlin, Germany for most of her childhood until the age of thirteen. Her mother had sent her to live with Joan’s great aunt who ran a boarding house, and Joan’s grandfather who was the conductor of a symphony orchestra. In 1939 Joan’s mother came to rescue her from the horrors of Nazi Germany and take her back to the U.S. and then Argentina.  
     
After high school in Buenos Aires, Joan left to enroll in the Art Student League of NY where she had her formal training. She married another League student, had a daughter Carol, and the family moved to Provincetown, Massachusetts. Joan had started out a painter but in Provincetown she took up the medium of wood carving and to a lesser degree bronze casting.  
    
 After twenty years in Provincetown, she divorced and moved to Somerville, Massachusetts with the man who would become her second husband, the painter, Jackson Gregory. They both found space in a factory building that was to become a well known artists and artisans studio building: 20 Vernon Street in Somerville. Joan initially created some large papier mache brick sculptures and then invented a tile making process which led to an art tile business called Belfast Bay Tileworks. Her husband Jackson joined her and for the next 18 years Belfast Bay designed, produced and sold their art tiles in the metro Boston area, New York, Cape Cod, Maine and other locations round the country.  In addition to residential installations, she and her husband created public art tile murals for Boston area’s Red Line (MBTA), The Children’s Hospital, New England Home for Little Wanders, and Roberts School, as well as for the Niagara Transportation Authority in Buffalo, NY.

Wye also started making art works using tile mosaics as a medium. In 1985, Wye and Gregory bought property on Vinahaven Island, Maine and moved there permanently in 1990. They bought a much reduced version of the tile business with them to Vinalhaven which they continued until 2000, when they retired from the tile making to devote full time to their painting. With a spacious studio, Joan finally got back to her first love, painting. She was a prolific artist and made up for lost time by turning out about 300 paintings in the last ten years of her life.
      
Wye is associated with number of galleries in Provincetown, Boston and New York. Her paintings, sculptures, mosaic tile pieces are in collections across the U.S. She died at home on Vinahaven in August of 2006.

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Jackson Gregory

Born in 1938, Jackson Gregory grew up in Provincetown, Massachusetts. His father was a printmaker and photographer and his mother a concert pianist and piano teacher, who were part of the sizable art community in that town. His parents and artists friends encouraged Jackson in his early efforts in art making. He is a graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine arts (SMFA) in Boston where he spent ten years as a student, graduate student, Traveling Scholar and teacher.
 
In 1967 after two years of teaching, Jackson left SMFA to concentrate on his own work, which by this time called for a more complete involvement of time and effort. This was the beginning of his use of geometric forms as the basis of his work. He added ceramic tile as a medium in 1977 and also created public art murals in Boston, Cambridge and Somerville, MA., and Buffalo, NY. Gregory lives and maintains a studio on Vinalhaven Island in Maine. He and his wife artist Joan Wye moved there in 1990. Joan died in 2006.  
    
Awards include: 47th Bartlett Traveling Scholar: Grant and Fellowship, Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown; Boskop Foundation Grant, Council for the Arts and Humanities, Somerville Arts Council, MA.

Selected Exhibitions: Cornell University; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; De Cordova Museum, Lincoln, MA; City Hall, Boston; Brockton Art Center; New Era Gallery; First National Bank of Chicago; Harbor Square Gallery, Rockland, Maine, and numerous private collections.

 

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James Bonner

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Born in 1959 in Little Rock, Arkansas, contemporary American realist painter James Michael Bonner received his formal training in art at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock primarily under the late Al Allen.
Citing the painters Andrew and Jamie Wyeth as major influences of his art, James taught himself how to paint with egg tempera and dry-brush watercolor eventually developing his own identifiable style.  In addition, Jamie Wyeth’s proclivity for mixing different mediums has influenced him with incorporating oils, acrylics, casein, and gouache into his work.   
    Having a desire to experience what other artists, including the Wyeth’s, have when in Maine, James began visiting there in the 1990’s and always enjoys painting and drawing the often-overlooked scenes that fade into the background of everyday life. Maine is beautiful and gritty all at the same time. It’s these opposing forces that oftentimes are explored through the hidden ambiguities of his work.
In 2003, while rock climbing, James suffered a traumatic injury that would change the direction of his life away from art for almost a decade. The aftermath of the accident left him without the ability to paint because of limited dexterity in his hand. Unhappy without the ability to express emotion through his art, he was determined to comeback. In 2012 he began the arduous therapy of re-training his motor skills to facilitate the delicate details of his art. Although it takes longer to draw and paint now, some of his recent pieces have proven to be some of his “strongest” pieces to date.
     James currently resides in Arkansas with his wife Hope and their two dogs Mocha and Maggie. He has artwork in corporate collections in the south and east coast, along with many private collections in Arkansas, New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Washington DC, Florida, Delaware and Maine.  

“My intent as a painter is to create a narrative that pervades the painting. By starting out with the literal truth and then relying mostly on memory, I begin to think or dream away the extraneous detail of a particular scene or object until I’m down to the “bare bones” of what I’m emotionally connected to.  Simplicity, to me, is always better.
Being an artist, to me, is not just about possessing the ability to copy something exactly as it is in nature, although admirable, but using your creativity to impart your own vision. What comes naturally for me is a bit convoluted, in that my paintings are based in reality, but with a heavy dose of my own creativity and imagination added. Perfection bores me, at least technical perfection, and thinking everything you do might be a masterpiece is dangerous. I like seeing the hand of the artist in art, even areas that have been worked and reworked. Setting out to create a masterpiece can be stifling, I mean just do something you feel strongly about and amazing things are possible and just might happen. Inspiration for me comes from a passion within to record the scenes that often times are bypassed by a hectic society. These scenes fade into the background of everyday life, but many have a story to tell - be it good or bad. Inspiration triggered by knowing the "back story" of a scene or by someone's spirit. My art, like these scenes, would not stand out in a big show. It's not flashy or ephemeral. It's enduring.”

www.jamesmbonner.com

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Gordon Greenwood

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Gordon Greenwood majored in art throughout his academic years in the northeastern United States, ultimately completing a Master of Fine Arts degree from Temple University in 1953. There were periods of residence in Japan, Hawaii, California, Nevada and finally settlement in Camden, Maine. in 1988. Artwork was pursued in all these locations, but there were stretches of time when the path of life took other directions.

Greenwood explores diverse subjects in differing degrees of representation, but remains generally grounded in a sharply defined symbolic and simplistic style that often emphasizes forms suggested by Nature. Other depictions or imaginations are sometimes present, but always an attempt is made to reflect the core essences of things, whatever they are. Of course, the degree of subjective alteration determines whether or not there is recognizability on the part of the viewer, also depending on the viewer’s own experience. The artist’s intent, nevertheless, is to evoke feelings of familiarity even if they are subconscious. Planned ambiguity is also a recurring theme.

Early work was done in oil paint, but a switch to acrylics was made by the late nineteen sixties. The use of acrylic paint allows for many differing methods of application. A certain richness and variety of surface texture can be achieved, often within the same painting, which contributes added interest. A development in that same vein explores the vibrancy caused by the occasional juxtaposition of color on color in dotted or mottled configurations. Sprayed on color is also used.

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Igor Galanin

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As a successful artist, book illustrator and theatrical designer in the former Soviet Union, Igor Galanin enjoyed professional success and recognition-without freedom of expression. Yet he had an inner Machanism that understood what freedom was all about. Within his personal, painted kingdom, Galanin let freedom ring. If he wanted a chair to rest on water instead of a floor, he put it there. If he thought the fruit in a still life should go floating out of its bowl, away it went. Seeking liberty for himself and his family, Galanin emigrated to the United States in 1972.

On the surface, Galanin’s paintings are purely a celebration of the sensual. In this carnival of earthy delights, women with delicate, aristocratic features and round, voluptuous bodies take center stage. Whether they are enjoying a park vista from the comfort of a bench, or flying threw the air on the trapeze, Galanin’s big beautiful women remain serenely in control of their surroundings. Expressing a wholly unique artistic, vision these technically masterful painting contain lighthearted nods to mannerism, to Surrealism, and to the dainty theatrical caprices of Jean-Antoine Watteau. Galanin’s jewel-box palette and dramatic use of dark backgrounds may bring to mind Russia’s decorative black-lacquer art objects, as well as religious icons.

Perhaps because they are the direct descendants of this venerable artistic tradition, Galanin’s cast-bronze sculptures possess a timeless simplicity and power. They have the same energy and charm as his paintings, and frequently treat the same subject matter. Each original or limited-edition sculpture is cast in bronze, then colored through the application of acid and heat. When placed outdoors, the sculptures will develop a rich patina.

www.igorgalanin.com

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Serge Hollerbach

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Former instructor at the National Academy and current member of the Academy and numerous other important organizations, Serge's mostly figurative paintings of modern urban living have gained him renown in contemporary realism.

Born in 1923 in Pushkin, a suburb of St. Petersburg, Russia (then Leningrad), Serge Hollerbach drew constantly as a child, encouraged by an uncle who was an art and literary critic in Leningrad. An ardent and frequent visitor to the Hermitage Museum, Hollerbach decided at 17 that he would become a painter. He had studied at the High School of Art for only six months when the Nazis occupied the small town where he lived. “Subsequently, I spent the war years as a laborer in Germany, where I was sent with hundreds of thousands of Russian men and women to work in the fields and factories,” Hollerbach says.

After the war ended, he enrolled in the Academy of Fine Arts Munich, where he was “drilled in quick linear drawing and expressionistic characterization.” In 1949, he embarked on a career as a professional artist in New York City. By the late 1950s, he was exhibiting his work in the city, across the country and in Europe. A frequent contributor to The Artist’s Magazine throughout its history, Hollerbach, though legally blind, continues to produce work of beauty and vigor.

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Wendy Newbold Patterson

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I am an oil painter with an interest in ancestry, stones, memory and ancient places. My art education was thorough, with a deep foundation in European, American art and work from life. I still "draw from life" and follow where it leads me. I draw from life many, many times every day and night. Drawing is my active participation plan with Life. It is a simple act, a primal response and a constant nourishment of being. Drawing from life is a dialogue with now.

Rembrandt taught me to draw from life. His works said to me, “Go out to the roads and markets, see and draw, draw and see. Build a visual vocabulary, tools to tell your story.”

Cezanne and Nature taught me about light, plastic form and energy. Energy must move from and through forms. Light, color and rhythm are the roots, branches and vines that keep forms in the energy flow. I paint and draw figures in a space. I work with stones to see nature in simpler forms, movement and light. I work back and forth between stones and figures. There is an intriguing resonance between them. I reach for the energy and the powerful relationships.

The figure is an invented language with vocabulary drawn from life. I have developed the tools to express the living and beloved reality in front of me, as I have discovered a resonance, an echo of my own inner reality. I see. I draw and paint. I see what I see, what I feel and who I am. The figure is a vessel containing sensations of all human experience. The figure is a voice. It speaks to us of ourselves.

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Alan Fishman

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Born and raised in New York City, Alan Fishman has been an artist for more than forty years. He received a BFA from Cornell University, with further study and years of residence in Italy. Fishman's works are continually exhibited in group and solo exhibitions, and can be found in many collections around the world. 

His bright acrylic paintings are bold, direct, and filled with a distinctive musical energy. With a love of color, texture, and form, Fishman’s paintings reflect and refract the natural world, the realm of ancient myth, the tangle of human relationships, and the complexity of the human spirit. It’s no small coincidence that his work is so often described as lyrical: Alan Fishman is also an accomplished classical musician, who has been playing the piano since the age of five. 

As Steven May wrote in a featured article in Portland Magazine in 2004, “Fishman traces his artistic roots mainly to Europe, citing as examples Klee, Matisse, Monet, and Picasso. And while his art may start with recognizable forms, it primarily reflects his interest in light, movement, color, and abstraction."

A Professor Emeritus of the Fashion Institute of Technology, Fishman now lives with his wife and their son in a converted barn on the coast of Maine.

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John Neville

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John Neville’s nostalgic works of art of bygone days chronicle the folklore and daily lives of the local fishermen and their women from his childhood village. This popular Canadian artist, who splits his time between Nova Scotia and Maine, is a painter, printmaker and story teller who has engaged collectors throughout his long career with his exceptional etchings, and more recently the bold palette and modern compositions of his impressive oil paintings.

A native of Nova Scotia, Neville was born in Halls Harbour on the Bay of Fundy, to a family of boat builders and fishermen where hard work was taken for granted.  He grew up fishing with his father, building boats and listening to the tales of men and women in the local villages. There were stories about bootlegging, bad luck, record catches, rivalries and drunken husbands—all of which became the basis for his rich pictorial language.

At a young age Neville began drawing boats and other subjects on the backs of advertisement broadsheets that his grandfather, the village postmaster, gave him. In 1972 Neville left Halls Harbor to attend the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax where he studied photography and printmaking.  After graduating with a BFA in 1976 from the Centre Gravure de Contemporaine in Geneva, Switzerland, he returned to Halls Harbour to set up a printmaking studio.

In recent years, Neville brought the mark making of his etchings to the brush. His oil paintings are instantly recognizable by his drawing style and his bold use of color, and they continue to tell the tales of these bygone days by recording a rich folklore and a vanishing way of life with consistency and beauty.

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Sally Ladd Cole

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Having always lived in rural New Hampshire, I observe with great concern the ever dwindling fields, farms, marshes and forests that I grew up loving and taking for granted.

Through my paintings I hope to bring awareness to the irreplaceable beauty of this rural country and open Atlantic shoreline. These everyday scenes of marshes, meadows, forests and farmland, so filled with sun and shadow, color, powerful contrasts and overall natural grace that I find so much inspiration in, are becoming increasingly rare.

Sally graduated with a BA in Fine Art from the University of New Hampshire in 1971.
She then went on to study with Clifford Smith.

www.sallyladdcole.com

Imero Gobbato

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Imero Gobbato was born in Italy in 1923 during the brief hiatus between the spasms of global war. He studied the art of painting in Milan and Venice where he became associated with the Italian Neo-Impressionists, artistic cousins of the French painters Seurat and Signac.

Gordon King, a poet and novelist, has written of him: “With Gobbato, one is genuinely tempted to use the term, ‘Renaissance man.’ He has been variously a painter, etcher, engraver, book illustrator, yacht designer in Europe and the US, composer and designer of a variety of musical instruments. Painting, however, is central to his life and Gobbato’s works currently on display radiate peace and joy backed by a clear strength, and powerful imagination. Imero Gobbato is aware of humanity’s problems, yet he prefers to celebrate the possibilities of harmony and reunion. From such as Imero Gobbato another renaissance seems possible.”

A core member of the gallery roster since its inception in 1981, until his death in 2010, Imero Gobbato’s oils and acrylics continue to occupy a prominent position on the walls of Harbor Square Gallery.

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Igor Galanin

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As a successful artist, book illustrator and theatrical designer in the former Soviet Union, Igor Galanin enjoyed professional success and recognition-without freedom of expression. Yet he had an inner mechanism that understood what freedom was all about. Within his personal, painted kingdom, Galanin let freedom ring. If he wanted a chair to rest on water instead of a floor, he put it there. If he thought the fruit in a still life should go floating out of its bowl, away it went. Seeking liberty for himself and his family, Galanin emigrated to the United States in 1972.
On the surface, Galanin's paintings are purely a celebration of the sensual. In this carnival of earthy delights, women with delicate, aristocratic features and round, voluptuous bodies take center stage. Whether they are enjoying a park vista from the comfort of a bench, or flying threw the air on the trapeze, Galanin's big beautiful women remain serenely in control of their surroundings. Expressing a wholly unique artistic, vision these technically masterful painting contain lighthearted nods to mannerism, to Surrealism, and to the dainty theatrical caprices of Jean-Antoine Watteau. Galanin's jewel-box palette and dramatic use of dark backgrounds may bring to mind Russia's decorative black-lacquer art objects, as well as religious icons.

Perhaps because they are the direct descendants of this venerable artistic tradition, Galanin's cast- bronze sculptures possess a timeless simplicity and power. They have the same energy and charm as his paintings, and frequently treat the same subject matter. Each original or limited-edition sculpture is cast in bronze, then colored through the application of acid and heat. When placed outdoors, the sculptures will develop a rich patina.

Galanin's Rooster-a symbol of life's regenerative forces-stand a little more than a foot tall, yet has a striking presence and mastery. It's smooth, hand-burnished contours capture the softness of puffy features, while the rich, varied brows of the patina resemble burl wood. Colored in a silver pewter tones, Galanin's Swan is composed of S-curves that suggest both fluid grace and the element water. With chararistic insight and humor, Galanin has imagined his Hippopotamus as the creature that he would feel most at home:half submerged, and with a bird for a companion.

Galanin's cosmic circus would not be complete without its ringmaster. In his Self Portrait with a Rabbit, the artist appears with his personal guiding spirit and muse-the creature who best personifies playfulness, joy, and eagerness to experience life. Like the rabbit that led Alice down the borrow to Wonderland, Igor Galanin and his muse invite us to journey through layers of poetic meaning into unique, wonderful worlds-no passport required.

www.igorgalanin.com

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Lee Lawson

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Lee Lawson's gifts as an artist are evident not only in her superb technical skills, nor only in the ethereal palette she creates for her works. Even more so, her gifts derive from an ability that is older than time; the ability to envision. She has clear memory of things that dance, hide, misbehave, dream, sleep, appear and disappear in the human psyche.
In myths and dreams, the unconscious, both collective and personal, is often symbolically portrayed as a great body of water. Lee Lawson's work clearly reflects those oceans that surge and thrive beneath our mundane consciousness. She is as much shape changer as she is artist: A human being one movement, a sea creature the next.

Only the person who navigates the interior life on a regular basis can consistently bring such spare but evocative images to canvas. Her work most richly viewed with both outer and inner seeing, testifies to the fact that she is a rare artist especially skilled in bringing to the surface mysterious, yet clearly stated, first-person accounts of the deep, imagined world.

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Willa Vennema

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Willa Vennema's paintings have been highly influenced by her life-long association with Swan's Island, where she has summered since childhood. Her summer medium is acrylic, working quickly in the sun-sparkled world, painting directly the experienced moment and the magical light. Winter is about the paint, the "sensual aspects" of the oils and cold wax, exploring the inner world where "color, texture shape and line interweave and eventually tell a story". Together these worlds intermingle and fully express the deft hand of a painter looking both within and without, ever-exploring the impact of one upon the other.

Born Independence Day, 1962 in New York City, Willa Vennema grew up in Greenwich Village. The sixties and seventies in the Village were a time of appreciation for art and expression, the place where Bob Dylan and many other musicians and artists found inspiration. From age three to 13, Vennema attended the City and Country School, a small, progressive elementary school blocks from her home. The creative teachers at City and Country, who used hands-on art projects, music, and free play in their curricula, instilled in her a love and appreciation for all art forms. Her experience there was also the foundation for her continuing creative work with young children.

As a teenager, Vennema studied classical music and attended the High School of Performing Arts as a Flute Major – made famous by the eighties TV show Fame. Although music led Vennema to Oberlin College in Ohio, she switched the focus of her creative energy to Fine Art and studied Art History and Studio Art there. After graduation, Vennema returned to New York to continue her study of Fine Arts at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. She was awarded a full tuition scholarship and received her B.F.A. in 1987.

After graduating from the Cooper Union, Vennema moved her studio to a store front in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, and began her life-long routine of working in the mornings with pre-schoolers, and painting in the afternoons---while also squeezing in graduate classes at the Bank Street School for Education in the evenings. In 1989, Vennema and her now-husband, Carter Waldren, also a painter, moved to San Francisco. Here Vennema participated in many group shows and was featured in several one-woman shows. The landscape of undulating mountains just across the bridge from San Fransisco still informs the landscape work of Vennema today. But the pull of the coast of Maine, where Vennema grew up summering, brought her and her husband back East where they made their home in Portland.

When her son was born in 1997, Vennema founded The Creative Play House, a home-based preschool where she employs the kind of arts and play-based teaching that was so fundamental to her own learning. As teachers, both Vennema and her husband are able to spend the summer with their two children, Oriana and Casey. They quickly settle in to “Island Time” on Swan’s Island, a small isle off Mt. Desert Island, where Vennema's family has summered for almost 50 years. The summer of painting the waters, woods, rocks and trees of Swan's and surrounding islands serves as inspiration during the long winter months when Vennema returns to her studio and home in Portland. Here, through the process of painting using the fluid medium of Encaustic, Vennema relies on her imagination and memory to distill, reinterpret and create anew her vision of the Maine Coast.

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Serge Hollerbach

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"My life as an artist has three periods. Two brief ones, Russian and European, and a long one - American. I was born in 1923 in Pushkin (suburb of Leningrad). As a child I drew constantly and was encouraged by my parents and my uncle Eric Hollerbach, who was a well-known art and literary critic in Leningrad, USSR in 1920-30. He lived close to us and it was in his apartment that I saw for the first time examples of Russian art of the 19th and 20th centuries, mainly portraits, engravings and stage designs.

When I grew older I started to visit the famous Hermitage Museum in Leningrad and saw paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens and masters of the Italian Renaissance. At the age of 17 I had decided to become a painter and switched from a regular high school to a special High School of Art that was a part of the Academy of Fine Arts in Leningrad. My studies at the High School of Art lasted, unfortunately, only six months. On June 22, 1941 Nazi Germany attacked Russia, the suburb of Leningrad where I lived was occupied and subsequently I spent the war years as a laborer in Germany where I was sent together with hundreds of thousands of Russian men and women to work in the fields and factories.

The American Army liberated me in May 1945, and in 1946, having decided not to return to Russia, I enrolled as a student in the Munich Academy of Fine Arts. For the first time I experienced the so-called "cultural shock". If in the Russian High School of Art we spent hours and hours shading and correcting a drawing, in the Munich Academy we were literally "drilled" in quick linear drawing and expressionistic characterization of objects, be it still life, landscape or model. I had to abandon the slow and tentative approach and adapt myself to a fast, grueling "hit or miss" pace. We were supposed to accentuate shapes, angles, exaggerate colors, staying however within the limits of a heightened reality.

Two cardinal sins were a) copying reality "like it is" and b) going into wild, senseless experimentation with meaningless shapes and colors, not related to the given subject. Four years of studying in Munich (6-8 hours a day, no summer vacations) gave given me the essential skills in drawing and painting and more important, the direction and an uncompromising attitude toward all that is opportunistic and conventional in art. It served me well in the years to come. I didn't graduate; I had one more year to go, but my visa came up and in the fall of 1949 I came to New York determined to continue my studies and to embark on the career of a professional artist.

New York City, with its rich cultural life, its many museums, galleries and art schools, helped me to find myself as an artist. I started to exhibit in the late 1950's and continued to do so not only in New York, but across the country and in Europe. Knowledge that "talent" is many different things helped me a great deal in teaching and conducting workshops. Indeed, there is no point in forcing a person to become a realistic, figurative painter when he/she is not gifted "that way". Her or his strength may be in design in flat color arrangements. Such ability can be best applied to landscape or still life painting or to semi-abstract composition. It is the task of the instructor to find out what the inclination of every student is and to guide him or her to the realization of their potential."

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