Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Of Land and Sea: Painting the Bold Coast exhibit at Bayview Gallery, Camden

Bayview Gallery presents Of Land and Sea: Painting the Bold Coast - an exhibit of marine paintings in our Camden gallery, featuring the works of William R. Beebe, Vern Broe, Robert Spring and other gallery artists.

Marine artist William Beebe has been painting the coast for over 16 years, and he now dedicates himself to rendering the historical wooden schooners of the 19th and 20th centuries. An admirer of Impressionist Claude Monet and Frank W. Benson for their brushwork, palette and interplay of light, Beebe creatively uses layers of various colors to achieve depth in his images. A black hull may have Naples Yellow, Cobalt Blue, or Umber added to create light and dark or warm and cold areas. His crisp lines and detailed renderings bring vitality to his maritime work along with a traditional realism honoring the excitement and joy of the nautical journey. His oils capture movement and place, celebrating the timeless grandeur of these majestic sailing vessels.

Vern Broe has painted the coast from several New England locations - Gloucester, Marblehead, and of course Maine. Versatile marine painter and former draftsman, Broe explores the contrasting qualities of light and dark and their various tones in his paintings. Water takes on an illusionary sense due to his skillful, delicate use of multiple washes of acrylic paint. Well-studied, keen lines define his vessels, giving them a subdued character against a receding, dream-like backdrop. He pays homage to the sailing and working crafts that grace the coastline.

Maine resident Robert Spring is well versed in portraying images in both oil and watercolors. Influenced by J.M.W. Turner, his oils are luminous and impressive, exhibiting an inventive palette that plays up the frequently subtle nature of his subject matter. Texture and color create a rhythmic energy, bringing new life to his seascapes. A sculptor as well, Robert's use of thick impasto suggests a tangible quality with his oils, texture and movement working in unison. His watercolors evoke a feeling of mystery, leaving the viewer to draw his own conclusions as to the outcome of the painting. A heightened sense of drama with no resolution contrasts with a momentary stillness and peace.

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