Maine Artists

A plein air show-stopper

Posted:  Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - 5:00pm

It all started when some of the plein air artists Mary Phelps represented told her they were looking for a retreat.

Phelps, the owner of COCO VIVO Fine Art, told them they could come to Boothbay Harbor, paint with Maine plein artists and put up a show of the work.

From September 7 through 12, thirty plein air artists, members of Plein Air Painters of the Southeast (PAPSE) and Plein Air Painters of Maine (PAPME) painted at various locations. From the Boothbay region to Pemaquid and Monhegan, artists were inspired by the natural beauty that surrounded them, transfering that experience onto canvas.

Some artists, such as Andre Lucero and Richard Oversmith of PAPSE completed 18 to 20 works of art. Daily wet walls and receptions were held daily at COCO VIVO.

By September 12, artists had completed over 150 paintings. The majority of those adorned the walls at Laura Francis' The Gallery Gatherings and Events, where the gala reception was held. The framed works ranged from $220 (watercolor) to $3,000. Nine were sold that evening and two others after the show.

Danny Laran, gallery director at COCO VIVO's Charleston, S.C. gallery is creating a show page on the COCO VIVO website, to feature paintings of the region still available for purchase.

In addition to Lucero and Oversmith, art lovers will be able to view the works of PAPSE artists Scott Boyle, Anne Blair Brown, Roger Dale Brown, OPA, John Michael Carter, Dee Beard Dean, Mary Erickson, Beverly Ford Evans, Paula Frizbe, Shannon Smith Hughes, Diane May, Larry Moore, Gwen Nagel, Richard Christain Nelson, Pam Padgett and Stuart Roper.

And works by these PAPME artists will be available as well: Mary Buergin, Geoff Bladon, Ed Buonvecchio, Ken Carlson, Suzanne deLesseps, Mitch Billis, Diane Dubreuil, Bobbi Heath, Susan Henry, Carol Jessen, Sue Heil Kibbe, Greg Laderer, Corinne McIntyre, Roger Milinowski, Judith Mitchell, Kathleen Billis, Ian Orman, Frank Pierobello, Julian Sacks, Felicity Sidwell, Sally Smith, Gwen Sylvester, Jim Tarsetti, Bill Tomsa, Tony van Hasselt and Darlene Oulette.

“One of the things that made this show so special is that everywhere you looked you saw places you recognized,” Phelps said. “The work is outstanding.”

The retreat and event were both co-hosted by Phelps and local plein air artists Roger Milinowski and Corinne McIntyre.

Milinowski, owner of Head of the Harbor Gallery in Boothbay Harbor, is represented at COCO VIVO; McIntyre, owner of Ocean Point Studio Visions of Maine in East Boothbay, is the coordinator of the PAPME (Plein Air Painters of Maine) artists group of 370 plein air painters.

“This kind of show is an opportunity to see and buy art of varying styles by many artists,” Milinowski said. “This show was very well attended, Laura counted at 175. It's going to be the biggest event of next year.”

“This show was high quality; it made us all want to raise the bar,” McIntyre said. “It was wonderful to meet them all, and, the artists from PAPSE who came here want to come back again.”

So do Phelps and her co-hosts. Plans are already in the works for next year's event, which will be held in September again because it is a good time for the artists to travel.

“Ultimately, I'd love to have all local art galleries involved,” Phelps said. “If we all work together it can be so powerful. Kudos to the artists who came for our first year, it was quite spectacular.”

For more information, call Phelps at 207-633-0671 or email her at