The current show at Gleason Fine Art, “Awakenings,” features the work of two talented women who just happen to be mother and daughter, Andrea Peters and Christine Peters. The creative spirit within them shines as brightly as their mutual love and admiration.
Andrea is an internationally known artist who’s been represented by Dennis and Marty Gleason for decades. Christine worked in the gallery for a number of years even after, as her mom put it, “she found her own voice.” Christine’s voice is heard through her Nouveau-ish ethereal and ultra feminine jewelry designs.
In her highly expressive style, Andrea recounted the moment she knew Christine had the gift: She was 4 years old and had drawn a copy of one of my paintings … I was absolutely flabbergasted! Color and all. I said to myself, ‘This one’s got it.’ … I’m extremely proud of my daughter. I think of her jewelry as art not just adornment.”
And while their mediums are quite different, their shared inspiration is derived from nature. Andrea paints the forest, water views and her gardens that surround her home in East Boothbay daily. And what is unceasingly amazing about this is that no two paintings are alike. As most of her fans and friends know, Andrea has been living with MS for decades, but it obviously doesn’t limit her “view.” She even manages to paint four and five foot paintings! No small feat, that.
How is it possible to find endless inspiration from familiar surroundings? Said Andrea, “People always ask where my inspiration comes from. I think that every day we’re really a different person; things affect us differently tomorrow than they do today. I paint how I feel about whatever it is I’m looking at. Sometimes it (inspiration)comes like a “POW!” and other times it’s a subtle ... awakening ...” (there’s that word again.)
Andrea’s bold, colorful paintings engage viewers immediately, not only due to their size - and there are some large works in this show – no, it’s her lively, imaginative and joyful essence that touches you, speaks to you, expanding beyond the frames.
The 20-plus paintings in the show have never been exhibited before. Ninety percent were created just for “Awakenings.” Andrea said the Gleasons wanted to have a happy show after the interminably long winter … they wanted colors. Awakenings seemed like the perfect name. The earth was reawakening and Andrea decided to capture that much anticipated happening.
For mother and daughter, the name of the show has personal significance. Calling the show “Awakenings” also reflects on the success of Christine’s battle with breast cancer last year and the success of the treatments, which led to a re-awakening of energy and her desire to create.
“I’m very blessed to know how good life is … there’s been a big surge in being aware of everything around me,” shared Christine. “For the show I focused on flower pieces in particular.. I just started working again earlier this year once I got everything flowing again ... so there are just a few new pieces.”
Christine said she’s definitely been inspired by Nouveau and that time period as well as the designs of Mexican jewelry designer William Spratling . “His designs are simplified, modern, less graceful, but the balance is there in his asymetrical designs,” said Christine. “You feel it.”
Christine creates necklaces, bracelets, rings, and earrings of sterling silver and 18 carat gold. The metals are transformed into the petals of some of her favorite four petaled flowers, hydrangea, lilac, dogwood; and daisies, adorning them with semi-precious and precious stones. Pearls are a favorite, but you will also find amethyst, tourmaline, ruby, aquamarine, pyrite, opal, chalcedony, peridot …
Andrea noted, even the adjustable clasps on her daughter’s necklaces are flower petals. “It’s all in the details,” Christine said with a smile.
She has two primary lines right now, the botanical of flowers and leaves in which a few motifs are repeated, but Christine said, there are always variations! Her abstract line, or the Bauble Collection, is of mostly reticulated silver. Using a torch, Christine brings the surface of the silver almost to melting.
“The metal ebbs and flows … it’s really cool. I love all the little silver balls, the baubles,” she said with enthusiasm.
This is the fourth time this mother and daughter have exhibited together in a show, but the first since 2010 at the former Gleason Fine Art in Portland.
“I’ve very proud of my mom’s work and I’ve always been inspired by her,” Christine said. “We love doing shows together … it’s cool to do a show with your mom!”
“Awakenings” continues through July 7 at Gleason Fine Art, 31 Townsend Ave. in Boothbay Harbor. See it and discover what it awakens in you.