Sylvan Gallery’s late summer show continues
Sylvan Gallery’s “Late Summer Exhibition,” featuring the work of contemporary New England artists, is now on view and will continue through Sept. 30. A reception marking the gallery’s 17 years of representing a diverse and extremely talented group of artists will take place on Aug. 31 from 5-8 p.m. This event will coincide with the Wiscasset Art Walk.
Featured works by Maine-based artists include those by Susannah Haney of Wiscasset. Haney spends several weeks every year sketching on Monhegan Island, a well-known and loved location that has been attracting artists since the 19th century. Back in her studio in Wiscasset, she transforms the sketches into oil paintings of remarkable clarity and richness of color. In “By Blue Barrel,” Haney captures a view of a Monhegan cottage sited with Manana Island behind it. The luminous light of a gray day brings a glow to the violet-gray tones of the cottage and illuminates the dory in front of it. Her fine attention to detail delights us as she brings her focus to the outer stairway of the neighboring cottage, the lapis lazuli tone of the blue fish barrel, the granite rocks leading us from foreground to middle distance, and the dandelions whose spent blooms are now transformed to fluff.
Wiscasset artist and gallery owner, Ann Scanlan’s favorite subjects to paint are animals in rural farm settings. She will often follow cows as they wander across the landscape, looking for the right composition or interaction between animals that will inspire a painting. In her works she tries to capture a sense of the peace she feels while in their presence. The leisurely feel of a sunlit day is captured in her painting, “Cows at the Edge of the Marsh.” A grouping of five cows stands behind grasses lit by the warm glow of the sun while the water and distant trees in the background capture the hazy quality of the day. We feel a sense of tranquility as we take in the image. Her other paintings in the exhibition include paintings of sheep with newly born lambs.
Stan Moeller of York, turns his attention to the streets and architecture of Florence, Italy, in “Piazza della Signoria.” He is an experienced plein air painter and has the ability to capture an impression of bustling figures amidst the architecture of this famous city. His work evokes memories of travels abroad. This talent in capturing figures is also apparent in “Tidal Pool Souvenirs,” a painting of a young woman precariously balanced on the rocks, intent on reaching down into a tidal pool to grasp a treasure she’s just discovered. Years spent painting on Monhegan Island have given Moeller an innate understanding of Maine’s rocky landscape and the ability to capture it with ease. Stan Moeller has taught numerous painting workshops on Monhegan Island, Tuscany, and in the South of France. He was honored with a one-person show at the Island Inn on Monhegan Island this summer.
Robert Noreika travels to Maine throughout the summer to paint en plein air, directly from life. “Afternoon Light, Monhegan Island” is a lively painting with energetic colorful brushwork. The foreground grasses, tree, and cottage have an easy gestural quality to them. In the middle distance, Manana Island is captured in violet and golden tones, white billowy clouds are to the right, and the turquoise sky above is reflected in the water. Just a few lobster boats provide additional interest. Noreika’s paintings have a spontaneous quality that is achieved by what he describes as his “gestural, fluid approach.”
Neal Hughes is another plein air artist who travels yearly to paint on the coast of Maine. His painting, “Evening, Port Clyde,” is a beautiful depiction of a fleeting moment when the last rays of the setting sun glance across the hull of a lobster boat. In the background, the dock, land, and buildings are also bathed in the sun’s rich warm light contrasting with the scene’s cooler blue, grey, and violet shadows. The painting glows with an almost inner illumination. Hughes is a former illustrator who has been painting professionally for over 30 years. His work has been accepted into many national juried exhibitions, and he has won many awards including an Award of Excellence at the prestigious International Marine Art Exhibition at the Gallery at Mystic Seaport. He was the grand prize winner of the Utrecht 60th Anniversary Art Competition, winning the top prize out of more than 12,000 entries.
A selection of work by the gallery’s other contemporary artists will also be on display, including Peter Layne Arguimbau, Joann Ballinger, Al Barker; photo journalist and shepherdess Nina Fuller; Charles Kolnik, Heather Gibson Lusk, Crista Pisano, Polly Seip, Laura Winslow and Shirley Cean Youngs.
The Sylvan Gallery, at 49 Water Street in Wiscasset, is open Monday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m to 6 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 207-882-8290 or visit www.sylvangallery.com