In some ways, art was easier before the Internet, especially in Maine. You had your local supply store, you group of artists friends, and a handful of galleries in town with coveted show spots. That’s how I know Maine art when I was practicing more.
I started drawing and illustration as a child and earned by B.F.A. from the Maine College of Art. It was a wonderful time, sitting on the rocky shores of Portland and sketching everything that came across my field of vision. We’d all sit out, sketching for hours, then have small group critiques in somebody’s home for hours, eventually transitioning into a party with dinner and local ales. I miss that.
Now, I can’t go a few hours without checking out Instagram or Pinterest to see the latest trends. It’s not terrible – I like feeling connected to a community. The only thing is that this “community” is huge. Sometimes, it’s worldwide. That’s tricky for me, as someone who cut her artistic teeth in a very particular environment and with a very specific set of art movements.
Maine Art Gallery is designed to spotlight everything artsy in Maine, but it’s also a reclamation of what it means to be a Maine artist. Sure, a person living in Houston can now sketch pine trees as lifelike as I can because of the internet, and that’s okay. But Maine is a special place full of special people, and artists here should work to incorporate their small-town communities and local flora and fauna as much as possible. That could mean painting the sun setting over the ocean. That could mean crushing lobster shells to make pigment. Whatever it means to you, I hope this site helps scoot you a little more in that direction.