From a Woman's Perspective an Annual Exhibit of Visual Art
- July 09, 2021
For the past six years Richard Boyd Art Gallery has installed an annual exhibition of paintings and sculpture created by women artists to commemorate Women’s Equality Day. This exhibit demonstrates our ongoing support of women’s equality and our hope for equality for all mankind. The exhibit is installed during the month of September to commemorate Women’s Equality Day as designated by a Joint Resolution of Congress on August 26, 1971.
Creating visual art gives women another voice, a way to express their true feelings about daily life and the world around them. It’s a means of relaxation and a way to cope with issues of the day.
Drawn from the gallery’s inventory of original works, this multi-generational exhibition includes a selection of over 25 paintings and sculptures created by nine accomplished women Amy Bickford, Linda Caron, Patricia Chandler, Carrin Culotta, Laura Freeman, Jane Herbert, Karen Chutsky Naud, Jean Noon, Jen Pagnini, Felicity Sidwell, and Susan Tan. Although each artist has her own style, technique, and approach to creating art they are joined by a passion - expressing themselves through visual art.
The exhibition is open free of charge between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. daily from September 1st through September 29th, 2021.
About the Artists
Amy Bickford is a multi-talented artist and 1983 graduate from the Maine College of Art (MECA) who creates paintings in a traditional style portraying the timeless beauty and essence of Maine. Whether depicting a cityscape, landscape or scene from a pier; her paintings are a response to the experience and to everyday life.
When asked about the inspiration behind her work Amy replied, “Since graduating, I’ve held a variety of jobs while continuing to create works of art for individual clients, corporations, and small businesses. The abundant and often random beauty throughout the state of Maine has been a constant source of inspiration for my work. The unspoiled beauty of Maine’s wilderness and coastal settings has a calming effect on me.
Vincent van Gough wrote in a letter to his brother Theo, “I study nature, so as not to do foolish things, to remain reasonable.” I can relate to that sentiment, painting is therapeutic for me. I can forget the ugliness and atrocities and focus on the beauty and wonder this world has to offer.”
Amy’s ability to capture the timeless beauty and essence of the subjects she paints is coveted by collectors. Her art works are exhibited locally and held in numerous private collections.
Linda Caron a native of Portland, Maine is a retired American Airlines flight attendant and a self-taught artist who has created visual art on and off again since childhood.
When asked to speak about the inspiration behind her work Linda said, “I’ve always been interested in art. Growing up I enjoyed any and all projects that embraced my creativity. Regrettably, I didn’t follow the advice of my art teachers and attend art school. Instead, I taught myself how to paint while working a variety of interesting jobs, including bartending part time at Dimillo’s restaurant.
I continued to paint, on and off again, until the age of forty when I started a new career as a flight attendant for American Airlines. My work allowed me to visit interesting places around the globe. On many of those trips I was able to photograph some amazing sites. Today those images, taken on my travels throughout Europe, serve as the inspiration for my paintings.
I really didn’t embrace art again until four years ago when I picked up a paint brush and tried something new, to me, watercolor and gouache.
Now retired and living in Falmouth, ME I plan to paint with greater regularity and establish a consistent studio practice, filling my portfolio with paintings in watercolor.”
Linda’s paintings have been included in many art fairs throughout the years and featured in several local publications.
Patricia Chandler, a noted artist and educator, was born and raised in Maine. Pat’s career as a commercial and fine artist, spans six decades. She earned a BFA in Illustration from Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island and MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York.
After several years of working in the commercial field creating illustrations Pat moved to Minnesota, where she renewed her interest in printmaking and painting at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, moving back to Maine in 1971, later becoming an Adjunct Professor of Painting and Drawing at the University of Maine from 2005 to 2014.
When asked about her creative process and style Pat said, “My creative process and production inevitably refer to my geographic roots. Maine’s more remote regions inspired much of my artwork to the same degree that its landscapes informed my early life. Ever since I can remember, the trees and woods, mountains, lakes and fields of Maine have been where my mental, physical, and emotional balance could be restored.
The influence of those sensual memories emerges strongly when I work in the studio. My work includesrealistic paintings that seek to record places and certain senses of space and color in sites more visited in the summer by people from other places. Those are more meditative in practice–exercises. The expressionistic, semi-abstract images touch the feeling associated with those wilderness regions of forest and ocean. The variety of Maine’s natural environment is sufficient for many lifetimes of an artist.”
Pat recently moved to South Portland, Maine where she continues to create paintings in a range of mediums and styles. Her work is widely collected and held in numerous private and corporate collections across the US.
Carrin Culotta is a Biomedical Engineer in the medical imaging field by training, who has created visual art on and off again for many years.When asked what inspires you to create visual art? Carrin replied, “Having grown up in New England I acquired an appreciation for its unique beauty and seasons. My adventurous spirit and love for untamed natural settings inspires me to paint on location in and around northern New England. I use art to channel my creative focus on natural subjects and to evoke the emotion I feel while experiencing it. Art allows me to immerse myself in the beauty of nature and the mystery of a moment in time.”
Laura Freeman began her life in the Territory of Hawaii and was raised in Seattle and Berkeley. She earned an MFA in sculpture at The American University in Washington, DC, and continued her studies around the globe. She has shared her love of art by teaching and exhibiting throughout the US, for over 35 years.
Freeman finds inspiration in the natural world, and within that, she primarily explores the human form. Its movement, its existence in time, its presence, its clearly exposed forms. She prefers that her works provoke the viewer to consider questions rather than be given answers; Why these forms? What is this one telling me? What is my response to this pose? This empty space? She gives away no clues by leaving her works untitled.
Just as she leaves the viewer to wonder, she approaches her works with wonder. She says, “I rarely bring an idea of a figure to the work, but seek in the raw material the spirit of the figure. While working I balance on the precarious edge of leaving untouched what I see before me, and my desire to change it, to ‘correct’ the position, musculature, or surface.”
A member of The Miniature Painters, Sculptors & Gravers Society of Washington, D.C. (MPSGS) Laura’s sculptures are exhibited nationally and held in numerous private collections.
Jane Herbert is a year-round resident of Damariscotta, Maine. A gifted fine and commercial artist her traditional style paintings capture the picturesque landscapes and charm of her seaside village community. Jane’s current series of paintings are a visual expression of life along the coast and reveal her observations of the beautiful but rugged coast of Maine.
Jane’s paintings capture the ever changing colors, life and mood of coastal Maine. Her unstructured approach to art and life has served her well. “Instead of earning a formal education I gathered my paint brushes and toured Europe in a micro-bus, painting and learning as I went.
Through the years, I’ve been inspired by the beauty I find in nature. There is wild beauty all around in Maine. My paintings are my response to the beauty of a particular place. I often drive past these scenes, catching nothing more than a flash of landscape in a break of roadside trees.
Upon reflection, I wonder if this is my work- to witness changing light, rising mist, flowers blooming, a pair of mallards feeding, - not a slower pace, but a timeless one. There is something sacred in the untamed life that endures amid the structures of progress. These paintings exhibit my respect for the ways of nature and personal affinity for tranquility and beauty, where I see it.”
Jane’s paintings are widely collected and held in numerous private and corporate collections across the United States.
Karen Chutsky Naudstudied Fine Art at Pennsylvania State University and the famed Arts Student League of New York City. While in New York City she “fell in love with designing fabrics” and studied textile design at the Fashion Institute of Technology winning several awards including the Gold Medal Award – Achievement in Textile Design and the Milliken Award to name a few.
In her twenties she focused on creating textile designs, graphics, and showing her watercolor paintings in galleries. It was during this time that she opened her own Home Furnishing Fabric company with a line of silkscreened fabrics made in a factory in Ramsey, New Jersey and sold at her retail outlet store in Paramus, New Jersey called Kallena Designs. “It was so exciting to see yards and yards of my colorful designs running down twenty five foot print tables.”
Karen later moved to Los Angeles, CA to train for animation, film storyboarding, and set design with Disney Animators. This led to a career in animation, film storyboarding and period set design. While in CA, she authored and illustrated children books, wrote reviews for online book review sites, and a movie review column for a local newspaper.
Karen lived on the west coast until 2018 when she returned to Boothbay, Maine and opened Sandpiper Art Gallery. Throughout her commercial career Karen continued to create and exhibit her watercolor paintings.
“Now chalk pastel is my favorite medium because it is quick and energetic, shows off an artist’s strong drawing hand and the lovely palette of colors are all laid out before you to pick and choose, to sketch- smear and rub with your fingers rather than a brush. I’m always amazed at how just a few strokes can create so much life on a piece of paper. The best perk of being an artist - having the mindset of being creative with life as well as art. It all feels like a big adventure, a movie in the making.”
Jean Noon has created art for more than 3 decades. After graduating from Goddard College in Vermont in 1971, with a Bachelor of Art in Art Education and Agriculture, Jean attended the University of Southern Maine where she received a Bachelor of Science in Art Education in 1990.
Jean’s sculptures included recycled materials and shift between figurative, non-objective, minimalist and complex forms. Jean says, “In the spirit of Alexander Calder, I draw with wire. I enjoy taking wire lines for walks through space. I celebrate line, sculpture, shadow, humor, transparency and movement. I am intrigued by negative space within and around structure and the evolution of form through the process of assemblage.
As a farmer, I build and maintain the wire fences to contain my sheep, llama, and horses. My sculpture is an extension of that fencing and the wire becomes the structure to contain and communicate ideas.”
Jen Pagnini is a trained commercial artist with a BFA in painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL. Her career as a commercial artist spans twenty years and includes creating graphic designs and illustrations for clients in San Francisco, CA and Chicago, IL.
Pagnini’s inspiration to paint comes from her desire to connect to the untamed spirit of animals and nature. “There’s an immediate intimacy that’s born out of trying to catch an image as its fleeting. The vibrancy I find inherent to capturing a subject en plein air, drives me to work and study on location. My paintings are encapsulations – records of the temporary, elusive environments that wilderness can create externally and internally.
Be it serene or turbulent – tide-flooded coastlines, to the slow drifting of a cloud, to the quiet presence of a horse – I’m observing and recording the transitory elements of light, color and shape. The visual landscape is constantly changing and creating changes within me. I’m as much a participant as I am a witness. Studio work evokes those meetings. I discover what impressions, making that contact with a location or animal, has left behind on my memory.”
Felicity Sidwell’s artistic journey has been one of constant exploration, study, evolution and growth. Originally working in the 1960’s, in medical microbiology and hematology in the UK, she started painting when she moved from England to Connecticut with her husband in 1971.
Felicity lived and painted on the coast of Maine for many years before moving to Gettysburg, PA. A long standing member of the Plein Air Painters of Maine Felicity says, “Painting out on location, en plein air, is for me the best way to capture the fleeting colors produced by light, specific to that time and place, and my emotional response.
The study of changing light, with weather and seasons, and its effects on the mood of a landscape has become a lifelong passion. Painting for me is a two way process, a non-verbal communication between me and the future viewers of my work. I try to express with paint on canvas not only the beauty of the landscape before my eyes, but the atmosphere, the feeling of being there, to share with the viewer a sense of place.”
Felicity's paintings are exhibited nationally and held in numerous private collections. She is a member of the Plein Air Painters of Maine; The Foundry Art Market, Chambersburg, PA; Hanover Area Arts Guild Plein Air Painters, PA; CALC, Carlisle PA; Susquehanna Valley Plein Air Painters; Adams County Arts Council; American Impressionist Society; and Oil Painters of America.
Susan Tan was raised in Cleveland, Ohio and studied painting and graphics at Miami University Oxford, Ohio before transferring to Ohio State University where she earned a degree in Art Education in 1975, earning a Master’s Degree in Art Education in 2004. A retired art teacher, she recently relocated from Columbus, Ohio to Portland, Maine.
When asked to discuss her career as an artist and her creative process Susan replied, “Like many artists, I’ve been drawing and painting since I was quite young. My love affair with watercolors began as a flirtatious creative past-time. Eventually, I took classes, which became my emotional and psychological hiatus from the stress of teaching.
Like teaching, life presents lots of opportunities to learn from, process and interpret, and then share. Boiling it all down, painting watercolors is no longer a flirtatious past-time but a genuine love affair.”
A juried member of the Central Ohio Watercolor Society Susan’s paintings are exhibited at art galleries in Ohio, and Maine.
About The Gallery
Richard Boyd Art Gallery is a year round owner operated fine arts gallery located on Peaks Island in Portland, ME. The gallery represents a diverse group of established and emerging artists with a connection to the state of Maine, creating original works of visual art in a broad range of styles from traditional realism to contemporary abstracts.
During the months of April through October the gallery is open between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. daily. From November through the end of March the gallery is open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Additional days and times can be scheduled by appointment.
For more information about the exhibit contact the gallery by phone at 207-712-1097, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the gallery’s website www.richardboydartgallery.com . To view images from the current monthly exhibition click on https://richardboydpottery.com/current-exhibit/ .
For updates about our monthly exhibits like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/RichardBoydArtGallery and follow us on Instagram http://www.instagram.com/richardboydartgallery9327 .