Loznicka retrospective: I attended the Nov. 24 opening reception for well-known New Harbor artist Marlene Loznicka’s retrospective show on the walls of Legacy Properties Sotheby’s International Realty in Damariscotta.
As is usual with opening receptions, the featured artist was in attendance, which was great for me because I got to hear Loznicka tell the stories behind some of her artwork, which ranges from the abstract to the realistic, from watercolor and pastels to oils.
“This is a party to show how things have progressed through the years from when I first started painting,” Loznicka explained. She said she has been painting since 1972, when she took her first watercolor class.
“Before that, I painted with my father, a ‘Sunday painter.’ He said he painted for his own amazement,” she told me.
As I stood before a large, intriguing watercolor titled “Kitchen, Monhegan House,” Loznicka told me that she had to paint the piece looking through a window into the kitchen “because they wouldn’t let me paint in the kitchen.” Of another piece, a pastel titled “Critiques on the Porch,” she gave me a little backstory: “Every afternoon after we painted, we had cocktail hour on the porch.”
Loznicka’s lovely watercolor “Wiscasset in the Rain” was created as she looked out of a window at Maine Art Gallery on a rainy day.
Loznicka reflected upon the genesis of her striking oil painting “Snow Road,” borrowed from a collection (many of the pieces in this show belong to private collections): “It was down in New Harbor. The sun was shining on the road. Those red plants, those are bamboo.”
There is no way a person could know these details unless told. That is one very cool thing about attending an opening and talking with the artist.
“It’s nice to see them again,” the soft-spoken Loznicka said at one point of the pieces borrowed from collections. “It’s funny – they always look better when I haven’t seen them for a while.”
At one point, Loznicka looked out of an upstairs window onto Damariscotta’s Main Street below (the show is on both floors of Sotheby’s). After a moment, she observed, “There’s lots of paintings down there.”
Indeed, the world for Loznicka seems to exist largely to be painted. Her powerful oils of seascapes and landscapes alone deserve the viewer’s unhurried attention.
“For any artist, the opportunity to hang a show and see a body of their work come together is a satisfying thrill. It allows one to step back and get perspective, to process, and to evaluate. It helps to internalize the enormity of the effort as well as to relive the adventure along the way,” said Kathy Leeman, vice president of Legacy Properties Sotheby’s International Realty, after the reception.
“For Marlene Loznicka, this show is a retrospective of a lifetime of work. We are all invited to join her as she looks back and absorbs the significance and variety of these extraordinary pieces.
“I am particularly moved by the broad spectrum of her expertise in a range of mediums and approaches. Upstairs, we see her informal personal drawings torn from her sketchbook, among them a delightful self-portrait from a younger age … Tucked into the same small room are several striking abstract works using mixed media, watercolor, and monoprint technique.”
Leeman observed that “Monhegan Island permeates the major portion of Marlene’s work. Her love of the rocks, the land, the people, and the atmosphere resonate in her bold renditions. The color, both literally and figuratively, is at once strong and quietly moving. They elicit intense feelings of the place …
“I feel deeply touched by the opportunity to share this glimpse into the joys that paint has brought into Marlene’s life and the strength of the hand and soul of this artist.”
Loznicka’s exhibit will be up through spring.
Legacy Properties Sotheby’s International Realty is located at 170 Main St., Damariscotta. Call 563-2775 for more information.
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