Lincoln County is currently graced with two art exhibits featuring art produced exclusively by prominent female artists.
One, “Three Women on Board,” featuring the paintings of Jane Dahmen, Daisy Greene, and Consuelo Joerns, opened last Friday, Aug. 24 at Maine Art Gallery in Wiscasset.
The other, “Shared Expressions: Seven Women Create,” at Legacy Properties Sotheby’s International Realty in Damariscotta, features the work of Joyce Greenfield, Jane Herbert, Betty Heselton, Sally Loughridge, Marlene Loznicka, Marnie Sinclair, and Helen Warner. It was recently extended through the end of September.
The women behind “Shared Expressions” are members of what the show’s accompanying artist statement describes as “a close group of women artists (that) gathers to invite feedback on their newest artwork and to create together.” Loznicka, of the Bristol village of New Harbor, started the group 15 years ago.
Loznicka’s oil painting “Looking to Monhegan,” of two seemingly elderly people dressed in black looking out to sea on a gray day, hangs downstairs in this two-floor show. It is a contemplative piece inviting the viewer to appreciate the beauty in a stormy day from the perspective of two individuals toward the end of their lives.
“I hope to convey to the viewer the feelings I have about (a place) through my painting,” Loznicka says in her personal artist statement. “I have been painting on Monhegan for many years. No other place does it for me.”
Nearby hangs “Watermelon Girl,” Betty Heselton’s lovely painting of her granddaughter. While the location of the painting is not specified, the summer-like light captured on the girl’s floppy-brimmed white hat and white shirt, as well as on the white of the watermelon rind she is holding, gently scream “Monhegan,” or at the very least “Maine on a late-summer day.”
On the Sotheby’s office’s fireplace mantel, below Loznicka’s oil painting “The Pasture,” sit three of Sinclair’s small bronze animal sculptures, “Tweedle,” “Hedgehog,” and “Small Frog.” In addition to her sculptures – bronze, wire, and soft fabric-based pieces – Sinclair’s large-scale paintings of flowers feature prominently in the current show. Sinclair’s work as a whole embraces aspects of the outdoors environment with obvious affection for what she sees. Her bronze animals are very detailed and her flower paintings are close-ups that draw one’s eye to the beauty of the construction and color of a flower.
Greenfield’s series of small, colorful paintings of bathroom scenes often centered around a open window are delightful. Never featuring people, they capture things that go on in a bathroom when perhaps no one is around – a bar of soap and a washcloth left on a countertop, an empty chair next to a tub. “Ducky,” which is fittingly placed on a windowsill in the current show, is a particularly moving painting, with its little rubber duck floating in the tub next to an open window, either waiting for a little kid to get in or waiting for the water to be let out.
The seeming simplicity of Greenfield’s paintings serves to jog the viewers imagination and one’s memory of being a child.
Not to be missed is the work of Warner, whose forays of late into the use of alcohol ink on shiny Yupo paper are always a success, even when it seems like some of the paintings’ outcomes happen by chance, sometimes resulting in an Asian-like feel. One such piece is “Summer Storm,” an abstract painting in mostly neutral tones and black.
Herbert tends to be meticulous in her work. Her “Rock Rest,” for one, of a very large boulder resting in water near a beach covered in painstakingly reproduced smaller rocks, is stunning.
Loughridge weighs in with a number of finely crafted pieces, including the red-hued painting “Hill Farm” and “Storm over Red Barren,” a soft-pastel-on-board piece, also prominently featuring shades of red. “Hill Farm” depicts a house on a hill, with the hill featuring prominently in the foreground and the house taking a smaller role in the painting, to excellent effect.
“Shared Expressions” offers an abundance of outstanding artwork by seven of the area’s best artists. It is a show worthy of lengthy perusal.
Legacy Properties Sotheby’s International Realty is located at 170 Main St., Damariscotta. The venue is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.