The Stable Gallery, at 26 Water St. in Damariscotta, was the scene of a well-attended opening reception the evening of Friday, Aug. 12 for the gallery’s “Inspirations” show that will run through Wednesday, Sept. 7.
The walls and shelves of the attractive gallery were packed with art of all sorts – paintings, jewelry, ceramic pieces, metalwork, woodwork, textiles, and more. In addition to the nine featured artists – Bill Bellows, Hati Modr, Helene Farrar, Mary Hall, Penelope Moodey, Jackie Melissas, David Jacobson, Tom Stuart, and Arielle Cousens – a host of other talented artists have their artwork on display at the gallery.
Three-dimensional oil paintings by Damariscotta painter and jewelry-maker Rosalind “Roz” Welsh delighted viewers who made their way into the gallery room just to the right off the entryway. Welsh, whose inviting Elm Street studio is one of the stops on the third-Friday Twin Villages ArtWalk, creates interesting abstract paintings that “pop” from the canvas. She achieves a 3D effect by stitching together pieces of canvas, coming up with intriguing pieces such as “Ingrid.” “Ingrid” is Welsh’s name for a painting in white and shades of gray of what seem to be five stalks of some type of plant; each stalk opens to the viewer to reveal baby-blue centers, thanks to Welsh’s sculptural sewing technique.
In the same room hang paintings by Damariscotta artist Daisy Greene and Jennifer Litchfield, of Trevett. Greene seems to favor the use of grays and gray-greens in her charming work. “History” features an old two-story house perched on a hill, stormy clouds looming behind it. The slightly ominous feel of the painting is nicely offset by a whimsical, crooked, somewhat Dr. Seuss-like tree next to the house.
Litchfield’s “Colors of Spring” is a pretty piece that hangs near another of hers, of a fall forest scene. Reception-goer Terry McCabe had much praise for Litchfield’s work. “It’s very vibrant, alive, abundant,” he said of her colorful depiction of the woods in autumn. “It’s very energizing, too, even though it’s fall. The falling leaves give it a nice kinetic energy. It’s so subtle.”
A number of pieces by Pemaquid painter Marcia Brandwein hang in the main, central section of the gallery. “Beyond the Cove,” of a cove at sunset, is particularly nice. Its abstracted stick trees at the lower right, casting far fewer shadows than would be realistic, pull the viewer’s eye to that area of the piece in appreciation of her cleverness.
Featured artist Farrar’s encaustic – hot beeswax – paintings are intricately crafted pieces worth lingering over just to study the detail in them. “Hundreds of White Faces,” a landscape piece featuring trees and a field of what may be Queen Anne’s lace, is lovely. On the larger and more playful side, her encaustic paintings of chickens and owls are a joy to look at.
New Gloucester woodworker Louis Charlett’s beautifully crafted trays and boxes, as well as his maple burl lamp, and an elm burl and cherrywood table, are a welcome addition to the current show, as are the wrought iron forks, etc., from metalsmith Nicholas Downing. It is nice to see such practical work alongside pieces that do not have an intended practical function, such as paintings.
Ideally, visitors to the “Inspirations” show should give themselves plenty of time to unhurriedly view the abundance of art on display. Or they can take it in smaller chunks over perhaps two or three visits. Conveniently, The Stable Gallery is open every day of the week, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., through mid-October.
The gallery is also stop No. 10 on the walking map for the Damariscotta-Newcastle ArtWalk, which next occurs from 4-7 p.m., Friday, Aug. 19. For more information about the gallery, call 563-1991 or go to stablegallerymaine.com.