For “Roger Dale Brown: Around Town,” his first solo show at Gleason Fine Art in Boothbay Harbor, Roger Dale Brown, one of the U.S.’s foremost marine painters, chose to focus on Boothbay Harbor and the surrounding villages, including Southport, East Boothbay, Pemaquid, and Port Clyde.
“Around Town” opens Thursday, Aug. 22 and runs through Sept. 17, with a reception for Brown on Saturday, Aug. 24 from 5-7 p.m.
Brown, who comes to Maine every summer, visited Boothbay Harbor last fall and then spent the winter turning his sketches into 15 luminous oils for “Around Town.” Brown’s Boothbay Harbor paintings range from his unique take on the harbor’s iconic footbridge and Catholic church to much less immediately recognizable places.
“Out to the Ocean,” a 36-by-36-inch oil, is a spot one passes by on one’s way to Brown’s Restaurant and Spruce Point, but despite being as picturesque as can be, one might never have noticed it. It is the narrow cove that separates the Sea Pier from the co-op.
“Old Ways” may look familiar to some. Others will look at this dreamily beautiful scene and wish that it were here in town. But, in fact, it is here; it’s the seawall, the well-patched building, and docks at the very end of Road’s End in Boothbay Harbor.
With his practiced eye and great skill, Brown takes the ordinary and turns it into something extraordinary: “I sought out intimate spots that connected personally with me as an artist — scenes with working fishermen and folks who make a living from the sea. I wanted to visit places locals visit, experience their everyday lives on boats, touch the side of a hull, smell the salt and fish in the air.”
With “Loading Up,” a 24-by-24-inch oil, Brown captures Boothbay Harbor’s busy inner harbor. Brown takes one’s eye from a closeup of the lobster boat Sea Bound, which is tucked up next to a stack of traps ready to go aboard, across the harbor, and then up into the hills beyond, where immaculate, white-painted Victorians and B&Bs are set against the sky. Such a perfect and beautiful spot — right here, in Boothbay Harbor.
Gleason Fine Art is located at 31 Townsend Ave. in Boothbay Harbor. The gallery invites friends, fellow artists, and the public to a reception for Brown on Saturday, Aug. 24 from 5-7 p.m. Summer hours are Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call the gallery at 633-6849 or email the gallery at email@example.com for more information. Visit the gallery’s website, gleasonfineart.com, to see Brown’s entire show and the gallery’s inventory of contemporary and estate artists.