Women on the walls: Elaine Pew and Jorge Pena, the co-curators of the “Three Women on Board” exhibit at Maine Art Gallery in Wiscasset, were kind enough to give me a sneak peek of the show last Friday afternoon, Aug. 24, before it opened officially that evening.
“Three Women on Board” – featuring the artwork of Jane Dahmen, Daisy Greene, and Consuelo Joerns – is one of two art exhibits currently running in Lincoln County featuring all female artists. The other, “Shared Expressions: Seven Women Create,” at Legacy Properties Sotheby’s International Realty in Damariscotta, was recently extended to run through the end of September. It features the work of Marlene Loznicka, Joyce Greenfield, Jane Herbert, Betty Heselton, Sally Loughridge, Marnie Sinclair, and Helen Warner.
Gallery-goers will likely be familiar with the names of the artists in the current Maine Art Gallery show. Newcastle painter Dahmen (pronounced “Daymen”) is a heavy hitter in the area’s art world. She deservedly landed a spot back in 2017 in Maine Magazine’s “50 Mainers” issue, celebrating 50 residents of Maine who are “leading by example.”
Greene, a popular painter with a distinct style often featuring outdoor scenes in pleasantly muted colors, lives in Damariscotta.
In addition to being a fabulous abstract painter, Joerns is an author and illustrator of children’s books.
The paintings in the “Three Women on Board” exhibit are, for the most part, noticeably big and bold. Dahmen’s “Two Panels” greets one near the entrance into the gallery. A large diptych of trees in fall colors (trees, as Dahmen fans know, are her specialty), the striking piece is notable both for Dahmen’s use of metallic paint and for the effective way it is displayed. The two sections of the piece are hung on a corner display area, at right angles to one another rather than on a flat surface, creating a very nice “in-your-face” effect when one views them straight on.
Joerns favors blues and grays in her paintings. Her acrylics “Rip Tide” and “Off the Shoal” are loaded with a wash of blue, looking almost like watercolor. “Coffee Pot. Gray” features a large gray coffee pot and a white cup containing a gray liquid set against a backdrop of what appears to be a gray rocky outcropping beneath a somewhat unsettled sky.
Joerns is at her finest in “Harbor Hull,” in which she brings together both gray and blue. The gray abstracted boat in the piece stands out beautifully against the blue, green, and orange suggestion of sky, water, and land. I was struck by the quiet power of this piece.
A handful of Joerns’ illustrated children’s books, such as “The Foggy Rescue,” “The Forgotten Bear,” and “The Midnight Castle,” are also on hand in this impressive exhibit.
Greene’s “Wired,” which greets the viewer immediately upon entering the gallery, is a lovely, playful painting of a typical Maine scene – a number of houses on a hill featuring trees and lots of wires strung between utility poles. I chuckled when I saw it. The sight of so many wires strung between poles in Maine towns is something that really struck me when I moved here from California a couple of years ago.
Greene’s “Snowflakes on Winter’s Crust” – in mostly whites, with muted blue, green, and yellow — is the artist at her most delicate and subdued. Conversely, her “Mischief,” of a rather crazy-looking blue cat next to a potted red flower, jumps with energy.
I have to mention that Dahmen’s style in her acrylic-on-paper pieces (no, they are not all on board) has evolved to look a little more “cartoon-y” in the very best way, as if her friend and fellow painter Eric Hopkins, of Rockland, has rubbed off on her a little. (Take a look at the islands in “Sunny Birch” and “Windy Day” and you’ll see what I mean.)
“Three Women on Board” runs through Saturday, Sept. 22. Don’t forget to go upstairs to view the entire show.
Maine Art Gallery is located at 15 Warren St., Wiscasset. Gallery hours are Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, 1-4 p.m. Maine Art Gallery is online at maineartgallerywiscasset.org.
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