Camden Falls Gallery brings the works of Alison Hill from Monhegan Island to the mainland for a featured show, June 29th through July 20th. Alison is one of the many artists lured to Monhegan by its timeless landscapes, rugged coastline, rustic architecture, and self-reliant Islanders.
For Nearly 200 years, Monhegan has inspired countless artists including Frederick Church, Winslow Homer, Rockwell Kent, and the Wyeths’, virtuosos of their time. These artists were drawn to and captivated by Monhegan for its remote island life and the light. Monhegan continues to challenge artists as they arrive daily seeking that special inspiration along the winding dirt roads, and amongst the weatherbeaten fish houses.
Alison, being one of the island’s forty or so year-round residents, lives, breaths, and paints Monhegan’s magic throughout its changing seasons. Formerly of Newport Rhode Island, Alison earned her Master’s degree in Art Therapy and Art Education. She devotes herself full-time to her island studio/gallery during the summer and spends winters on Monhegan painting winter landscapes, as well as, portraits and still-lifes. In 2012, PBS spotlighted her in their video special “The Women Artists of Monhegan Island.” More recently in 2016, her works could be seen featured in the movie, “The Congressman.”
Hill has captured some of the Island’s magic in her recent paintings:
With the weathered silhouette of the Island Inn and surrounding houses as the background of “Monhegan Skyline”, the scene embodies the essence of the village and its shoreline. A haphazard granite outcropping in the foreground welcomes the incoming tide. Crowning the stony slope, windblown weeds in shades of pale green and gold, radiate sunlit serenity. This sense of place is echoed by the expanse of a summer sky bisected with cirrus clouds. Fresh laundry pegged between leaning poles, although barely suggested, adds a breezy, immediate, and very human quality to the painting.
Alison’s portraits of island life expands on the human quality she aims to capture. They compose a bulk of her winter work, as seen in the two intimate portraits of Mattie Thompson and his young son. These portraits are done mostly from life, with some finishing touches from photographs in the studio. Mr. Thompson is caught up in the process of carving a decoy. While his son works on splicing a line, a useful skill, as his father is a working lobsterman. The cluttered workshop could have been seen in a fish house 100 years ago and speaks of the timeless rhythms of maritime labor.
When asked if there was a difference in approach, or method when she is painting en plein air, as opposed to winter studio work, Hill stated, “There is not the same frantic immediacy to capture the specific light and mood of a scene, before it changes.”
“Alison Hill – Painting Monhegan” will run from June 29th through July 20th, 2018 at Camden Falls Gallery. The gallery is open from 10am-6pm daily.. Camden Falls Gallery is located at 5 Public Landing in Camden, ME 04843.