“Maine in August” is typical of the unexpected color and perspective of Bill Hallett’s acrylic paintings of coastal Maine currently on view at the Pemaquid Art Gallery.
Visitors to the Pemaquid Art Gallery are impressed by the variety of artist styles, and particularly their use of color. Two artists who have very different styles but use color as a basic theme in their work are Jan Kilburn of Damariscotta and Bill Hallett of Nobleboro. Both are well known in the area and are popular with visitors to the gallery.
Bill Hallett has lived in the mid-coast area for over twenty-five years, and his subject matter is primarily coastal. However, his use of color is unique, reflecting his upbringing in Mexico. Saturated, bright and bold, the colors highlight the traditional scenery of waterfront villages, boats and harbors. Somehow, the viewer is easily convinced that the color, while non-realistic, somehow perfectly enhances the subject matter.
Hallett states that “My aim is to intensify the visual experience of atmospheres peculiar to coastal Maine, where sky, land and water meet.” The unexpected color and perspective found in his acrylic paintings create an element of surprise, which is the artist’s intention. His still life paintings are similarly bright and cheerful, while the landscapes are almost like still life portraits of his subjects, particularly the houses with colorful roofs. He has a sure hand with composition as well as color.
Hallett’s work, which is in national and international collections, also can be found at Gifts at 136 in Damariscotta, The Portland Art Gallery, Yarmouth Frame and Gallery, A Little Mad Gallery in Bar Harbor, Lincolnville Fine Art Gallery, and online at www.hallettpaintings.com.
Jan Kilburn is known as a teacher as well as for her colorful watercolor paintings. Like Hallett, she seeks, through color, to transform the familiar subject matter (coastal villages and landscapes) “into something expressive and alive.” A recurring theme is a cottage garden, surrounding a typical New England cape or house with a porch. Colorful skies are frequently part of the scene, and, if the painting depicts a harbor, the colors will be reflected in the water.
She specializes in a loose watercolor technique, which complements the medium so well. She also paints in oils, with an appealing technique similar to how she handles watercolor.
Jan Kilburn’s “Monhegan Harbor” is just one of her colorful and expressive watercolor paintings on display at the Pemaquid Art Gallery.
Kilburn is primarily self-taught although she studied with other area artists in past years. Today, she is the one doing the teaching. During winter months, she teaches in Dover, New Hampshire and Saco, Maine, as well as in her own studio. She participates in the Damariscotta ArtWalk, on third Fridays from June to October. Her Bristol Road studio is open all summer, and her work can also be seen online at www.jankilburn.com.
The 2019 exhibiting members of the Pemaquid Group of Artists include: Barbara Applegate, Debra Arter, Bruce Babb, Julie Babb, Stephen Busch, Midge Coleman, Trudi Curtis, William Curtis, Dianne Dolan, Peggy Farrell, Sarah Fisher, Bill Hallett, Claire Hancock, Kay Sawyer Hannah, Kathleen Horst, Hannah Ineson, Will Kefauver, Jan Kilburn, Barbara Klein, Patti Leavitt, Sally Loughridge, Marlene Loznicka, Judy Nixon, Belva Ann Prycel, Paul Sherman, Cindy Spencer, Liliana Thelander, Barbara Vanderbilt, Bob Vaughan, Steve Viega and Bev Walker and guest artists, Kimberly Traina and John Butke.
The gallery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Columbus Day. For more information, please call 207-677-2752 or visit www.pemaquidartgallery.com.