Akers is one of America's foremost contemporary realist, painting in watercolor, dry brush and egg tempera. Akers is considered to be a master of light and shadow in his exciting compositions. His works are praised both for their beauty and for their richness of detail, and that level of detail is all the more remarkable considering the medium he works in. The artist specializes in landscapes painted in egg tempera, an egg-based paint that must be painstakingly applied, with each work built up of hundreds of layers. No other medium can match the beautiful luminosity of the traditional Renaissance technique of egg tempera. By the mid-1980s, Akers' egg tempera works were fetching commissions of up to $50,000. Akers is also pretty prolific: A coffee-table book "Kentucky: Land of Beauty," published in 1999, gathers together more than 100 of his paintings of Kentucky rural scenes and landmarks, from covered bridges to Churchill Downs. Akers second book "Memories of Maine" was published in 2003. Recently, one of Akers’ images appeared on 60 MINUTES II, and his work was featured on "Kentucky Life" -- KET's Emmy Award-winning weekly TV series celebrating the fascinating people and places of the Commonwealth. His paintings have been accepted by some of the most highly acclaimed shows in the country including the Speed Art Museum, the Ogunquit Museum, the National Academy of Design, and the Artists of America Exhibition. He has received the Kentucky Watercolor Society’s top award. Akers is a member of both the American Watercolor Society and the Kentucky Watercolor Society. He also received a Greenshields Foundation grant from Montreal, Canada to further his egg tempera work. With his wife, Lynn, and their daughter, Ashley, he lives in Union, Kentucky, where he spends winter months painting in his restored 19th century log cabin studio. Summers are spent in Maine, where he paints the rugged coast. In 1995, they purchased the charming Georges River Road School, also known as The Green Schoolhouse, located two miles down the beautiful St. George peninsula.
Through his superlative art, John (Jack) Gable has created an unequaled visual chronicle celebrating the color and drama of the world of sport. No other living American painter has devoted so much energy to the meticulous recording of the subjects he has chosen to paint. When the University of North Carolina Tar Heels proudly brought back the NCAA basketball title to Chapel Hill for the third time, Gable was selected to commemorate this important milestone in the history of the university. Gable's realistic style of painting captured the spirit of the Tar Heels' fight to become the 2993 College Basketball Champions. When Stars & Stripes brought the America's Cup home once again to the United States, his was the Commemorative painting of the victory. Prior to this historic event, Mr. Gable capture the Australian win of the coveted cup with a commemorative series for Alan Bond. In concert with Harvard University, the artist created a unique suite of four rowing prints titled The Oarsmen. This series of signed prints became an important vehicle to help raise funds for the vaunted Harvard University, Newell Boat House on Boston's historic Charles River. Other commemorative paintings have included those for Northeastern University, Oxford University, Rutgers University and Power Ten NYC, as well as a broad range of diverse sporting subjects.John Gable's original and realistic style clearly demonstrates his command of light, color, and his sense of sporting drama. Through his unparalleled talent and technique, he has helped nurture a strong collecting interest for his sporting paintings. Athletes, sports figures and serious art collectors have eagerly awaited each new Gable image. Mr. Gable's original paintings can be found in leading art galleries and corporate collections worldwide. Mr. Gable paints from his studio in a two hundred year-old coastal Maine farmhouse overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
As a Maine native, Holly has always found inspiration in the ever–changing beauty and moods of her surroundings. Painting is a natural expression of her creative vision, and she strives to show others the meaningful, healing tranquility that the Maine landscape offers through colors, shapes, and compositional relationships. She frequently takes the opportunity to experience her locale by traveling to remote island destinations or exploring scenic areas around her home. Plein air painting is a meditative process for Holly, setting up her easel she begins by scanning possible subject matter often looking for interesting compositions and colors. These plein air painting interpretations of these experiences offer glimpses of Maine’s magnificence, heritage and romance, giving Holly’s then studio paintings a truly authentic quality.
Holly has a Bachelor of Science in Art Education from the University of Southern Maine. Her artwork is in numerous public and private collections, including the First National Bancorp and The Samoset Resort. She has exhibited in numerous shows and galleries through the years. Currently her artwork is available at The Portland Art Gallery, Lincolnville Fine Arts Gallery, River Arts Gallery and The Bonnie Farmer Assemblage Art Gallery or by contacting her directly to visit her studio at her home in Rockport, Maine.
Dietlind Vander Schaaf holds an MFA from the University of San Francisco and an MA from the University of Southern Maine. Her work has been described as the transformation of “disparate objects into elegantly simple compositions of pattern and grace” (Artscope). She has exhibited nationally and was featured in the April 2016 Maine Home + Design magazine’s profile “One to Watch” on standout artists in Maine.
Vander Schaaf is a Core Instructor for R&F Handmade Paints and the former president of New England Wax. She is the recipient of grants from the Maine Arts Commission and International Encaustic Artists, a Tending Space Artist Fellowship from the Hemera Foundation, and the Juror’s Award in association with the 10th International Encaustic Conference.
I am primarily a landscape painter. The interior and exterior landscapes that surround me are my favorite jumping off points. I push and pull color around these forms trying to find combinations that feel right. I am not restrained by local color or the rigid rules of perspective. The application of paint, the resonance of colors against each other, the muscularity of shapes and the temperature of light and dark are my guides.
I split my time between Dallas, Texas, and Cousins Island, Maine. I paint smaller paintings, often outside, in Maine and turn those into larger paintings from my studio in Dallas.
Elizabeth Hoy’s interest lies in the intersection of the natural and built environments—tropical plants thriving in a greenhouse in February, the artificial color of a plastic chair against the darkness of the woods, ocean flooded pit mines, or three quarters sky dominating one quarter city. Drawing and painting plein air are her means of exploration and engagement with a place. By returning to the same locations, she captures subtle shifts in the environment over time—how the natural world enmeshes itself into the built environment and how human experience is inscribed upon a place.
Hoy splits her time between New York and New England. She has received fellowships from Maine Farmland Trust’s Fiore Art Center, the Alfred and Trafford Klots International Program for Artists, Le CouveNt, AIM program at the Bronx Museum, and the Royal College of Art in London. Her work has been exhibited internationally and in the northeast; including the A.I.R. Gallery and The Painting Center in NY, the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, and the Center for Maine Contemporary Art. Hoy studied at Wesleyan University, the University of Pennsylvania, and with painter Jon Imber and is the Director of the Beard and Weil Galleries at Wheaton College in Massachusetts.
Sonya Sklaroff finds beauty in the everyday: a lone figure walking down a New York street on a rainy night; a barber concentrating on his work; a country house on a lake. Her paintings focus on the poetry of daily life that is often overlooked. A late afternoon on a street of brick buildings and parked cars reveals the interplay between somber shadows and vibrant light, the contrast of warm and cool colors, or the juxtaposition of intricate architectural detail and vast expanse of sky. Using thick brushstrokes, vivid color, and dynamic compositions, Sklaroff captures the beauty of the mundane. She received her BFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and participated in RISD’s prestigious European Honors Program. She earned her MFA in painting from Parsons School of Design. She has completed numerous artist-in-residency programs including Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Ragdale Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, Santa Fe Art Institute, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s World Views Project, where Sklaroff was awarded a 9-month studio space on the 91st floor of Tower One of the World Trade Center.
Jill divides her time among residences in Stonington, Maine, Somerville, Massachusetts, and New York City. The work she creates in Maine is inspired by direct observation of the landscape and includes seascapes, architecture, and gardens. The artist, working on location, is especially interested in the effects of natural light, color, and pattern. Her use of vivid color in the Maine paintings results in surfaces that are richly and intensely painted with images that seem to vibrate. The artist considers the quality of light to be an important element in her work. "The light in Maine is crystal clear, with a sharp-edged clarity and a gem-like quality. I often work in the morning or late afternoon when these qualities are especially strong." As a result, her paintings capture specifics of time and light. Because she's been a regular resident of the Deer Isle area since 1965, much of her work can be seen as a document of places and time in the area.
“I was lucky enough to spend my early days on North Haven,” says Eric, “where my worldview consisted of roaming the woods, fields, shorelines and exploring the edges where land, water, and sky meet. I was drawn to shapes, spaces, patterns, and the rhythms of nature. I was and still am fascinated by the incredible variety of life forms and forces on this planet.”
Eric is a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design and has taught at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and Pilchuck Glass School. He has exhibited at the Farnsworth Art Museum, Portland Museum of Art, Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Waterfall Arts Center, University of Maine Museum of Art, and a number of galleries nationally.
"The natural landscape of sky, earth, and water is a cathedral for life and spirit. Wilderness is both a physical place and a place of mind and spirit. Often my work can be considered as an abstract impression of the landscape. Certainly I think of my paintings as an interpretative response to the landscape."
My recent paintings are inspired by my wanderings around the midcoast area of Maine. I feel deeply connected to this part of the world. Walking in the woods, on the conservation lands near my home, and along the Damariscotta River I see paintings everywhere. The large-scale size of the paintings help to create an environment for the viewer to enter. My ideas begin in the natural world, but once a work is underway the paint itself on the flat surface takes on a life of its own. The color, line, and surface texture evolve as I work.
Russ has explored many parts of Maine, and he celebrates Maine’s landscape in his paintings. He always paints from life, working outdoors in all seasons and often backpacking into remote locations. He especially enjoys painting in protected lands, such as the Kennebec Highlands, the Morse Mountain Conservation Area, Camden Hills State Park, and the islands of Penobscot Bay.
Jack loves these buildings for their imperfections and idiosyncrasies; it is both impossible and unimportant to know exactly when or where these places exist because they are creations of the artist. We love our homes because of the intimate details we come to know about them: the way light and shadows settle in our memories.
Randall’s perspective on light and color was influenced by frequent trips to the Smithsonian, the Hirshhorn, and outdoor coastal adventures as she grew up in Washington D.C. and northern California. Eventually, Randall found Maine where she renovated an 1800s farmhouse. It was in that historic setting that Deborah fell in love with the Maine coast, and has made it her passionate practice ever since.
Portland Art Gallery staff were asked to curate and install a temporary art exhibit for a fundraiser benefiting the University of Southern Maine Promise Fund. This very unique video takes you through the home to view the various artworks by Maine artists. In total, we installed 57 pieces of Maine art representing nearly all of our over 50 Maine artists. Take a walk through the house and see the works on the walls.