Page Eastburn O'Rourke, Maine Artist
"Yeah, these are all stories. Everywhere I go I'm always looking to see a painting and I will just see a scene and it will click. And I will know that I want to bring it to life. For it's subject matter, I just look for the forms that tell the story when I'm doing a painting. I feel like I'm in the painting and I invite the viewer to come into the painting and see the way I see the world.
My name is Paige Eastburn O'Rourke and I'm an artist. My mother's a watercolorist and she was always encouraging me. I would be on the school bus and check out what my lunch was. And she would have put a pack of markers and a little pad of paper in there. She'd hang my drawings on the refrigerator like it was an art gallery when I was six or seven. I drew a horse that my mother saved and I look at it now.
That’s the place that I have gotten back to: the shape, the form, the bold flat colors, the pattern. It took awhile for me to come back to that place but it’s sort of the essence of what was always important to me. I went to college, majored in studio arts and studied illustration in New York. After college, I took my portfolio all over New York and I got a lot of feedback that my style would be really good for Children's books which was interesting because before we had children, I thought having children would affect my career as far as not having enough time to do it. It turned out, having children was the best thing, because it led me into their whole world. So it was really fun having my sons pose for me or their friends and always having my sketchbook and getting ideas and inspiration. I will just see a painting. Going to Portland a lot and walking along the different wharfs, I was just so drawn to all the colors and the shapes. I was so excited! I had my sketchbook with me because all the different colors of the fishing shacks and then all the lobstermen and everybody else who were bustling around, I thought this is a perfect opportunity to just condense it down to its essence. How do I do that?
When I transitioned to doing the paintings of Maine, I started really feeling something about a year ago. I was looking at my work and I wanted to change something, and I wasn't sure what it was. And I started thinking, I think I want to go 3D. So then I decided I really need to shake things up and scare myself and I thought it was time for power tool. I found a great scroll saw, and that's what I've been using. And when I'm sawing too, it's almost like a form of drawing.
There's so many different types of art and they're all important. My art is very much about connection and community and optimism and hope. So that's the tradition that I painted and that's what I hope people will take away. I hope that they'll see the joy in life. I've been an artist my entire life. I can't imagine doing anything else. I love it. I can't wait to get out of bed in the morning and get to my studio and start working. It's very fulfilling to me ever since I've been little, I would draw and I would create a world and go into it. It's just this wonderful world that I love to just live in. And I find Maine endlessly inspiring.
The more I paint, the more ideas I have and the more I'm inspired."
*Directed and produced by Sean Thomas and Lamia Lazrak
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