Off The Wall Magazine Q&A with Carol Bass



Maine: In the early seventies, I lived on Sea Street in Northeast Harbor, Maine. I loved going to the Post Office to greet Buzzy Kimball, then Joe Greene at the fish market, then Betty Parady, cashier, at the Pine Tree Market. We kept a small punt at the town dock and I'd putter out to the Cranberry Isles to collect driftwood. I offered painting lessons and  opened a small gallery, Beaux Arts, at the end of Main Street. We hiked every mountain in Acadia.

Inspiration: A day of Maine stillness. 

Medium: Acrylic, oils, and oil sticks. 

Artist Heroes: Joan Miro,  Arthur Dove, Milton Avery, Pierre Aleckinsky, Howard Hodgkins, Philip Guston, Joan Mitchell, and Cy Twombly. 

Studio: Presently,  I find myself without a studio as my husband and I have been building our tiny house in Pownal, Maine. My work space is on the kitchen table, the living room floor, the back porch, the shed, anywhere that has a bit of free air and breathing room.

Where is Maine: Our new home is located in a Pownal field where the stars and clouds play.

Interesting Fact: In the early 1990's, I met Howard Hodgkins on the last day of his show at the Met in New York City. Being the only ones in the inner gallery space, I had the chance to sit next to him and he signed my catalog from the show. The entrance room to his exhibit was painted a rich grass green, vibrating with a powerful spiritual energy. I realized then that painting was a form of prayer. I'd experienced the same feeling when I discovered a green shaped canvas by Johnnie Ross at Isabel Smiles' Pomegranate Inn in Portland, Maine. Standing in that room I felt the earth rising to embrace and make love to me.

Education: I studied painting and sculpture at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, with Lamar Dodd. I moved to Maine and eventually landed at the University of Maine at Farmington.  I discovered Thomas Higgins' paintings hanging in a downtown bakery as I was having a religious experience with a mace donut. Later Tom gave me a show of my large abstract work at the new University of Maine at Farmington gallery with a positive review by art writer Edgar Allen Beem. The Maine College of Art (MECA) provided many continuing education courses; photography, figure drawing, photoshop, and sculpture. Eventually, I taught my own classes.





Learn more about this artist:


Available artwork


Radio Maine podcast interview


Art Matters blog article

Off The Wall  magazine Q&A