“Connie Hayes: Abandon, Absorption, and Entrancement” opens at Dowling Walsh


Connie Hayes, “Paying Attention”

Dowling Walsh Gallery in Rockland is pleased to present “Connie Hayes: Abandon, Absorption, and Entrancement” with an Opening Reception Friday, July 6, from 5 – 8 p.m. Connie will also be giving an illustrated talk at The Strand Theater, “Photography as Sketchbook: Exploring Gesture”, on Tuesday, July 17, from 4 -5 p.m.

On some occasions, Connie says, “the paint speaks to me and I go off in unexpected directions. I like surprises.” Hayes says she gets into a “zone” until the work is finished or set aside for future amendments. Her subjects range from boats and water to communities viewed from ships or roads, to backyards and house interior. “I like not being pigeon-holed.”

Her brightly hued colors, which often have nothing to do with the actual look of the original building or boat, are chosen with deliberation, depending on what role she wants the painted object to play in the overall composition. Her radiant blues, blazing reds, and sunny yellows make ordinary scenes come alive and help draw viewers into the painting. Often of late she has utilized more muted colors to achieve the results she seeks.

“In all respects, Connie Hayes is a fearless, intuitive painter. Her highly colorful, strongly stroked canvases look like the result of an orderly process of sketches, underdrawing and application of paint,” says Stephen May in “A Decade of Views” a Connie Hayes exhibition catalog at Dowling Walsh Gallery in the fall of 2009.

After a long stint as a teacher and administrator at the Maine College of Art, Hayes has worked at the top of her game since moving from Portland to Rockland in 2005, about half the period covered by this exhibition. Much of her art results from her “Borrowed Views” project, in which she spends up to a week painting in and around the homes of friends all over Maine.

“Ever trying new approaches to her art, mindful of art historical precedents and armed with a spirit of adventure, Connie Hayes has many interesting paintings ahead of her. Whether borrowing views or moving about on her own, it will be interesting to see what this thoughtful, gifted painter achieves in the years ahead,” Stephen May in “A Decade of Views”

“Connie Hayes: Abandon, Absorption, and Entrancement” runs through July 29 at Dowling Walsh Gallery, 356 Main Street, Rockland. Also on show are Gold Leaf Mixed Media photographs in an exhibit “Joyce Tenneson: Trees and the Alchemy of Life.” For more information and to see images of Connie’s work, please visit dowlingwalsh.com