Bold strokes characterize the work of Nancy O’Brien MacKinnon and Sarah Wilde, painters in acrylics exhibiting all season at the Pemaquid Art Gallery. In a style that is loose, lively, and juicy, New Harbor artist MacKinnon paints the colourful worlds of gardens and neighborhoods, using bold strokes and vibrant colors to express her love of life. She abhors overworked paintings and will often start a painting over from the beginning in order to recapture the energy and freshness of the subject. This year’s abundance of spring and early summer flowers has found its way into her new series. Her board at the Gallery looks like a big flower garden.
MacKinnon is equally adept at painting landscapes, still life, and people, all with enough paint put down and enough detail left out to catch the eye and stir the imagination. As a trained chef, MacKinnon is also drawn to kitchens and diners for subject matter, and as a competitive swimmer, to pools and ponds and the young swimmers she has coached. Her Australian Shepherd and other people’s pets often find their way into her artwork. Last fall, she had a solo exhibition at the Miles Memorial Hospital Gallery, and with three other artists hung at the Damariscotta River Grill. She has studied with Katharina Keoughan for many years, and has served as the recruiter of pumpkin-carving artists for Damariscotta’s annual Pumpkin Fest. MacKinnon is Pemaquid’s Gallery Manager.
For Walpole artist Sarah Wilde, inspiration comes from within – her reaction to bold shapes in nature, and from without – her love of dance and expressive movement. Wilde began dancing at 18 months and painting seriously at age 60. In between, she enjoyed a career as an art teacher in elementary and middle schools, and as a dance teacher in the private sector.
After studying painting with Katharina Keoughan, Wilde was able to clarify her vision and develop her ability to flatten shapes in nature and simplify scenery and figures in motion, resulting in an eye-catching, expressionistic style reminiscent of Marsden Hartley. By nature an honest, direct person, she strives to create art that expresses her personality. As a sidestep to her landscape paintings, Wilde delighted viewers this year with a series called Dilemma, featuring little humans pushing rocks, stretching themselves across chasms, and hanging off coffee cups. Wilde’s paintings are a new addition at the River Gallery in Damariscotta. She also exhibits at the Maine Farmland Trust Gallery in Belfast, and at the Boothbay Region Art Foundation.
Other artists exhibiting at the Pemaquid Art Gallery this season are Barbara Applegate, Debra Arter, Bruce Babb, Jane Bowman, Stephen Busch, Sarah Carter, Trudi Curtis, Peggy Farrell, Viola Glendinning, Claire Hancock, Kay Hannah, Jean Harris, Jane Herbert, Hannah Ineson, Jan Kilburn, Barbara Klein, Patti Leavitt, Sally Loughridge, Marlene Loznicka, Judy Nixon, Kathi Nordone, Denise Rankin, Paul Sherman, Pande Stevens, Ernest Thompson Jr., and Robert Vaughan. The Pemaquid Art Gallery, a Maine non-profit organization, is situated within Pemaquid Lighthouse Park at Pemaquid Point. The gallery is open every day from 10 until 5, for more information visit pemaquidartgallery.