On Friday, August 7, from 5 to 7 p.m., Gleason Fine Art in Boothbay Harbor hosts a reception for three new shows: “Henry Isaacs: Working Color,” “Carole Hanson: Stone and Sea,” and “Abbey Ryan: New Still Lifes.” All three shows run through Tuesday, September 1.
Cranberry Island artist Henry Issacs paints with energy, passion, and self-assurance. His style–broken brushwork with a palette of blues, mauves, greens, and yellows–marks him as one of the most recognizable artists working in Maine, or anywhere, today. In person, Isaacs is as engaging an individual as you will ever meet.
With multiple degrees, including one from the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, Isaacs’ background is impressive. Equally impressive is Isaacs’ success as an artist, with commissions that have taken him places near and far, including Africa and Italy. Arts reviewer Dan Kany uses high praise to describe Isaacs: “It’s easy to recognize a painting by artist Henry Isaacs. His style is clear, bold, and interesting. Isaacs is an extraordinary colorist. Consider Isaacs’ ‘May, Brooklyn Botanic Garden.’ It looks something like what you might get if Matisse tried to copy a Van Gogh garden scene using a pastel fauvist palette.
For Isaacs’ show “Working Color, “the artist given the gallery over a dozen paintings, some of them monumental in size, an Isaacs specialty.
Bremen sculptor Carole Hanson is renowned for the beauty of both her forms and her materials, which range from silky marbles to rough Maine field stones. For her show “Stone and Sea,” Hanson has returned to one of her favorite themes, the sea. With “La Mer,” she chose a gorgeous, milky hunk of marble to carve a classically beautiful head of a woman whose gracefully coiled chignon resembles a seashell.
For Hanson, “Beauty is my aim and my end. When selecting a stone, I want to see something from within that radiates the presence of grace. The turn of a natural form, the pleasing shape of a shell, the eloquent play of texture and design, the invitation to touch–this is happiness to me.”
Philadelphia artist Abbey Ryan makes some of the most exquisite still life paintings you will ever see. Her background includes undergraduate and graduate degrees in both fine art and medicine, a combination that would have been understood and appreciated by such great Renaissance artists as Da Vinci and Michelangelo.
Ryan applies the discipline of science to her art, finding that painting daily provides her with the calm and focus necessary to make the small, gemlike still life and trompe l’oeil paintings she favors. But to say that Ryan accesses her scientific background to create her paintings is to not to mean that her creations are sterile or boring. Look closely at a Ryan pear, for example, and you will see the world in a single piece of fruit: round, sensuous, gently blushed perfection. Or look at her peanut butter and jelly sandwich and understand the pure joy of biting into that nutty, creamy, salty, sweetness.
Ryan’s remarkable skill as an artist has not gone unnoticed. Her paintings have been featured in many books and magazines, notably Oprah Winfrey’s magazine “O.” A very active user of social media, Ryan’s blog has been viewed by over a million visitors from more than 100 countries.
Gleason Fine Art is located at 31 Townsend Avenue. For more information, call Dennis or Marty Gleason at (207) 633-6849. Help the Gallery celebrate its 30th year in Boothbay Harbor!