Richard Boyd Art Gallery

May 2014 – Wildlife and Animal Themed Art

Beth Carlson ~ 'Pointer on Point' ~ Oil-on-Canvas
Beth Carlson ~ 'Upland Setters' ~ Oil on Canvas

Beth Carlson ~ ‘Upland Setters’ ~ Oil on Canvas

(Portland, ME) Richard Boyd Art Gallery opens the fourth annual ‘Creatures and Critters’ exhibit on Friday, May 2 at 10:00 am. This year the exhibit features a selection of ‘Wildlife and Animal Themed Art’ including animal portraits and works from the sporting arts genre which include wildlife, sporting, and farm scenes. On exhibit are animal portraits, farm and sporting scenes in oil by award-winning sporting and wildlife artist Beth Carlson, limited edition bronze sculptures by award-winning sculptor Charles Ellithorpe, DVM., farm scenes in acrylic by Gwen Sylvester, a farm scene by Wilson Stewart, mixed media and wire sculptures by Jean Noon, and a mixed media painting by Kathy Weinberg. The exhibit is on view free to the public from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm daily through May 31, 2014. The public is invited to meet the artists at a reception at the gallery on Saturday, May 3 from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm.

After a twenty year nursing career, Maine artist Beth Carlson decided twelve years ago to switch her focus to a career in fine arts. In this relatively short period of time her artwork has been published on two book covers, numerous national and international magazine covers, including The Chronicle of the Horse and Gray’s Sporting Journal. It’s no surprise Beth’s paintings in oil depicting hunt and farm scenes, and animal portraits are coveted by so many animal lovers across the country as she has the ability to capture an animal’s personality and physical attributes on canvas with great accuracy. Carlson’s farm and hunt scenes carry a realism that brings the viewer into the scene with her. Robert Abbett, a contemporary art master in the genre of outdoor art said of Carlson’s work, “she possesses a conviction of accuracy and authenticity which are both necessary and appreciated by collectors.” Beth’s paintings are exhibited nationally at numerous outdoor and sporting art exhibitions and fine arts galleries through out the country. Carlson just returned from her seventh solo exhibition of paintings in Charleston, SC at the Dog & Horse Fine Arts Gallery. Beth’s paintings are part of numerous public and private collections including The National Bird Dog Museum in Grand Junction, TN and three paintings are bequeathed to the American Kennel Club Museum in St. Louis, MO.

Charles Ellithorpe, DVM is an award-winning sculptor and wood carver and is also a practicing small animal veterinarian in Brunswick, ME. After graduating from Texas A & M College of Veterinary Medicine in 1991, Charles lived in Washington and Montana before moving to mid-coast Maine where he enjoys a small “farm.” Charles describes himself as a self-taught artist, but gives much of his credit to his formal training in animal anatomy and his years as a veterinary surgeon. His limited edition bronze sculptures show his dedication to realism and detail, yet he says his goal is not to “recreate nature but to show art in God’s creations. I enjoy creating art in memory of all the wilderness experiences I have had.” An avid outdoorsman, Charles was an active volunteer veterinarian with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and has been involved with hundreds of hours of hands-on elk management and relocation projects. A life member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, he has served as a committee member with the Kitsap Chapter in Washington, the Upper Yellowstone chapter in Livingston, Montana and the Maine Chapter. Dr. Ellithorpe’s art donations have raised more than $10,000 for the RMEF to help the foundation’s habitat and wildlife relocation efforts. Currently, Charles’ sculptures are in numerous private collections across the United States and Mexico.

Gwen Sylvester is a trained fine artist with a BA in studio Art from University of California, Davis. She received a solid foundation in art beginning in her teen years while attending the Magnet School and the Museum School art programs in Fort Worth, Texas. Although her style is intuitive and expressive, Gwen was trained in classical life drawing, printmaking and design at UC Davis. While at Davis, Sylvester’s work was influenced by the abstract perspectives and vigorous surfaces found in works by Diebenkorn and Thiebaud, and by the whimsical, folk art renditions of wildlife and people by Texas painter Davis Bates. Gwen’s method of painting constantly evolves as she seeks to express mode and story in her picture plane in fresh new ways. Her current series of work depicting grazing cattle at a local farm in Rockport, ME “takes me back to my upbringing in Texas.” I chose Galloway cattle as a subject for this series as they have an appealing sentiment and they made for a striking contrast in color, texture, values and mood.

Jean Noon a farmer, educator and artist for more than thirty years grew up in Concord, MA. From an early age Jean knew she wanted to be a farmer and artist. Her dream was realized after graduating from Goddard College. Jean and her husband Bill Noon, through hard work, accumulated some animals and managed to purchase a small farm in Southern Maine. After raising two boys and teaching art for ten years, Jean became more involved in sculpture and built a studio where she currently works. Noon’s deep connection to her farm and the animals that call it home serve as an inspiration for her sculptures. Most of Jean’s early work on the farm was constructing wire fences, a skill which would later be used to create her wire horse sculptures. The shifts of the season and the farm workload merge well with her time in the studio and her enjoyment of the natural wonders of the farm. Noon’s current works include recycled materials and shift between figurative, non-objective, minimalist and complex forms.

Wilson Stewart is a self-taught artist living in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, where he has worked as a Licensed land Surveyor for more than 30 years. “My maternal grandmother was quite the sketch artist when she was younger and I guess that rubbed off on me.” When I was much younger, she used to take me on trips and give me her old used sketch books and field paints. With much patience, and only a little guidance she allowed me to draw and piant what I saw, as I saw it. Fast forward to the nineties…I taught myself how to paint with watercolors. Life, as it usually does, got a hold of my free time while raising two wonderful sons. No regrets, I count that time among the best moments of my life and banked all those experiences in journals, for the future. Fast forward to the 21st century…it’s just my wife and I now and I am painting and sketching again. My current work in watercolor depicting grazing cattle was inspired by a farm scene near my home in New Hampshire.

Kathy Weinberg is primarily a painter, but also works in wood, stone and clay. She graduated from the Washington University School of Fine Arts in 1984 and apprenticed with Bob Blackburn at the Printmaking Workshop in Manhattan, NY from 1985-86. Kathy lived and worked in Manhattan, NY from 1984-2003, then she and her husband moved to Morrill, Maine. Kathy says when she began making her painting, Bird, Cherries and Cats, “I was thinking about the influence of the Asian arts on Modernism. The branch of the tree floats in a fragment of a landscape, with fruit and a bird. This was the entire composition for a while, but something was missing. I thought of Goya’s painting of a young boy holding a string attached to a bird, with cats sitting behind him. The bird holds a message in its beak: it is the name of the artist, written on a scrap of paper. The cats and the bird create a tension that cut through the innocence of the portrait. So I painted the silhouette of a cat in the foliage. To balance the composition, a second cat was required with the cat’s eyes focused on the bird. The intent is clear, but nothing has happened, yet. The painting depicts the moment before possible action and uncertain outcome; Eden before the fall.”

Richard Boyd Art Gallery is located on Peaks Island, ME at the corner of Island Avenue and Epps Street, in the first building on the right, on the first floor. For additional information about the exhibit or reception please call the gallery at 207-712-1097(local), email info@richardboydartgallery.com, or visit www.richardboydartgallery.com .

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