Oceans Series – Washington DC
Opening reception: May 18th, 6-8pm Exhibit: May 18th – June 26th
Living on an island off the coast of Maine has exposed me to huge variations in the change of seasons and light and color of the natural world. When I first moved to Maine 12 years ago from the hectic high-speed world of the New York area I slowed down to the more natural ebb and flow of seasonal life on an island. I became enamored of the rock formations, the evidence of geological interruptions millions of years ago. There is a formation on the island in one era of volcanic upheaval that is subsequently split, tens of thousands of years later by a different eruption, an unusual anomaly. Right there on the shoreline, a mile from my house, you can see the intersection of eons of time and energy.
My first paintings in this new landscape were large heavily impasto dramatic depictions of the rocks themselves. Some paintings included the touch of the human hand; islanders and summer visitors had sculpted rocks into cairns of varying shapes and sizes, some clearly representational forms. I believe the human need to leave a mark of one’s passing, to connect with the landscape is innate in many of us. I painted these and many other views along the coast.
Recently I have moved from the fascination with rock forms to the ever-changing formation of the ocean, which is right outside my door. I travel daily to my studio, ferrying across the Casco Bay in high winds and buffeting waves and in flat calm water.
The “Oceans Series” draws attention to the fragility and variety of the water that covers 2/3rd of our plane and to the water in all its incredible variety and strength. Painting on large canvases with large brushes and oil sticks with sweeping gestural marks is my greatest pleasure.
My work has evolved from strictly representational imagery to looser more abstracted compositions, as I have inhaled and absorbed the natural world around me and reimagined it in paint and other media. The journey of my work has replicated my personal journey from the calm, conservative 1960 English countryside, through the explosion of 70’s Beatles London and my immigration to the States, to a larger more varied playing field here in America. I was able to expand my work enormously. Here in Portland I joined Peregrine Press, a group of talented artist printmakers, who have collaborated on two portfolios. These portfolios are now in the collections of the New York Public Library, The Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, The Portland Museum of Art, Colby College Art Museum, Bowdoin College Museum of Art, the University of New England Museum of Art and the Southern Graphics Council International.
Jeanne O’Toole Hayman