Keller shares ‘Ted’s Oils’ at Carver Hill

Oct 01, 2016
Sixteen years ago, Ted Keller gave up ceramics and became a painter, focused on watercolor. Rockland’s Carver Hill Gallery is showing his lesser-known oils this fall. Pictured is 2001's "Falling Leaves."

Rockland — During the Oct. 7 First Friday Art Walk, Carver Hill Gallery, 338 Main St., will open “Ted’s Oils: Ted Keller Like You’ve Never Seen Him.” The artist will be in the gallery from 5 to 8 p.m. to answer questions and meet people.

Ted Keller is a well-known career artist in Midcoast Maine. For the first 30-plus years of his professional life, he made and sold ceramic pottery and sculpture while teaching college level art classes at Oregon State University, the University of Maine and the Rockport Photographic Workshops (now Maine Media). At age 53, he gave up ceramics and started to work as a painter.

“When I started painting about 16 years ago, I worked in oil for a couple of years. I made about 100 paintings, and then put them away. The never before seen paintings from that time recently resurfaced, and I rather liked many of them,” said Keller.

The 20 or so works at Carver Hill Gallery are from the end of that period, “when I felt that my voice had made its presence in the paintings,” he said. They are mostly plein air works of the Midcoast landscape.

After complete immersion in the exploration of oil, Keller switched to watercolor and stuck with it for 14 years. His subject matter ranged from cityscapes; to portraits of dead artists and proportionally playful interiors with people. The images are loose, directly painted, colorful, full of life and sometimes a little quirky.

After this long hiatus from oils and the subsequent shift to watercolor, during the summer of 2016, Keller rediscovered the oil paintings he had left in Maine and fell back in love with oil painting. He returned to New Mexico, and the still life flower paintings of this show emerged.

“I make paintings spontaneously, for better or worse, and get on to the next one. I approach the oil paintings in the same way as the watercolors,” Keller said.

Carver Hill will be showing 14 framed, never-before-seen landscapes from 16 years ago, and eight brand-new floral still life paintings in this exhibition. Unframed work also is available. The show will run through Nov. 25.

After 35 years in Midcoast Maine, Keller now spends most of the year in Taos, N.M.; however, he maintains a house in Union and frequently visits to keep the connection. Keller has a BFA in Ceramics and Painting from Syracuse University and an MFA in Ceramics from the University of Montana.

For more information, call the gallery at 594-7745 at

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or

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