Björn Runquist will have his annual open studio show Friday through Sunday, Aug. 13 through 15, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily at the Ocean View Grange, Route 131. There will be a reception from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday; and an artist’s talk at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Runquist is a landscape painter who, after many years work in abstract art, returned to figurative work in the 1990s. His painting typically focuses on the ordinary elements of every day life, from the familiar views on the coast of Maine to the fading light of the end of day as one travels home in one’s car to the abstract patterns of reflections in the Housatonic River where he lives in Connecticut. He works both as a plein air artist and from his drawings and photos in his studio.

“Painting for me is always an affirmation that I am truly alive. It is an expression of my pleasure in seeing and making in response to what I see and feel,” he said.

He has just released a book on his work titled “Seeing the Familiar: painting the coast of Maine” with an introduction by Suzette McAvoy, former curator at the Farnsworth Art Museum and newly appointed director of the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockport. This past year he also has joined Morrison Gallery in Kent, Conn., as well as Landing Gallery in Rockland and Gleason Fine Art in Boothbay and Portland.

Recognition for Runquist’s work continues to grow. In the fall of 2009, there was a long article on his work in Maine Food and Lifestyles magazine. This spring, he was featured in the art issue of Maine Home and Design magazine as one of Maine’s 60 “most collectable artists.” He also is one of three artists currently featured in the August edition of Maine Home and Design. He will be part of a three-person show at Gleason Fine Art, Portland, that will open Sept. 11.

Runquist has shown widely on the east coast. In addition to the mentioned galleries, his work can be seen at Horton Hayes Gallery in Charleston, S.C. Runquist’s paintings are in numerous private and corporate collections, including the Farnsworth’s. Samples of his work can be seen online at bjornrunquist.com.

For more information, call 596-7423. The Ocean View Grange is located a mile from the center of Port Clyde, on the right hand side of the road heading south.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to dernest@villagesoup.com.