Karen Rutan of Bremen is showing her work during the months of October and November at the Country Inn, Route 1.

Before moving to Maine, Rutan and her family lived near Barnegat Bay on the south Jersey shore. That environment defined her love of waterways, beaches, forests and nature’s creatures.

“Our family visited Maine and was awed by its spectacular beauty and its considerable wilderness areas, which resulted in our vacation home for eight years turning into a permanent one for the last 14 years,” she said.

Rutan’s primary media are oils and acrylics. When painting plein air, she uses the latter, applying her paints more spontaneously and enjoying the rich vivid colors bouncing off each other.

“I enjoy painting plein air seasonally, but find I must paint in my studio during the winter months, and do so gratefully,” she said.

Using oils in her studio involves a different dynamic of planning, due to the nature of the medium. Rutan said her favorite scenes depict life and landscapes in and around Maine’s forests, lakes, sea and working waterfronts.  The excitement and challenge from choosing beautiful colors to achieve the emotion she wants to share play primary roles in her paintings.

“I have had the opportunity to study under incredible artist/teachers who were willing to share their knowledge and guidance,” said Rutan, citing plein air and studio workshops in New Jersey; Round Top Center for the Arts in Damariscotta, Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland; and, most recently, classes with Katharina Keoughan in Damariscotta.

Rutan has shown all around Midcoast and southern Maine in juried, member and solo exhibitions. She is available for commissioned work.

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