“Gathering Water with Crone Mother” by Gemma Astor. Jennifer Dumont

CAMDEN — Carver Hill Gallery, 28 Bayview St., hosts a reception Thursday, July 15, from 5 to 7 p.m. for artists Gemma Astor and Scott Troxel in a two person show “Walking with the Trees.” The artists will be available to meet the public and answer questions about their work.

Astor works in acrylics and is called to render the tiny worlds and dark spaces of decay and rebirth found in the forest floor. Wild plants and trees have become familiar friends as she grows older and spends more time in nature, and her paintings are complex, tangled representations of the forest. She operates a lucrative tattoo business in Portland, but now resides primarily in the Rangeley area in a log cabin her husband built on Mooselookmeguntic Lake. She is a gardener and an amateur herbalist; the Maine mountains, trees, plants and fungi are endless inspiration for her work. She put her complete focus on painting for the last 18 months to complete the work for this show.

“In my large-scale botanical portraiture, I seek to alter the size relationship between plants and humans. I want to be small in the presence of plants. The work that is coming forth is emotional, intense and heavily rooted in devotion to Great Mother. My paintings are visual evidence of my own pursuit of coming home to her,” Astor said. “I am drawn to the gritty, messy, life-giving, death-making cycles of existence. These pieces I am compelled to create are like love songs; they are whispers of gratitude, reverence and surrender.”

Troxel is a two-dimensional wood sculptor creating compelling wall art in wood and wood composite materials. He is inspired by the design and technology of the 20th century, such as mid-century modernism, the Atomic Age, and art deco. His work is included in dozens of corporate and hospitality collections worldwide.

“Spinnaker” by Scott Troxel.

“My work relies heavily on the pillars of strong composition, balance, color, form and movement. I then incorporate themes of aging, organic versus man-made, and new versus old in the sense of how we engage with technology, design and aesthetics across generations,” Troxel said. “Specifically, I use the example of mid-century modern design. It has the rare ability to be timeless yet dated, modern but retro, organic and grounded but still futurist and otherworldly. I find this concept fascinating, and it is the foundation of what I try to achieve in my work. I want it to feel both modern and bold but perhaps from another era—when it was cutting edge, before time passed it by and changed the definition of ‘new or modern.’ An example of my work in this show that demonstrates this idea would be “Achtung III.” The piece is bold, graphic and nods to both hard-edge abstraction and post-painterly abstraction. But it is also modern and slightly distressed and grungy. The color palette was taken from a 50s book cover that has amazing design and color.”

The show runs through Aug. 15. For hours and more information, visit carverhillgallery.com or email carverhillgallerymaine@gmail.com.