Plein airs, portraits for spring

Apr 30, 2013
Susan Van Campen’s “Lucy on the Couch, April” is an oil painting on gessoed rag.

Rockland — “Susan Van Campen: Oil on paper” will open with a public reception for the artist Friday, May 3, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Dowling Walsh Gallery, 357 Main St. The show will continue through May 31.

Van Campen’s plein air oil paintings are renderings of Maine in all its seasons. The Thomaston artist paints in oil with the confident brushwork of a watercolorist, achieving bold impressions of Maine’s landscapes. These small impressions capture big moments — rapidly changing weather, vast landscapes, dramatic shadows and heavy clouds. This exhibit celebrates Maine’s iconic landscape.

Also opening May 3 is Scott Kelley’s "The Child’s Book About Whales." Kelley is known for his intricately detailed watercolors of birds, warps, whales and children. This exhibition offers rich narrative paintings of children in the height of the 19th-century whaling industry. Kelley’s paintings read as both historic and contemporary, with foxing effects painted into the paper and the use of period clothing and artifacts juxtaposed with fresh young faces that feel utterly current. The show is named after a curious book the artist discovered at the Maine Historical Society, filled with vivid images of whaling.

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

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