Alna artist Kate Nordstrom and Carriage House Gardens in Wiscasset are hosting “An Evening of Art and Garden” on Saturday, Aug. 18, 5:30-8 p.m., to highlight the artist’s newest fantastical images on canvas. The public is invited to enjoy the gardens, sip something bubbly, listen to live music, and view Nordstrom’s original art and other treasures during the evening.
Nordstrom, a native of Connecticut, but living in Alna for 15 years, established her reputation as an artist with a unique vision with her series of iconic buildings located throughout the region. The architectural portraits, from the historical Alna Meeting House to a humble local farm stand, are elegantly sparse but familiar – as if each building was revealing its story through the medium of Nordstrom’s canvas.
Her newest paintings, however, are a dramatic departure. The artist said she’s now allowing her creative vision to flow wherever it chooses, and the result is abstracted landscapes, boldly colorful images, and fantastical interpretations of the built and natural environment around her.
“My newest paintings might fall into the category of magical realism,” said Nordstrom. “The paintings play with dreamlike imagery and pay little attention to the usual structure of things.” That is how, she explains, in her large oil painting ‘Rabbit in a Dory,’ a charming rabbit in a red dory keeps company with a vigilant crow as they sail over housetops through a darkening sky while other creatures see them on their way. “Those of us who are transfixed by nature are occasionally blessed by unusual sitings. My paintings speak of the mystery and science of our complex world.”
Another series of Nordstrom’s large canvases are her interpretation of gardens in various seasons. The paintings are bountifully floriferous and are unmistakably the artist’s own vision of garden essence. In ‘Starry Garden’, the blooms are mostly colored circles with several garden inhabitants perched among them. The playful garden transitions into an inky sky which then bursts into a luminous ether full of floating stars. Not a classic garden scene and yet so evocative of the earth’s energetic beauty. www.knpaintings.com
Carriage House Gardens in Wiscasset Village is the summertime home of Nordstrom’s work. Shop owner Lucia Droby finds a compatibility between the paintings, her gardens, and her shop’s offerings. “After making gardens for many years, the gardens here are the synthesis of all that experience – favorite colors and shapes with lots of experimenting with form,” Droby said. “Garden art, vessels, old and new furnishings, all seem to get along, and Kate’s paintings, with her unique imagery, fit in so well.” www.carriagehousegardens.com
All are welcome to ‘An Evening of Art and Garden’ at Carriage House Gardens, 62 Pleasant St., Wiscasset Village - rain or shine. Nordstrom will be donating 10 percent of paintings sold during the evening to Midcoast Conservancy, a regional land trust committed to protecting and promoting healthy lands, waters, and communities through conservation, outdoor adventure, and learning. www.midcoastconservancy.org