For “Around Town,” his first solo show at Gleason Fine Art in Boothbay Harbor, Roger Dale Brown, one of the country’s foremost marine painters, chose to focus on Boothbay Harbor and the surrounding villages including Southport, East Boothbay, Pemaquid and Port Clyde. “Around Town” opens Aug. 22 and runs through Sept. 17 with a reception for the artist on Saturday, Aug. 24 from 5-7 p.m.
Brown, who comes to Maine every summer, visited Boothbay Harbor last fall and then spent the winter turning sketches into 15 luminous oils for “Around Town.” Brown’s Boothbay Harbor paintings range from his unique take on the Harbor’s iconic footbridge and Catholic church to much less immediately recognizable places.
“Out to the Ocean,” at 36” x 36” oil is a spot you pass by on your way to Brown’s Wharf restaurant and Spruce Point, but despite being as picturesque as can be, you may never have noticed it. It’s the narrow cove that separates the Sea Pier from the Co-op.
“Old Ways” may look familiar to some. Others will look at this dreamily beautiful scene and wish it were here in town. But, in fact, it is here; it’s the seawall, well-patched building, and docks at the very end of Road’s End in Boothbay Harbor.
With his practiced eye and great skill, Brown takes the ordinary and turns it into something extraordinary: “I sought out intimate spots that connected personally with me as an artist - scenes with working fishermen and folks making a living from the sea,” Brown said. “I wanted to visit places locals visit, experience their everyday lives on boats, touch the side of a hull, smell the salt and fish in the air.”
With “Loading Up,” a 24” x 24” oil, Brown captures Boothbay Harbor’s busy inner harbor. Brown takes our eye from a close-up of the lobster boat Sea Bound, which is tucked up next to a stack of traps ready to go abroad, across the harbor, and then up into the hills beyond, where immaculate, white-painted Victorians and B&Bs set against the sky. Such a perfect and beautiful spot here in Boothbay Harbor.
Gleason Fine Art is at 31 Townsend Avenue. Summer gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information about the Roger Dale Brown show, the gallery, and its inventory of contemporary and estate artists, visit www.gleasonfineart.com, call 633-6849 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.