“Breathing salt air is where I flourish, and for over 30 years, Southport Island has been home.” - Artist Fran Scannell
Scannell and Boothbay-based artist Wendy Bellows are the featured artists of September and October at Southport Memorial Library.
Scannell is retired from a career with educational and non-profit organizations involving public relations, communications and development. Well-traveled, outdoorsy, and curious, she enjoys tennis, and exploring remote areas of the state. Her connection to Maine began while participating in an Outward Bound course for educators - four weeks of challenges in the pulling-boats and camping on remote islands.
“I paint with the Midcoast Chapter of the Plein Air Painters of Maine (PAPME) and help with communications and finding destinations for our May-October outings. Workshop experiences with Philip Frey through River Arts, and most recently with Michael Vermette in the Allagash Region have been especially memorable. I use mostly oils, but often pick up watercolors when traveling. Subjects are mostly landscapes, rocky seascapes, boats, and well-loved people & pets. I painted "Sheltering" during the winter of 2020, contemplating shells and shelter and experimented with a palette knife on this whimsical work.
“Drawing or painting requires a visual and emotional connection, and really seeing something takes keen concentration.,” said Scannell. “My artwork evolves slowly, leaving room for changes or a new spark of inspiration. Art is essential to my well-being, whether it is by creating, or by appreciating, or by encouraging others. Playing with paint has given me a new path with potential for growth, learning and self-actualization.
Fran Scannell is a member and exhibitor at River Arts, Damariscotta; and the Boothbay Region Art Foundation. Gallery contributor to various member and juried shows as well as local libraries and fundraising events such as the Lincoln Arts Festival, Tamworth NH Art Festival, Harbor Fest, Burnt Island Lighthouse Paint-out, and the Boothbay Region Land Trust Auctions.
After retiring from more than 40 years of working in basic marine research at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, Wendy Bellows turned her scientific curiosity to the world of art; specifically desiring to express beauty and light with the medium of oil paint.
“My inspiration comes from the American Impressionist Henry Hensche (1901-1992) of the Cape School of Art, Provincetown, MA, and his students,” Bellows said. ‘I have had the good fortune to learn from some excellent artists: Hilda Neily, Rob Longley, Rick Dickinson, and Will Kefauver, for starters, and hope to continue learning whenever/wherever possible. Painting with the Midcoast Plein Air group is a favorite part of each year!”
Bellows lives on a small farm in Boothbay with husband Alan, a dog, a cat, two horses, and tw chickens. And, she practices fiber arts (weaving, spinning, dying), in her spare time.
Wendy Bellows’ work has been exhibited at the Boothbay Region Art Foundation (BRAF), Kefauver Gallery, The First Federal Savings & Loan in Boothbay Harbor, and BRAF’s juried 2019 Art In ME show.
My goal as an artist is to show you the beauty that I see; to capture the color and light that stops me in my tracks. Every painting is an experiment in that effort, since that fabulous light is frequently fleeting... Photos are great, but they often flatten or completely miss the features that have caught my eye. The method of seeing light and color taught by Henry Hensche of the Cape School of Art fascinates me and offers insights into successfully interpreting what I see, but it is truly a life-long study and a rewarding journey.
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