Carriage House Gardens

Inventive, colorful imagery by Kate Nordstrom

Thu, 08/22/2019 - 8:45am

Story Location:
62 Pleasant Street
Wiscasset  Maine  04578
United States

Lucia Droby’s gardens are simply lovely, even under the soft gray sky on a fine August evening ... creating a dreamy atmosphere, perfect for late afternoon-early evening art and garden parties. The art facet of the Aug. 17 event, primarily a dozen or so new, colorful oil paintings by Kate Nordstrom, drew an appreciative group of fans and friends for the occasion.

As the homemade peach sangria splashed into drinking cups, conversations were ebbing and flowing like the tide. Everyone eventually made their way to Droby’s gorgeous 1850s carriage house/art gallery to experience Nordstrom’s new work.

I like adding the unexpected in my paintings ... maybe a flying rabbit, fish or house,” said the Alna-based artist. “I use animals and water a lot. Animals are symbolic of other ways of being alive and experiencing reality. They can be mysterious. Dream-like.”

She thinks in imagery. Her process involves responding to the color and texture on the canvas. She likes to build up depth through layers of color and texture using brushes and palette knives. Her oil paintings have under-painting she exposes somewhere within the finished work. And she uses both hands to paint. Her right is dominant, but her left creates different textures that change how the colors layer, she said.

Some of my favorite pieces in the show are “Journey” – one of her few literal paintings depicting a road moving through nature, houses, the black door of the unknown ... it informs me that I have been (or am) in a place of beauty, left homes, found peace, and yet the road continues ... and the steps must be taken to see, and experience what lies ahead ... and “Alewife Village” with its “sun fish” in the sky,  the subjects below all going with the flow – and those rich reds put this on my list.

Meanwhile, David Lawlor’s jazz guitar lines were floating on the magic carpet of cool night air ... while the orange helenium in the gardens, so brilliant in the low light of the night, could have been auditioning to be a subject on one of Nordstrom’s future canvases.

The colorful, inventive imagery of Kate Nordstrom makes for an imaginative morning or afternoon that will leave you smiling. For more about her and her work, visit The new paintings will be exhibited through the end of the season, which for Carriage House Gardens is mid-October.

For more about Droby  and her garden adornments – bird baths, garden balls, glass and assemblage sculptures; recycled wood benches; home décor, and her ceramic pieces – pedestals and birdbaths; glass sculptures made by assembling as-found glass objects; and rustic wooden benches, made of re-cycled wood; and other curios and distinctive household items, visit

Carriage House Gardens, fittingly located at 62 Pleasant St. in Wiscasset, is open Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.