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JoAnne Houlsen
Bangor, Maine

"The Maine landscape has a certain primordial quality that has intrigued me since I first came here nearly thirty years ago, and it continues to do so to this day. Whether walking through a wooded area or standing along its untouched coastal regions, I am keenly aware of its unrestrained elemental forces. The quality of light, the vivid blues and greens, the immensity of its natural space speak to me and I in turn attempt to communicate the impressions of my experience. I become captivated by the atmospheric condition of the day, or other times, I want to paint what the human condition has affected on the landscape.

"Most of my painting is done in oils because I love the visceral quality of the medium: squeezing paint from the tube, thinning it to create thin glazes and then applying it layer upon layer to the canvas. Recently I have been experimenting with egg tempera and find that both mediums lend themselves to the rich application of color, which is important to my painting.

"I paint in the studio most often, and find this has worked best for me. Oil paints by their nature are cumbersome and not very mobile; so usually I will travel around areas of interest with my digital camera, photographing scenes that impress me in some way, whether by shadows being cast at a certain time of day, or by the vibrancy of the colors in the landscape. Sometimes it's just a feeling I get, when looking at a scene, that compels me to paint it.
As a painter I am interested in the texture that can be created by various methods of applying paint to a surface, and how color and light can appear to change the surface being worked on. There is a point of departure in a painting where both painter and viewer can move from the surface of the painting and enter into the work. Here, nuances of light and color will sometimes evoke a thought or mood that allows one's imagination to explore the painting. Each viewer leaves the work with a different impression of the world the artist created.

"My interest and education in art began at an early age. At about nine years old, I set up my first "studio" in our basement and made pastel drawings from pictures of Audubon birds and portraits from pictures of models in magazines. I attended the Boston Museum of Fine Art program for children on Saturday Mornings and spent many hours wandering through the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. As a young adult I took adult education classes in painting, pottery and sculpture and had an opportunity to take evening classes offered at the Museum School. A short time after moving to Maine, I enrolled at the University of Maine and earned a B.S. in Education and a B.A. in Studio Art. I now work from my studio in Bangor, ME."

Please click here for artist's website: www.joannehoulsen-oilpaintings.com

Recent work:

"One of Those Days"

"Rusty's Dory"

"White House, Blue Hill"
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