“Tranquil Mist,” by Cindy Spencer.

A visit to the Pemaquid Gallery of Artists allows wonderful comparisons of how the member artists express their love of Maine, whether through landscapes, still life, figures or the animal life around them.

Two artists who paint in different mediums, Kay Sawyer Hannah (mainly in pastel) and Cindy Spencer (mainly in watercolor), are deeply committed to their quest to reveal and interpret the drama, the peace, the subtleties, the stillness, the intricate color harmonies and rich lighting of their chosen landscape views.

Hannah’s world is peaceful, still, luminous with light and color, and she uses the rich tones of the pastel medium to create delicate nuances of light enveloping her quiet scenes. Spencer’s use of watercolor is dynamic, playful and loose, with energetic wet-into-wet work and an enjoyment of the unexpected interactions that can result from skillful use of overlapping edges, drips and washes, encouraging the viewer’s imagination.

Both artists had little formal training.

“Ebb Tide,” by Kay Sawyer Hannah.

Hannah grew up locally and returned to the area with her husband after 30 years working in Vermont mainly as a speech-language therapist in the public schools. Starting after college she began taking night classes and art workshops, and was influenced by many local artists, painting in acrylic, watercolor and pastel, eventually turning primarily to soft pastel. She is endlessly inspired by her native environment, its harbors, coves, rocky islands and lobstering scenes and the effects the changing seasons have on the light and atmosphere of these scenes. She has been a member of the Pemaquid Gallery since 2002 and has shown her work in many venues throughout the area for over two decades.

Spencer joined the gallery in 2017. Prior to moving to Wiscasset and coastal Maine, she had lived in the Mt. Washington Valley area. She is a lifelong painter, originally in oils, but she has painted in watercolor for 30 years after being inspired by artist Nan White from North Conway, New Hampshire. As with Hannah, color and light inspire her but the spontaneity of her watercolor style, her loosely rendered images and flair create a dancing energy in her scenes very different from the contained peace and quiet stillness of Hannah’s. Spencer has shown her art in solo and group exhibitions throughout the Mt. Washington Valley and in Bridgeton. Her work can also be seen on her website at cindyspencerart.com.

The 2022 exhibiting members of the Pemaquid Group of Artists include Barbara Applegate, Debra Arter, Bruce Babb, Julie Babb, Stephen Busch, John Butke, Dianne Dolan, Gwendolyn Evans, Peggy Farrell, Sarah Fisher, Claire Hancock, Kay Sawyer Hannah, Kathleen Horst, Hannah Ineson, Will Kefauver, Jan Kilburn, Barbara Klein, Patti Leavitt, Sally Loughridge, Judy Nixon, Alexandra Perry-Weiss, Belva Ann Prycel, Paul Sherman, Marnie Sinclair, Gary Smith, Cindy Spencer, Liliana Thelander, Kim Skillen Traina, Barbara Vanderbilt, Bob Vaughan, Candace Vlcek and Sherrie York.

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