Saturday, August 13, 2016

Summer Artist Spotlight: Gay Freeborn

Maine-based artist Gay Freeborn is showing new work at Harvest Gold Gallery! Harvest Gold Gallery has been showing Gay’s wonderful work for six seasons now, and customers never cease to be excited by her unique portrayals of man’s best friend. 
Originally from Palo Alto, California, Gay made her way to Maine almost forty years ago. Inspired by her artistically inclined family to pursue a creatively driven career, Gay attended Moore College of Art, in Philadelphia to study sculpture and design, and entered the work force as a landscape and interior designer.
"The Red Heart"
Gay’s experience as a technical designer shows itself in the carefully considered color schemes of each of her paintings. Her ability to create a subtle and cohesive marriage between soft and vibrant hues in a single painting amplifies the emotions of her subject to the viewer. Her love and respect for all animals and their sentient, emotional characteristics overwhelms her subject matter. “You have to have your heart in whatever you are doing,” Gay said, “be it painting or a desk job, you have to feel it. That’s what brings the subject to life and keeps it from being just a copy of a photograph."

 Animals of all sorts are sculpted in paint: pigs, ducks, chickens, horses, and especially dogs. Gay is deeply interested in capturing the relationship between the owner and the animal, in accurately representing the physical and emotional likeness of the creatures, and in bringing forth the unique personality of each creature. She begins her creative process by taking hundreds of photos of her subjects.  From these photos she might find a color that works better in one than another, or a body part that works with another photograph, like adding a tail when one wasn’t wagging when the shutter clicked. The paintings become a compilation of ideas which tell the story of the animal. She can pull from them the moment in time when the light was perfect and when she and the animal fell into a rhythm together.

             Loving to paint with large and visible brushstrokes coupled with vivid colors, Gay aims to capture movement and energy within her paintings. She stretches her own heavy canvas, and then preps it with gesso. When working on pieces in her movement-based series, she begins building motion and texture even in this first layer. Gay piles on the gesso, and uses tools that she finds around the house to scrape in patterns. Paint reacts different when applied directly to canvas and when used atop dried gesso, and Gay uses this difference to its fullest extent. “Negative space – the space outside of your main subject – is just as important to the feel of a piece as the main subject is. If I can’t fill that negative space up with color or large strokes of my brush, then I put my faith in the canvas itself to lend texture to the painting.”

"Just For Grins"
Gay starts building color right from the beginning as well. Her base sketch of her subject is done in whatever color paint is splodged on her palette at the time. Thinned out with a bit of liquin, Gay quickly draws out her outlines. This first step is very organic, and is frequently wiped away and redone over and over to see how the shapes she desires to paint will form over the textured gesso below.
“I then convey the motion, shape, and love for the animal with loosely applied sweeping brushstrokes or a pallet knife,” Gay told us. “Using glazing mediums, wax, chalk dust, and thick layers of oil paint I sculpt the subjects on the canvas: I bring them to life in an unconventional form.” It is difficult to do, but Gay tries to not think about her painting too much. If the mind gets too involved, too critical, then an artist – and in turn, the feel of her painting – can get lost in the details which the overactive brain thinks the painting needs. To counter this, Gay purposefully tries to work only with large flat brushes. She thickens and thins her paints in turn to build texture but also transparency of color.  

"Love Story - 8"
While Gay does switch between different styles of painting to attempt to avoid falling into a creative rut, Gay says that painting loosely with large brushstrokes and bright colors is her favorite style. “To paint is a constant process of learning. The paint often tells me what to put on the canvas and I try not to disturb an unexpected brushstroke once it is applied. I keep in mind the movement and shape of the animals more than the realistic image the photograph shows me. This helps to stay loose and less realistic: which is what I strive for.”
While Gay has been focusing mostly on painting recently, her deep love of animals goes far beyond just the canvas and paint. She grew up with many dogs around the house, and worked in a veterinarian’s office for some years. She also is a breeder of Labrador Retrievers, and a frequent participant in dog shows all around New England. Her work breeding dogs actually was what spurred her to return to painting. Being surrounded by such constant motion and energy gave Gay back the spark needed to pick up her paint brush again. With a fair knowledge of anatomy under her belt, Gay can focus on capturing those details which really bring her paintings to life: the sparkle in a pet’s eye or a dog’s body language that her audience can immediately recognize if they too are pet owners.

    Recently, Gay’s art has been featured in the book “The Contemporary Art of Nature: Mammals,” by accomplished author E. Ashley Rooney. The book highlights the human tendency to attempt to capture the essence of all animals in art and includes the work of nearly one hundred artists worldwide. We are so excited to have a local and Harvest Gold favorite be featured on such a scale! Gay was also chosen for a group show at the Guardino Gallery in Portland, Oregon. She will have a solo show up at the Damariscotta Grill in Damariscotta, ME, from October to December.

Great new paintings by Gay Freeborn have also made their way onto our walls here at Harvest Gold for the summer! We are located at 1082 Main Street, just past the Center Lovell Market. For more information on Gay, or the gallery in general, give us a call at (207) 925-6502 or check us out online at

"Love Seat"

Monday, July 25, 2016

Kristen Dill is Now Showing at Harvest Gold Gallery!

The vibrant oils of Kristen Dill are now being shown at Harvest Gold Gallery! With wide splashes of color that are certain to bring energy and joy into any room, Dill’s paintings are a pleasant treat for the eyes!

"Deerwood Gardens"
            After receiving a BA from the University of Southern Maine in 1978, Dill lived year-round in Maine for five years. Since then she has travelled around the US: living and working in any place that catches her eye. From Dallas to Memphis to Raleigh, Dill has set up her easel on sandy beaches and woody mountain tops alike to “capture the ephemeral quality of nature and make it a shared visual experience.” In the summer, Dill calls Moose Pond in Bridgton home, and an old screen porch serves as her creative studio.

From left to right: "Blueberry Summer," "Calla Lilies and Gerbera Daisies"
            Kristen’s accolades are many, and she has accomplished much with her colorful work. Her paintings have been used in the Disney feature film Teen Spirit, and a watercolor of hers has been used in an episode of the popular daytime drama, One Tree Hill. Her work has also been featured in the American Abstract Watercolor Magazine, and the lengthy article praised Dill for her ability to paint the fine impressionistic line between realistic and abstract.
            Dill’s style is bright, colorful, and painterly. She begins her work by focusing mainly on organic shapes, and then uses layer upon layer of transparent oil paint to build up the vibrancy and intensity of color that is so characteristic of her work. After struggling for years with chronic illness, Dill says that she finds the creative process of sketching and painting regenerative. “I paint in response either to a visual stimuli, such as a unique color or shape, or to an emotion. The process of painting develops and crystallizes my own insights.” Painting both beautifully – but not stuffily – arranged still lifes and light and airy landscapes, Dill uses her brush to its fullest extent.

From left to right: "Leaning Pine," and "Purple Iris"

            Come stop by Harvest Gold Gallery and see some of Kristen Dill’s work for yourself! We are located at 1082 Main Street, in Center Lovell: just past the Center Lovell Market. For more information on Dill or the gallery in general, give us a call at (207) 925-6502 or check out our website at

Harvest Gold is Now Showing the Artwork of Local Artist, Sandy Bell!

            Harvest Gold Gallery is excited to announce that we, along with our partner Arabica Coffee in Portland, are currently showing the oil work of Lovell resident, Sandra Bell! Colorful and fascinating, Bell’s painting style reflects the exuberance and sense of spontaneity with which she approaches life.

From left to right: "Fire on the Lake," "December Shadow," and "Hidden"
            Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Bell first unfolded her canvas-seated artist’s stool at the age of five while attending classes provided by the Cleveland Museum of Art. Throughout her years of college and formal art school, Bell became interested in 20th century Americana. She involved herself in architectural and antique preservation, home restoration, and so much more. Travelling all around America provided Bell the opportunity to form a unique world view, and lead to her desire to paint whatever off-the-beaten-track subject matter caught her fancy.
            As a resident of Center Lovell, Bell likes to keep her subject matter local but relatively unknown. Her painting process begins with a trek across New England, scoping out interesting scenes via hiking, kayaking, or driving. Next comes photography, with Bell covering many different angles and views, sometimes returning to the same spot at different times throughout the day to see how the lighting changes. Bell then returns to her studio in Lovell and to start the sketching and painting process!

From left to right: "Heads Will Roll," "The Rout," and "Heads Will Roll"
            Working mainly in oils, Bell is well known for her painterly style and masterful use of color. She captures the purples and blues in snow, the pinks and oranges that can reflect on a pond from the autumn trees, and so much more! Her subject matter covers a mix of interesting still-lifes (cars and toys and animals, oh my!) and local landscapes.
            Sandy Bell’s work can be seen at Harvest Gold in Center Lovell, or at Arabica Coffee at 2 Free Street, Portland, ME. Come stop by Harvest Gold Gallery and check out some of Bell’s work for yourself! 

"Pleasant Mountain in Autumn"

Friday, June 24, 2016

Harvest Gold Summer Opening!

Harvest Gold Gallery, on route 5 in Center Lovell, Maine, has received Yankee Magazine’s Editors Choice award for “Best Gallery” for 2016!  The Editors Choice Awards are published in Yankee’s Best of New England edition. The publication is a tour guide to some of the best places to see while visiting New England.

Harvest Gold Gallery is busy getting ready for it’s nineteenth year here in Lovell, Maine.  The gallery exhibits the work of over 150 American artists, along with the Harvest Gold Jewelry collection created by owners Lynda Rasco and Bill Rudd. Lynda and Bill specialize in different styles of goldsmithing, and the union of these styles makes the jewelry shown in Harvest Gold elegant and contemporary. Their unique jewelry has been sold in galleries and jewelry stores across the globe for over 30 years.

“It is such an honor to be recognized by Yankee Magazine and we couldn’t be happier to celebrate this award along with the 150 other American artists and craftsmen who help make up Harvest Gold Gallery,” says gallery owner and jewelry designer Lynda Rudd.

The 2016 exhibit features new artists and new works.  The collection features internationally awarded artists, nationally awarded sculptors, museum quality glasswork, and many more fine art gifts. Come see some of Gwen Nagel’s pastels of local landscapes, Gene Whitney’s wonderfully carved fish, or Jean Swan Gordan’s brilliantly bright floral watercolor bouquets!

"The Life of a Flower" by Jean Swan Gordon 
Outside of the gallery are beautifully arranged sculpture gardens, which compliment a breathtaking view of Kezar Lake and the White Mountains. The ever-blooming gardens are a sight in themselves to stop by for. Indoors, the art and craftwork fill seven rooms to provide for you a tranquil adventure to undertake one fine summer day. 

Harvest Gold is open daily and is located just past the Center Lovell Market at 1082 Main Street. For further information about the Gallery, please contact us at (207) 925-6502 or check out our website at


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