Haynes Galleries presents “Maine Impressions”
September 6 to September 28, 2013
Reception: Friday, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. September 6, 2013

THOMASTON — Haynes Galleries is pleased to present “Maine Impressions,” a selection of new work by acclaimed American Impressionist Roger Dale Brown. This end-of-summer celebration, featuring plein air paintings completed this summer during Brown’s stay in Maine and a few studio pieces inspired by his 2012 visit, will run September 6 thru 28 at 91 Main Street in Thomaston. Brown will attend the opening reception, which will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. September 6. The event is free and open to the public.

Brown and his fiancée, the painter Beverly Ford Evans, spent last summer on the Maine coast. They were so captivated that they extended their travels in 2013, starting on the Midcoast and venturing inland to explore the hills and waterfalls, learning more about the people and culture of the Pine Tree State along the way. Though he calls Tennessee home, Brown finds himself captivated with the history and charm of Maine.

“There’s a feeling about places that have been lived in for a long time,” Brown says. “Certain places feel like they have an old soul. They’re artistic and more painterly.”

“Painterly” is key to Brown, whose oils have been juried into some of the top plein air and landscape shows in the country. He believes, as did his mentors John Carlson and Edgar Payne, that painting “en plein air” is an essential practice for an artist to create great art. And he’s only half-joking when he says that most of the work in the Haynes Galleries show will still be wet.

“Nothing replaces painting from life,” he says. “You see more. You see the subtleties. The landscape is dynamic. It’s moving, alive. In photos, that aspect of the landscape is gone, but by painting from life, it helps transfer that onto the canvas.”

As a result, Brown’s work is truly visceral. Looking at his paintings is like stepping into the landscape. You can feel the salt spray in the air, see the sunlight as it dances on the water, inhale the perfume of pine and rugosa roses, hear the cry of gulls in the distance. It’s as though you’re there. In the moment. With Brown.

Gallery owner Gary R. Haynes' friendship with Brown began many years ago."I have known Roger for a long time. I have painted with him, I have done his workshops and I have watched him grow and mature as an artist,” Haynes says. “Roger is the epitome of the mantra 'paint one thousand paintings and you will become a better artist.' His commitment and drive have led him to achieve greatness."

In his work, you can see hints of the masters before him, especially Monet and Renoir, but he has created a signature style that is at once realistic and abstract, quick and measured, raw and polished. This delicate balance is a perfect fit for Haynes Galleries, which specializes in the best of American Realism from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.

“I think everything is abstract if you really get down to the basics of what you’re seeing. If you throw a little Realism on top, it pulls it all together,” he says. “Everything is patterns or shapes or colors. If you treat it like that, it helps you stay in control of the painting, especially outdoors. I try to transcend from the basics of painting to capture more of an emotional feeling.”

That emotion is central to Brown’s practice. He doesn’t paint for the market. He paints for himself. He chooses places that speak to him. And in doing so, he creates work that inspires many.

“I paint to evoke the emotion of the scene and the moment, and that hopefully touches someone in a positive way,” Brown says. “There is so much negativity in the world. As artists, we have the opportunity to have a positive impact on our viewers.”

This exhibit is a chance to revel in that positivity, breathe in the beauty of nature and gain a fresh perspective on the ever-changing Maine landscape. It is nothing short of inspiring.