Haynes Galleries presents “Homage to the Art of the Sea”
July 6 to September 9, 2017
Reception: Thursday, 5 pm to 7:30 pm, July 6, 2017


THOMASTON— For its 2017 season, Haynes Galleries in Thomaston will present “Homage to the Art of the Sea.” This exhibition of seascapes will showcase the magic of marine vistas, including views of Maine, by four of the country’s finest marine artists. Through a modern lens, Joseph McGurl, William R. Davis, Donald Demers and Marc Dalessio capture in paint the appeal of the water, sky, and light along the coast, an appeal that often cannot be expressed in words. “Homage to the Art of the Sea” opens July 6 in Thomaston and continues through the summer until September 9. An opening reception to celebrate the exhibition will take place the evening of July 6 from 5-7:30pm. Several artists are expected to attend the opening to share their stories.

The great ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau said that “the sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” This is certainly the case for many artists going back centuries. Today’s maritime artists continue the fine tradition of painting the sea and coastlines, capturing its grandeur, beauty, danger, and serenity. “Homage to the Art of the Sea” will showcase four of the country’s finest marine artists but each has its own aesthetic and vision.

Joseph McGurl calls himself a contemporary luminist. For him that means his paintings explore the same ideas as the Luminists of the 19th century, like a poetic & philosophical contemplation on nature, but his paintings look a bit different. McGurl’s images of the sea can vary in brushstroke and texture, in aerial perspective, and in tone. Even individual pieces feature this variation, like “He Came Dancing Across the Water...Cortez Cortez” where a single ship in the middle ground illuminated by the sun and guided by clear skies contrasts with ominous dark clouds casting shadows on the rest of the fleet on the horizon.

A native of Cape Cod, William R. Davis has been surrounded by water and sailing his whole life. He’s acutely aware of the realities of being near the sea. Primarily self-taught, Davis opts for a more serene take on marine views. There is a stillness & dreaminess to his seascapes where water gently ripples off the bows of sailing ships and the sun, low on the horizon, glows like a comforting warm orb. To create the soothing effect Davis paints with thin semi-translucent paint. He carefully builds up layers, replicating the transparency of water and the way light bounces off the surface. He can even do it with moonlight like in the nocturnal scene “Moonrise.”

Donald Demers love of maritime subjects began during the summers of his youth spent in and around Boothbay Harbor. The sea has stayed with him all these years. His artistic career began as an illustrator but soon expanded to traditional fine art. His background as an award-winning illustrator is clear in his seascapes— an attention to detail pervades his scenes— but they also exhibit visual poetry as if they are the carefully remembered memories from a trip to the coast long ago.

Marc Dalessio has painted the seven seas, the waters of the Venice canals, and the tropical beaches of the South Pacific. This master of plein air painting has also turned his eye towards Maine. In his trademark quick and expressive style Dalessio works up a scene to capture its very essence, often from interesting and unexpected points of view.

Escape to the waters of the “Homage to the Art of the Sea” at Haynes Galleries this summer. With views of open oceans, tranquil harbors, and wavy shores, this exhibition will present the variety of feelings and environments that are experienced at the waters edge.