Mullions in June by artist Connie Hayes, Image: Dowling Walsh.com
Connie Hayes, an artist from Rockland, Maine, is todays featured artist. You can recognize her paintings from a distance. They are bright, bold and powerful. Magnificent in composition, Connie’s paintings draw you in. Oh, how I wish we knew about PAINTING MAINE, (the book of Connie’s) years ago… We most certainly would have bought it! Those of you who possess it have a treasure. This painting, Mullions in June, is one example of her bold style. I absolutely adore this painting! You must check out her WEBSITE, also check out her work from the Dowling Walsh Gallery in Maine!
“In all respects, Connie Hayes is a fearless, intuitive painter. Her highly colorful, strongly stroked canvases look like the result of an orderly process of sketches, underdrawing and application of paint. In reality, although she sometimes uses such aids before she approaches the easel in her capacious studio, most of the time she starts work on a blank canvas, wielding a 3 to 4-inch wide brush to get going. Then, as she says, she “dives in,” composing the rest of the picture, much of which she may have thought out in her head, balancing images and colors to achieve a satisfactorily aesthetic final result. On some occasions, she says, “the paint speaks to me and I go off in unexpected directions. I like surprises.” This is an extremely intense exercise; Hayes says she gets into a “zone” until the work is finished or set aside for future amendments.
Her subjects range from boats and water to communities viewed from ships or roads, to backyards, house interiors and floral still lifes. “I like not being pigeon-holed, Hayes says.
Her brightly hued colors, which often have nothing to do with the actual look of the original building or boat, are chosen with deliberation, depending on what role she wants the painted object to play in the overall composition. Her radiant blues, blazing reds, and sunny yellows make ordinary scenes come alive and help draw viewers into the painting. Often of late she has utilized more muted colors to achieve the results she seeks.
After a long stint as a teacher and administrator at the Maine College of Art, Hayes has worked at the top of her game since moving from Portland to Rockland in 2005, about half the period covered by this exhibition. Much of her art results from her “Borrowed Views” project, in which she spends up to a week painting in and around the homes of friends all over Maine.
Ever trying new approaches to her art, mindful of art historical precedents and armed with a spirit of adventure, Connie Hayes has many interesting paintings ahead of her. Whether borrowing views or moving about on her own, it will be interesting to see what this thoughtful, gifted painter achieves in the years ahead.”
written by Stephen May