Maine Artist in Oil, Acrylic and Block Print

Maine Artist in Oil, Acrylic and Block Print
"White Mountains Hayfield", Joe Godleski, oil on canvas

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Camden Harbor

"Camden Harbor", Joe Godleski, oil, 2011
Alex and I find ourselves visiting up the Maine coast from time to time and Camden is one of our favorite spots. When we can, we climb up Camden Hills for the view of the harbor and surrounding seascape. It is always a wonderful vista. Well, I finally sketched out a view of the harbor from the visits and resulting photos. I painted the view on DaVinci panel in 24" by 18" format. It's such a seemingly calm, organized locale to be the backdrop for a movie such as "Peyton Place."  You never know.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Carlo Pittore - Day of 1,000 Drawings

Last Saturday, the Carlo Pittore Foundation held a sale and silent auction of 1000 of the late artist's works on paper.  It took up the entire area at Fort Andross in Brunswick where the Winter Farmer's Market (see below) is held.  It was dizzying in scope, quantity and quality.  I first became familiar with Carlo Pittore's work when I submitted "Pastor Philip" for a portrait show at the Merrymeeting Arts Center in Bowdoinham few years back, and they hung my work right next to one of Carlo Pittore's.  It was a thrill.  He was at the forefront of postcard art and was quite prolific, the 1000 drawings being a small fraction of his total legacy.  My personal haul from the the day's event are shown in the pictures above.  I am especially happy about getting one of the boxers that were up for sale.  It was a good day.  To find out more about the Carlo Pittore Foundation, click here.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

3 for 3 at 10 by 10

Across Frenchman Bay, Oil, Joe Godleski
View From Camden Hills, Oil, Joe Godleski
Last Friday night's 10 by 10 show benefitting Arts Are Elementary was really something.  Brunswick merchants and restauranteurs donated an abundance of very good munchies that this chow hound "appreciated" to the max.  The crowd was festive and generous.  The volunteers kept everything moving smoothly.  And all three of the paintings I entered were sold - November Morning, Old Pumper, Heading for Cover!  So, I've been working on a couple of mountain/waterscapes, and they are shown above.  The palette and detail for these were scaled back from my usual work, as a change of pace.  Next show upcoming is the Yarmouth Arts Festival at Saint Bart's, October 19 - 22.  The Coastal Garden Rhododendron was juried in.  I'm looking forward to the artist's reception Oct. 20, 6 - 8 pm.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hanging Out in Portland

Dock Fore, Portland Head Light
Dock Fore, Day is Done grouping

A little while ago, Shaun McCarthy of the Dock Fore pub in the Old Port put out a call for artists to show in his establishment and to participate in the Portland Art Walk.   That led to my paintings and prints hanging in Dock Fore for the Portland First Friday Art Walk in October through to October 29th.  Dock Fore is cozy joint and I think my pictures work there.  Plus, it'll be fun to check out the Portland Art Walk.  So, with my pictures hanging elsewhere, there's empty spaces in the Brunswick studio that need to be filled.  The newly finished "Late November" will help.  I had gotten such positive feedback for "November Morn" which will be in the September 30th 10 by 10 show, that I decided to paint a larger variation, and I dig painting those rocks, using a lot of wet-on-wet technique.
Late November, Joe Godleski
November Morn, Joe Godleski

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dogging It

Maggie, Joe Godleski, Oil on Board
Foxy, Joe Godleski, Oil on Canvas
Here's a couple of portraits of family dogs - Foxy and Maggie.  Foxy's portrait was originally a much bigger canvas but upon further review, the interesting part could be distilled down to a 10" by 10" window, and so with scissors  and new stretchers, it was.  Maggie's portrait is done on gessoed Elephant board, which turned out to be a much smoother medium to work with versus trying to traverse the hills and dales of canvas.  I'll be using more board moving forward.  On another note, the Bowdoin season has resumed.  The lecture / slide presentation by Mark Wethli on his public art documented his efforts to complete a work, Civitas, for the Muskie School of Public Service.  Mr. Wethli abstracted Lorenzetti's 14th century fresco, Effects of Good Government on City Life for this work. The walkthrough from idea to design to build for this project provided a behind-the-scenes insight into the soon-to-be finished work of art.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The 10 by 10 September 30th

"Boothbay Harbor",
Joe Godleski, oil
"Old Pumper", Joe Godleski, oil
This past Saturday morning, the check-in was held for the annual 10 by 10 show at the Curtis Memorial Library here in Brunswick. The web posting of the works submitted gives some indication of the variety and quality to be available at the show. It will be a pretty cool show, preview September 29 and 30, show September 30, 5 to 8. My third 10 by 10, "Old Pumper," is shown to the left. I also finished another work in water-based oil, "Boothbay Harbor." It's the first vertical painting I've done in a while, measuring 24" high by 8" wide. And lastly, kudos to the Thornton Oaks folks for the set up, most wonderful opening and ongoing show (until September 22, 2011) of "Community Paints."

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Week at Chautauqua

Alex and I recently spent a very active week at Chautauqua NY. Besides lectures, music, dance, and great weather, there was a goodly amount of art to take in. At the Strohl Art Center were three shows: 1) "Out of the Blue" on the first floor which presented works all using blue as a unifier of sorts, 2) "Abstraction in America: Forties to Sixties" on the second floor in conjunction with Albright-Knox which had a heavyweight representation of artists of the period but which left me wondering how the same works would be received today, and 3) "Bilateral Trace: Four Emerging Artists from Iran" which let us in on the recent works of four woman artists from Iran. This third show was the more adventurous and interesting of the 3. One of the artists (work "Tantalized" shown above), Hedieh Javanshir Ilchi, gave an insightful lecture later in the week outlining her accelerating artistic journey and providing shots of fellow artist Roshanak Tehrani on a trip back to Iran. The student show at the Fowler-Kellogg across from the Strohl was as outstanding as last year, with the majority of the art marked sold - always a good sign. I also took a daily figure drawing course at Chautauqua led by visiting artist Antonio Petracca which turned out to be time really well spent. "Focus on the core. Focus on the core." Aye, will do.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Boothbay Harbor

"Heading for Cover", Joe Godleski, Oil
Alex and I motored with our out-of-town company up to Boothbay Harbor yesterday. We stopped first across the foot bridge at the Joy to the Wind gallery, and had a great discussion with Lynne Seizer, co-owner. We chatted over our recent works depicting herons (my latest 10by10 is shown above), viewed the many and varied works Lynne and Jim Seitzer have hanging and then Lynne pointed us to the Studio 53 Gallery back across the foot bridge. We got there just as Bob McKay, featured artist for the month, was opening up. This is a great space having 3 floors with 8 artists represented showing a great selection from abstract to Maine landscapes. Bob talked about his methods and techniques and then autographed a copy of his book "Percival, the Lighthouse Mouse," for our friends' grandkids. It was a very pleasant visit. As we crossed back and forth across the foot bridge, we noticed a dory in the water that was clearly the finished version of the dory being worked on in my "Harbormaster's Workshop" soft block print. Take a look and see.
"Harbormaster's Workshop", Joe
Godleski, soft block
Dory in Boothbay Harbor

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Hopper Exhibit at Bowdoin

Alex and I attended the opening of the Hopper exhibit at Bowdoin. We had tried to attend the lecture on Hopper and A. Wyeth just before the opening but were turned away from the lecture hall as it was filled to standing room only. So we grabbed dinner at the new Inn at Brunswick Station and found the service and food quite good. Anyway, then off to the Hopper Opening which was a bit crowded. But we still found good access to the paintings and drawings, as the food and wine at the Opening served as a diversion for a good number of folks. Hopper's works were well displayed and were just wonderful, particularly for me, his Monhegan oils. Major props to Curator Diana Tuite and Director Kevin Salatino for their work in putting this together. It will be an exhibit to visit and re-visit.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Two upcoming shows: Community Paints & the 10 by 10

"November Morning," Joe Godleski,
Oil on Canvas, 10" by 10"

Thornton Oaks here in Brunswick is hosting an exhibit running August 18 through September 22.  They are inviting all artists to submit a piece of art based on the theme "Summer in Maine."  The quality of the exhibits at Thornton Oaks is very solid and consistent.  Also, they have a roomful of Carroll Thayer Berry prints that is pretty cool.  For more info on the Thornton Oaks Community Paints show, click here.  Of course, the annual Arts are Elementary 10 by 10 show is coming up in late September.  I've started working on my 10 by 10s, and the first one "November Morning" is shown above.  The photo on which the painting is based was taken Thanksgiving day off Land's End.  For more info on the 10 by 10 show, click here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Study, Study, Study

Feeder, Joe Godleski, Oil on Canvas

Carnations, Joe Godleski, Oil on Canvas

Reeds, Joe Godleski, Oil on Canvas

Plein air sessions and the Tuesday group at the Harlow Gallery in Hallowell have allowed for working through a number of studies, both indoors and out.  The process of selecting a subject, composing a frame, sketching, preparing a palette and then actually painting within a 3 or so hour period has been challenging, and a little frenetic at times.  There always seems to be a need to finish up in the studio.  Some say the results are more "authentic."  I'm not sure about that, but it is a real change of pace.  On another note, we took in the latest set of shows at the Farnsworth.  The Four in Maine: Drawings show was outstanding.  It runs through Sept 11, so if you are up in Rockland, check it out.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Latest Print

"Mates", Joe Godleski, Soft Block Print, Artist Proof
Between outdoor painting sessions, I went to work on a soft block print of a pair of mallards I snapped in our community pond earlier this spring.  I've spotted the male several times since but the female was not by his side, probably nesting away from view.  The artist proof is shown above.  As usual, the print will be available in an edition of 25. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Diane Dubreuil, Plein Air

Last Thursday evening, I took a trip up to the Harlow Gallery in Hallowell for the Monthly Art Talk to hear Diane Dubreuil, a master plein air artist, speak about her one-month artist residency in Brittany, France and to see a slide show of her time in France, her finished works, and her sketches and journals which stood quite well on their own.  It was a very engaging session.  Her web site - - does not do justice to her works.  They really need to be seen in person.  The evening reinforced the urge to get outside to paint, on my own or with the Deb Arter class through Merrymeeting Adult Ed (we are two session into a six session program) or through plein air sessions being set up by Diane D.  Now if the darn rain would stop!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Art2011 at Harlow Gallery

"Early Spring", Joe Godleski, oil on canvas, 30" X 10"
"Early Spring" has been juried into the Art2011 exhibit at the Harlow Gallery in Hallowell.  The exhibit kicks off with an opening reception Friday May 6th 5-8pm and runs through May 28th.  VĂ©ronique Plesch and Margaret Libby, both professors in the art department at Colby College, judged Art2011, the 16th annual juried art exhibition at the Harlow Gallery.  57 works were chosen out of total of 327 submitted works.  Needless to say, I am quite pleased and I am really looking forward to the show.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

PMA Biennial and Beverly Rippel Workshop

Beverly Rippel, Pink Cap Gun I, 2010,
oil and encaustic on linen
 The 2011 Portland Museum of Art Biennial is a varied and strong show.  Alex and I attended the early opening and were able to find quite a few works that we enjoyed.  Although the Sunday paper review of the show made only a scant mention of "traditional landscape painting," the choice of paintings for the show tilted to a realist approach and I found this surprising and in a way reassuring.  I also attended a workshop ("Studio Revealed" PMA blog entry of April 5, 2011)  led by Biennial artist, Beverly Rippel.  We received a spirited, hands-on view into Ms. Rippel's studio approach to subject and technique, and spent some time looking at and discussing her Biennial work, "Pink Cap Gun I."  When you go to the Biennial, the work is best viewed from the 2nd floor balcony as opposed to craning one's neck viewing it from the exhibit floor.  It is quite striking, beautiful and disquieting at the same time. 

Friday, March 25, 2011


I took a break between paintings to cut and print a soft block print "Heron."  The image is sketched from photos I took on the grounds of the Ogunquit Museum of American Art last fall.  It was a bit of luck to catch the great blue heron in flight so clearly.  The prints are in an edition of twenty-five, matted to fit an 11 by 14 inch frame.  The image itself is 7 1/2 by 9 inches.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Another Blooming Painting

The latest work, "On the Kennebec," has been completed and is shown below.  It is another painting in panoramic format of blooms seen here in Maine, this time from along the Kennebec in Bath.  I selected this scene because of the contrast it offers between the tree in blossom and the structures in the background.  This makes two paintings in this style, the first being the "Coastal Garden Rhododendron."  I plan to make a series of these by doing a third.  Alex and I returned from three weeks on the road, most of it in Florida, near St. Augustine.  The weather and scenery were a perfect change from this persistent winter here in Maine.  Check out the "mall egret" we found strolling the strip mall parking lot where we stopped for Thai food.  We also found the Ormond Memorial Art Museum in Ormond Beach, where they had a show focusing on race cars and the Daytona speedway, just down the beach.  The photo-realistic works of Colin Carter were particularly grabbing.  On a serious note, we hold the people of Japan and Libya in our thoughts and prayers.
Joe Godleski, "On the Kennebec"

Friday, February 11, 2011

A New Painting and a look at Rackstraw Downes

Casco Bay Ferry
Rackstraw Downes,
Farm Buildings
Near the Rio Grande:
West End of the
Barn, P.M.,
 The latest painting, "Casco Bay Ferry," took me in a different direction as far as painterly process.  I applied the paint in uniform blocks or dabs, with minimal gestures or lines, using a palette knife to flatten and coalesce adjoining dabs.  The over-all effect is an impressionistic one I am told, although I was not sure that was where it would end up.  It's something I'd like to try on a larger scale canvas with a freer palette, just to see.  On another note, Alex and I took in the Rackstraw Downes show at the Portland Museum of Art.  We both enjoyed the show immensely and found the works very accessible and remarkable.  Having spent a couple years in Kansas running on desolate roads there with a backdrop of dust, stone, scrub shrub, rusting equipment, lonesome structures and big sky, I felt particularly one with Mr. Downes paintings of the southwest like the one pictured above.  They offer a solitary man's view into these corners of our country that have their own character and aesthetic. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Latest Work and a visit to NCMA

"Coastal Garden Rhododendron", Oil, 30" X 10"
The first new work of the new year has been completed - "Coastal Garden Rhododendron" - shown above. It is from a sketch and photo early last Spring at the Coastal Botanical Gardens.  Again, the panorama format seems to work well and I really enjoyed working on this piece. 

Bob Trotman, "Girl", 2002

Alex and I returned from a holiday road trip early this month.  We had a chance to visit the Norman Rockwell exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh.  It was surprisingly enjoyable.  While the art critics may not have been kind to Mr. Rockwell, there is little doubt his work is well-composed and executed.  The exhibit was quite large, with many, many of his oils spanning 5 decades and a compelling narrative to accompany.  Also, at the NCMA was Bob Trotman: Inverted Utopias, a series of life-size carved, painted wood figures in falling, floating, suspended or otherwise unusual poses.  These works were impressive in their construction and a little spooky in their connection with each other.