CAMDEN — Camden Falls Gallery has announced its 5th exhibition of the 2019 season, “DeWaard & McPhillips II.” Though juxtaposed in styles, both artists are able to create works that capture their personal insights and forms of visual truth.
During the course of the afternoon on Saturday, August 10, from 2 – 4 p.m. +, the exhibition will kick off with live Plein Air demonstrations by both DeWaard and McPhillips at Camden Public Landing and Head of the Harbor, in Camden.
In addition, both artists will be available during the opening reception, Saturday, August 10, from 5 – 7 p.m., at Camden Falls Gallery.
Ken DeWaard and Jonathan McPhillips are equally accomplished in studio design work, focusing on Coastal New England and Plein Air. Both artists have received top honors and awards in some of the nations most prestigious Plein Air competitions and shows. Their works are part of many corporate and public collections throughout the United States, Russia, China, and shown around the world in the U.S.Department of State “Art in the Embassies” program.
In June of this year, DeWaard participated in the International Plein Air competition in St. Petersburg, Russia. He was one out of eleven artists to paint at St. Petersburg Art Week International. The exposition presented more than 200 art objects from more than 20 countries. DeWaard received the Charles Movalli Award at Cape Ann Plein Air, MA., and the Best Hospitality Award at Easton Plein Air, MD.
DeWaard spends hours and sometimes days sketching and drawing the natural beauty of the Camden/Rockport area. He then returns to his studio to incorporate his Plein Air studies with studio design work.
In a news release, DeWaard described his work as follows: “My style isn't exactly loose, but more of a definitively placed stroke (be it a suggested stroke). I’m not trying to give all of the detail but enough to where the viewer can finish the story in their mind and through their experiences. The term bravura is used when something is more confidently placed. Think of it as mark making; making a mark or a note of color and standing behind it, not a lot of fussing around with it alla Renoir but more directly placed, not happen-chance. Design is incredibly important to me. To tell a story through my work and lead the viewer around the painting and then back to the focal point; having a narrative.”
McPhillips is one of the New American Luminists. He has the ability to capture the light, the air, and the distinct atmosphere in his landscape and marine paintings. Known for impressionistic radiance in daybreak and dusk scenes, his ability to capture the shimmering glow of flickering lights in his nocturnes is most impressive.
McPhillips has found his focus in a form of realism that he describes as Contemporary Impressionism. He described his work as follows: “Each painting is a problem to solve, or a puzzle to piece together…a playful, yet serious endeavor, and a celebration of our surroundings. There is no greater reward than knowing that a painting has somehow captivated a friend or a stranger. We see many things everyday with heightened digital clarity, yet original artwork always conveys a sense of mystery and magic for us all. I see painting as an unspoken and unwritten way to connect our hearts and minds through depictions of shared experience.”
This past spring, McPhillips received a Finalist Award in the June 2019, Boldbrush Painting Competition. In 2018, he won the Gene Magazine Award for traditional oil at the Salmagundi Club’s 134 Annual Members Exhibition, NYC; and became a signature member of the American Impressionist Society. In 2017, his work was exhibited in the Laguna Plein Air Painters “Best of Plein Air” Juried Exhibition, CA.; the Modern Marine Masters Exhibition in Mystic, CT., and the Maritime Gallery 38th Juried International Marine Art Exhibition also at Mystic, CT.
The DeWaard & McPhillips II exhibition will run through Sunday, August 25, 2019.
In 1999, DeWaard began his teaching career at the Palette & Chisel Academy of Fine Art in Chicago, IL and has since taught in both schools and workshops around the country. According to DeWaard, his personal objective while teaching is “to make sure that each and every student experiences advancement. Giving a student not only technical skills but the excitement and passion for them to build on and draw from for a lifetime is always part of my mission.”
McPhillips has held demonstrations and instructed workshops all along the eastern seaboard. His talent as both an artist and communicator has him in high demand from both private groups and large art organizations. He describes his instruction as “a great way to connect with artists who are trying to explore new resolutions in their artistic growth. It is rewarding to pass along any experience or information that might help someone break through to a new level of creativity. I also enjoy teaching as it reminds me of the fundamentals that I must also be aware of in my own work. It is easy to stray from good principles, but hearing it aloud and seeing the process in a group situation is very beneficial for both the student and instructor.”
Stan Grunder’s short film Painting the Coast of Maine with Jonathan McPhillips provides further insight into McPhillips’s painting narrative. Grunder is a 2012 graduate of Camden Hills High School and is now a documentary filmmaker based out of New York City. The film Painting the Coast of Maine with Jonathan McPhillips will debut at the Maine Outdoor Film Festival on September 7, at the Camden Snow Bowl or, can be viewed now on Vimeo (https://vimeo.com/346544347).
Camden Falls Gallery is located on the Public Landing in Camden. The gallery is open daily, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., throughout the season.
For more information, contact the Gallery at 207-470-7027 or www.camdenfallsgallery.com.