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February 2018 Artist of the Month

Short Biography:

Mr. Williamson has been a photojournalist for over 38 years starting his career with North Shore Weeklies back in 1979. He then moved to the Salem Evening News where he was the Chief Photographer from 1981-2000. His career took a twist in 2000 as he saw a move to the internet happening and he became the Photo Editor for the website Autobytel. While there he was the Product Manager for the Auto Gallery product. After three years he felt a need to come back to traditional photography and became the Executive Director of the Cape Ann Photographic Foundation a 501 C3 organization he founded. In 2007 he moved back to the newspaper field to become the Multimedia/Photo Editor for Gatehouse Media North. In August of 2016 Mr. Williamson retired from the newspaper business and started Cape Ann Photo Tours. Over his long career he has won many awards from the New England Newspaper and Press Association and the NPPA. His work has been published in many publications including – The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The New York Times Magazine, US Magazine, Yankee Magazine, Sail Magazine, Ski Magazine, Skiing Magazine.

His landscape work has been displayed at the Rockport Art Association where he is a member and at any number of galleries in the area. Cape Ann is where he resides and is his favorite subject.

Artist Statement:

The natural scene that so many of us take for granted is such a fleeting thing. Slowing down to photograph the suppleness of nature in all it’s forms, and capture the beauty of light and the texture it brings to ordinary subjects is a guiding light for me.

 

January 2018 in the Matz Gallery: Linda Bourke

Linda Bourke is a book illustrator and designer. She is Professor Emeritus from Massachusetts College of Art and Design, recently retired from her position as Chair of the Illustration Department. She is fascinated by religious imagery and has an amazing collection of embroidered Sacred Hearts.

“My childhood was saturated with Catholicism. As a good Catholic kid, I read about the lives of the Saints. But the books we were given were all carefully sanitized, portraying all the saints as pious, kind and Caucasian. The real lives of the saints were so much grittier and diverse.

After Mass, when we visited my grandparents, I begged to look through my grandmother’s Sunday Missel, which was stuffed with holy pictures. Most of them showed people with glowing heads and light streaming from their fingertips, which I thought was very cool. But hidden under the back flap were a few cards that I wasn’t supposed to see, but that made a lasting impression. Among them was Saint Lucy, holding her eyes in a saucer, Saint Dennis, carrying his severed head, and Saint Joan, staring towards heaven as she burned at the stake.

There were no explanations for these images, and just as early worshipers invented stories to explain the frescoes and statues they encountered in cathedrals, I did too. For many years I thought Joan of Arc was married to Noah (Mr. and Mrs. Ark.) I made dioramas using cardboard cut-outs to show Saint Joan surrounded by paper flames, while pairs of animals on their way to the Ark watched the spectacle of her martyrdom…

The work in this show is inspired by this childhood mismatching. The Saints are paired, disregarding true timelines, What if Saint Francis and Saint Theresa, both stigmatists, had been together on Good Friday? What sort of music would Saint Cecelia inspire if she and Saint Gertrude, patron saint of cats, were BFF?”

August in the Matz Gallery

My journey into the art world began in New York City in the free wheeling 60s. The city’s distinct architecture and interesting building shapes stimulated an interest in drawing and catching unusual light effects from NYC’s great sunsets. I also became fascinated with the magical effects of light on otherwise dreary and drying mussel and clam shells on the beach by our summer house on an island in mid-coast Maine. In those days I did many watercolors both of beach shells and local island homes. I had long been inspired by the impressionist artists, Van Gogh, Monet and Cezanne. To me their best legacy was their creative use of the brush to convey a moment in time when light created something visually special. For the past 30 years I have been fortunate to live in the colorful city of Gloucester Massachussets where everyday strolls bring you by sites where Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper and Emile Gruppe painted. These are some of my favorite artists and now I understand why they were here. Gloucester’s working waterfront provides ever changing scenery of fishing boats, dock workers and lobstermen along with hills covered with colorful houses. Many of these yards store boats and flow smoothly down to the harbor. Some say the light effects have extra wattage in Gloucester, and it is thought its because of the prevelance of sea on every side of the city.

After a long career in the financial industry which left little time for the art interest, retirement opened a new door to what has become a near full time vocation. My schooling has been in the form of regular lessons at the Rockport Art Association, with teaching artist Ron Straka. In addition to enhancing an understanding of the fundamentals of oil painting, Ron has imparted a desire to make each work more exciting that the original subject. I also have participated in workshops with artist/teachers David Curtis, Don Stone, and David Lussier among others. I paint both from photographs and from location and in oils and acrylics. I have begun using watercolors to quickly capture fleeting light effects for further works in the studio. The advantages of on location or plein air painting are well appreciated. Light and shadow effects are much more pronouced and more easily understood, although with New England weather it is not always practical to paint outdoors. When I do paint outdoors it is the most rewarding and most challenging of my painting experience.

I find it most enjoyable to paint in the “impressionist” style, trying to capture a fleeting moment when the eye catches something striking in the natural setting. Color is what is left after light does its work on a subject and its the ultimate draw in art for me. I love how different colors work together and how one color or color temperature will dominate a scene and make it memorable. Catching this memory and translating it for others is the ultimate reward and social contribution of the artist.

On most days I can be found stalking the harbor in Gloucester looking for subjects and waiting for interesting light effects to emerge. Or you might find me in Maine, squinting at the tree studed rocky coast and admiring the scenery of the islands of Penobscot Bay where I also paint. I have participated in art shows in local libraries, banks and in group shows with fellow artists. In Maine I show regularly at the Islesboro Historical Society and the Islesboro Community Center.