Marguerite Payne Robichaux
As urban sprawl and commercial and industrial development claim more and more of our land, it is important for me to record and celebrate the beauty and dignity of our natural world. I live on the edge of wilderness, travel to remote destinations and seek out unspoiled places. These landscapes figure prominently in my work because they figure prominently in my life. I am drawn to the order and geometry of fields and pastures, the noble sweep of farmlands, the grandeur of mountain peaks and rugged coastline, the serenity of still water, and the power of rushing rivers and waterfalls. I am passionate about conveying a sense of awe and respect for our disappearing wilderness.
Living in a state with a long and venerable tradition of landscape painting, I have had to find my own voice. To go beyond the picturesque and purely representational and to paint without sentimentality, I have had to trust my visual intuition and create a language of my own. The dripping paint and unconcealed edges – a staple of nonrepresentational painting – are true to the integrity of the medium. Thin, transparent paint loosely brushed, wiped away and smeared, and remnants of original graphite drawings suggest that these images are artifice. I make paintings, not landscapes.
I paint to bear witness to the importance of preserving our natural environment. I create to leave a visual legacy. I believe my paintings make a difference.
Freese received his B.F.A. in 1989 from the University of Southern Maine. He currently lives in Seattle and writes about his work at www.wfreese.wordpress.com. For the exhibition catalogue, The Carina House Residency, he described how his Monhegan fellowship dramatically changed the course of his artistic practice:
“As for my painting, I used the [residency] to make a drastic break in my method and style. On Monhegan, I changed from being a figurative painter who drew from nature and/or iconographic images from popular culture, to a painter seeking more abstraction. This change had such a lasting effect that today I am still an abstract painter . . . Much of the rejuvenation was due, no doubt, to the time off, but also to a certain truth about the harmony that exists there between the people, the land, and sea.”