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Bob Keyes

Bob Keyes has written about the arts in Maine since 2002. He’s never been much an artist himself, other than singing in junior high school chorus and acting in a few musicals. But he’s attended museums, theaters, clubs and concert halls all his life, and cites Bob Dylan as most influential artist of any kind since Picasso. He lives in Berwick.

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Posted: July 28, 2015

Barbara Prey departs from her routine, turns to oils

Written by: Bob Keyes
Village View Fog (2015) Oil on panel, 9 by 12 inches

Village View Fog (2015) Oil on panel, 9 by 12 inches

Barbara Prey took a half-century off between oil paintings.

The painter, who is known widely for her watercolors of Maine, is showing new oil paintings at her annual summer show at her Port Clyde gallery, Blue Water Fine Arts. They mostly reflect the midcoast communities of Port Clyde and Tenants Harbor, where Prey lives and works much of the year. She completed the new paintings on site, beginning late last year.

Until this series of new work, Prey had not painted with oils since she was a child. Her watercolors are in private and public collections across the country, including the Brooklyn Museum and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. She’s illustrated holiday cards for presidents, been commissioned by NASA and had her work hung in U.S. embassies worldwide. Prey also serves on the National Council on the Arts, an advisory board to the National Endowment for the Arts.

The new work is full of color and energy. Much of the new work is architectural, showing the buildings and structures in Port Clyde.

“This new series of paintings is done en plein air, so that there is an immediate and unfiltered response to the subject,” Prey said. “Painting outside involves all the senses — hearing, smelling, seeing — which informs the art.”

The show, “Barbara Ernst Prey: Re/Viewing the American Landscape,” is on view through Aug. 31.

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