Silence is currently one of two exhibits at our Falmouth location, where Brita Holmquist, a Maine artist, showcases a plethora of fascinating and dynamic works alongside New York artist Frances Hynes’s exhibit Nocturnes and Memories. Brita was willing to take the time to respond to a series of questions we asked her concerning her insight on the process of creating this group of work. Enjoy!
1. You say in your statement that the silence and stillness that you experienced over the past two years created an opportunity to move slowly. Can you talk more about how your work has changed through the process of slowing down?
“The new work done during covid is layered, by which I mean the original color placed on the canvas is not the final color of the painting. There can be two or three glazes superimposed on the base.”
2. In your mind what is Maine’s role in American art? What is it about Maine’s legacy that calls to you as an artist?
“I am not an art history major. And Maine’s 'role’ does not affect me one way or another.”
3. The majority of these pieces in this show are from scenic locations in Islesboro. How do you choose the right location for you to paint?
“It’s very simple. I paint from places I can get to. Many of these works
were done from my own porch, others from a boat or a friend's property.”
4. Do many of these paintings come from observation or from memory? How does memory play a role or manifest itself in your work?
“I work outside looking at what I am painting (about 85% of a piece.) Then I bring a canvas into the studio and ‘correct ’ it.. This may be for color or balance. So memory enters in the studio for the color and imagination for the balance.”
5. The water seems to play a role in many if not all of the pieces in this exhibit of yours. Can you talk more about your relationship with the water?
“I’d say water plays a role in most of my work.I played in or near the water as a tiny child then I started sailing alone at 5. I then spent most of my childhood and youth in or on the water. As It is ever-changing, it makes a perfect subject.”
6. Many of these works express a lighter color palette than your previous work. Can you speak to why you chose this color palette?
“I simply paint what I see. I do not choose a palette.. The weather or time of day dictates the palette.”
7. Hugo seems to be a collaborator in this body of work. Does his presence change the act of painting for you?