An Interview with Lindsay Hancock

Last week we celebrated the opening of Lindsay Hancock's exhibit "Glimpses and Lasting Impressions". We are so happy her work will be on display at the gallery until June 9th and we hope you can make it in to see these beautiful pieces.

Ms. Hancock generously took the time to answer some questions we put together for her about the paintings in her exhibit as well and her life as an artist We are pleased to share them with you here today....

In your exhibit at the gallery, "Glimpses and Lasting Impressions", your paintings show many areas around the state of Maine. Are you a lifelong Mainer? Are there areas in the state that give you the most inspiration for your work?

I moved to Maine in 1974 to attend Colby College where I studied under another Maine artist, Tom Higgins, and earned a degree in Fine Arts. After graduating, I moved to Tenants Harbor, then to Portland and finally to Gray, where I have been living with my husband, Bill Hancock, since 1980 and where we raised three children, all of whom are now residents of Colorado. The Midcoast region of Maine is probably my favorite landscape to paint, followed by the mountains, rivers and lakes around Baxter State Park. Both places have distinctive coniferous trees that I tend to dwell on in all my work.

You have a unique, individualistic approach to organizing your paintings, what artists have influenced you the most?

Tom Higgins was an early influence but I also discovered the John Marin collection in the Colby Museum while I was painting in watercolors and admired his way of distilling parts of the Maine landscape into shapes and lines and emotions. There are far too many other artists who have inspired me by their work to mention here though some who stand out are Marsden Hartley, Wolf Kahn, Nell Blaine, Fairfield Porter, Reuben Tam, Tom Thompson and Henry Isaacs.

What is your process for painting? Do you you paint both a studio and in plein air?

I sketch and take photographs while traveling or spending time outdoors and bring those images into my home studio to use as starting points for a painting.

On your website, you mention that your art making began in adulthood. What do you think was the draw for you?

I started painting in childhood with my grandmother who was a masterful Tole painter, using stencils and prescribed details to depict traditional floral designs and pastoral scenes on the surface of anything she could find. Our houses were and are filled with these painted objects and I still use some of the brushes that she handed down. Making my own art happened in college where I was introduced to new tools, styles and methods of painting, and I realized that painting did not have to be formulaic. I learned from my hypercritical grandmother that the execution of an artwork was important but it was not until I discovered my own hand and trained myself to be more observant that I actually felt compelled to paint.

Do you have a favorite painting from the upcoming show? If so, why?

The looseness and light in the painting “That Hill at Pineland” makes me think that truly experiencing a place – good, or bad as in the case of this scene because the hill can be a beast to skate ski on a warmish day in winter, informs a painting in ways that we are not necessarily conscious of? We absorb through all of our senses aspects of the world we live in and this kind of experiential learning is particularly helpful when you want to re-create a place in paint.

Thanks again to Lindsay Hancock for taking the time to answer our questions so thoughtfully. You can find more work by the artist on our website HERE and please do remember to stop in and see "Glimpses and Lasting Impressions".

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