Escape to Maine

By Paige Roehrig on June 20, 2019

Take a trip through the unparalleled rocky coastline of Maine with Copley Artist, Nicholas Read. The artist’s solo show, Focus: Paintings Along the Maine Coast, will have you leaving the rainy days behind as you envision yourself relaxing along the Atlantic coastline.

Nicholas Read, CA, Black Head, Monhegan Island, Maine, oil on board, 8” x 30”

For the last twelve summers the artist has spent a week on Monhegan Island, Maine. The trips offered Read the opportunity to completely separate himself from day-to-day demands and completely dedicate himself to painting in plein air, embracing the warm sunshine by the sea each and every day.

Nicholas Read, CA, Old Quarry, oil on board, 8” x 10”

Through the details in Read’s paintings, the viewer can grasp a sense of the environment from every rock formation to the rolling waves of the sea. With each trip the artist focuses on a specific subject, shifting from boats, fields, the rocky shoreline, and the forest.

As a realist painter, Nicholas Read finds himself beginning his paintings by selecting a single point as a place to start. As he moves away from the focal point his brush strokes become looser to accurately mimic how humans view the world around them as opposed to photographs which often capture the scene with every inch in pristine focus.

Photograph by Nicholas Read, CA

Nicholas Read describes the difference between photographs and the human eye by saying, “A photograph provides all the information before it with unbiased neutrality. When our eyes are focused on something, however, we see that thing very clearly, but everything around it or on the periphery is blurred.”

Nicholas Read, CA, Study, oil on board, 8” x 10”

In the painting pictured above, Nicholas Read utilizes the photograph to demonstrate his technique of blurring the periphery, rendering the painting in a realistic in style but also mimicking the actions of the eyes. In his paintings of rocks, the artist captures the complex forms and relationships each boulder and stone share with one another and the space around them.

Come take a closer look of these paintings at Nicholas Read’s show, Focus: Paintings Along the Maine Coast, on view at Co|So in the Back Bay Room until June 30th.