What stirs awe and wonder in people today is a sense of belonging and of participation in the great cycles of Nature, an awareness of oneness with life that does not shrink in terror from life’s natural completion in death. What inspires them is not the hope of a final separation from the realities of nature, life history and time, but a conscious and delighted participation in these realities — not the promise of salvation, but the reality of the homecoming.
— John Michael Greer
painting by Jessica Ives.JPG

Walking Into Nature Through A Painting

I recently enjoyed reading this New York Times article, 
How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain

It provoked a further thought: if visualization is an important tool for an athlete's training (as studies show it is) could paintings serve as tools to visualize ourselves walking through nature, similar to the photos, videos, and daydreaming used by athletes, and therefore provide "brain training" opportunities in the places and times when physically getting outside is not possible?
I'll be thinking about this...

Beehive Backside,  5" x 7" Acadia painting headed to Courthouse Gallery Fine Art for an August 12th opening.

Beehive Backside, 5" x 7" Acadia painting headed to Courthouse Gallery Fine Art for an August 12th opening.

Arts & Recreation: Pop Up Art Show At The Good Supply

I hope to see you at the opening of Arts & Recreation, this Saturday from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. at The Good Supply in Pemaquid. It's my second annual pop-up show in this beautiful venue! I'll be joined again by Margaret Rizzio; and this year Grant Haynes will be with us as well. If you were at the opening of last year's show, you know this is a party not to be missed! Official press release below, and to the right a sneak peak at some new paintings I'll have on display.

Arts & Recreation: Jessica Ives, Margaret Rizzio, and Grant Haynes

Pemaquid, ME—An exhibition of new art work by Jessica Ives, Margaret Rizzio, and Grant Haynes will be on display for a two-week exhibit at The Good Supply in Pemaquid. The public is invited to join the artists at a reception from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 25, at The Good Supply’s post and beam storefront.

The title of the show: Arts and Recreation is a play on words meant to reflect the subject matter of Ives’s colorful oil paintings and the recycling process shared by Rizzio and Haynes to create their respective mixed media collages and acrylic on reclaimed material paintings.

Ives, a Damariscotta resident creates oil paintings inspired by outdoor adventures local and statewide. Arts & Recreation features a selection of her 4 x 4 inch “207 Paintings" appropriately named for the state's area code. Swimmers, paddlers, hikers, and other outdoor adventurers are captured in jewel-like moments. A selection of larger paintings will also be on view. Ives exhibits regularly with Gleason Fine Art in Boothbay Harbor and offers color theory classes through the Farsnworth Art Museum. In conjunction with this exhibit, Ives will host two color theory classes at The Good Supply on August 6 and August 9.

Born and raised in Blue Hill and now living in Camden, Rizzio received her MFA from SUNY Purchase and returned home to pursue a life of art. Her current work uses a wide range of mediums—vintage ephemera, found objects, repurposed frames—that embrace the passage of time and the beauty of physical objects in a screen obsessed era. Arts & Recreation will include various size assemblage pieces and a series of unique postcard collages. Rizzio exhibits at Turtle Gallery in Blue Hill and at The Maine Farmland Trust Gallery in Belfast.

Haynes studied fine art at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York in part because of the university’s access to the Adirondacks. Currently based in Belfast, his love of nature continues to fuel his endeavors both personal and professional. Painting in acrylic on reclaimed wood and metal, his style is dynamic and modernist. His work is concerned with re-creating structure on material that is fractured and cobbled together. He gives care to honor signs of reclaimed materials’ origins—identifying wear not as blemishes but as stories worth expressing.

Ives and Rizzio have collaborated on pop-up events and exhibitions before, and this will be their first time inviting Haynes into the fold. The Good Supply, an up-and-coming rustic boutique, housed in a recently restored 150-year old barn in Pemaquid, is known for its utilitarian work from Maine artisans. This pop-up event marks the store's second 2D art celebration.  

Arts & Recreation: Jessica Ives, Margaret Rizzio, and Grant Haynes will be on exhibit at The Good Supply from Thursday, July 23 - Sunday, August 9, with an opening reception on Saturday, July 25 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public. Art is available for purchase. 

Big Fresh , 30" x 40"

Big Fresh, 30" x 40"

Two By Land, One By Sea , 4" x 12"

Two By Land, One By Sea, 4" x 12"

Low Tide Cast Off , 6" x 6"

Low Tide Cast Off, 6" x 6"

Arrival , 5" x 7"

Arrival, 5" x 7"

Island Summer , 6" x 6"

Island Summer, 6" x 6"

Lookers , 10" x 10"

Lookers, 10" x 10"

Into The Cool , 5" x 7"

Into The Cool, 5" x 7"

Foresight , 4" x 4"

Foresight, 4" x 4"

What life is asking

Floating  is a brand new 20" x 30" oil on panel.

Floating is a brand new 20" x 30" oil on panel.

13. No good life is possible unless it is organized around a vocation. If you try to use your work to serve yourself, you’ll find your ambitions and expectations will forever run ahead and you’ll never be satisfied. If you try to serve the community, you’ll always wonder if people appreciate you enough. But if you serve work that is intrinsically compelling and focus just on being excellent at that, you will wind up serving yourself and the community obliquely. A vocation is not found by looking within and finding your passion. It is found by looking without and asking what life is asking of us. What problem is addressed by an activity you intrinsically enjoy?

From The Road to Character by David Brooks

Tuesday 207: Brothers & Bass

Oh no! Today's 207 painting was reeled in by my brother Greg (foreground, above) before I could offer it here on the blog.

From the Orvis Guide to Family Friendly Fishing, by Tom Rosenbauer: "The first family fishing trip should be a short one. It should be timed carefully to coincide with the very best time of the year for panfish, small bass, or juvenile saltwater species because your goal is for every one to catch a fish. If possible, I'd advise you to take only one other person at a time on this first trip.... Too many bodies creates chaos, resulting in a disappointing experience for everyone."

We were not disappointed. Then again, we were not beginners. For the first time in our adult lives my brothers and I were all in a boat -- a small canoe -- together, fishing. And fish we did. The trip was not short. The day was beyond beautiful. We all caught bass, some of them not small.


207 Paintings post everyish Tuesday around 5:30am EST on both The Maine  and jessicaleeives.com. Save thirty percent on any 4x4 inch oil on panel painting by making your purchase within the first week of its posting. Instead of $300 pay just $207, a number which just happens to be the Maine state area code.

Tuesday 207 Paintings are exclusive to The Maine. They depict the land, the light and the people that make this state a state of wonder. Jessica is editor of The Maine and writes occasionally as The Outsider.

Looking Forward To Monhegan

Last week I submitted my application for the 2015 Monhegan Artist's Residency. This past winter I've been busy painting from the experience and memory of last summer's island trips -- the ferry ride over, day trippers in awe at Whitehead, and the island's population of plein air painters in action. I'll continue to paint Monhegan this coming summer no matter what, but the residency would provide me with an opportunity to spend the night on the island for the first time and better capture the full spectrum of its light and life. Right now I'm limited to the Hardy Boat's 10:00am arrival and 3:15pm departure!

Pictured here are five paintings I submitted with my residency application. All are oil on panel and range from 6" x 6" (top) to 20" x 48" (second from bottom). All have been completed in the new year and are not yet on my website. Please email me with any inquiries.

I've also included my short application statement below. For those who are interested, I hope it provides context for the work that I do -- and will continue to do!




"Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder." 

E.B. White


During the past two years I have made paintings of Monhegan. In this application and on my website you will notice their glaring similarity: all depict the island drenched in mid-day light. Why? My visits to Monhegan have always been limited to the Hardy Boat’s 10am arrival and 3:15pm departure. My husband captains this ferry. We are always traveling to and from the island, never staying. But presence is what I desire.

Picture me, sprinting across the island the moment the Hardy Boat docks, huffing up the hill, covering the terrain of trail 7 as quickly as possible, and clambering just below the edge of Whitehead to hurriedly set up for my shot before any other day-trippers arrive. Admittedly, the adrenaline and adventure of the rushed visual experience is typical, even attractive in our ADD culture; but it is ultimately draining and incongruous to my own practice of painting and being. Instead of being in a rush I want to take time to wonder. I want to be in a place. I want to already be at Whitehead, present and waiting, watching as the first visitors appear over the edge, pointing and shading their eyes from the expansive Atlantic before them. I want to witness their wonder. I want to wonder at their wonder. And wonder is hard pressed to rush.

Wonder is important to me. I have an entire blog devoted to it. Like the content of themaineblog.com, my paintings are about being in a place of wonder. My recent “outsiders” depict figures hiking, swimming, climbing, and being in a place through sustained, physical exploration. Wonder drives me to action; what is it to know a place not only through the eye but through the body as well, and then to show this place by releasing it back through the body and into paint, for the full circle wonder of the eye? My earlier window paintings shattered into my recent outsiders when I finally acted on the desire to be out there, beyond the window panes. 

Likewise, my Monhegan paintings express a desire to be out there, there now meaning Monhegan. I desire a sustained and physical exploration of place. I no longer want to come and go in a five hour window when all the light is high and all the community is noisy and bright. I no longer want to be in my mainland studio contemplating the photos I’ve taken of other artists working and learning on the island. I want to be there, less noisy and bright myself, to wonder and to know what the light, the colors, and the people are like in the morning when I wake, in the evening before I sleep, and in the middle of the night while I’m dreaming. I want to be there and to follow E.B. White’s admonition — “always” — at least for a month.