above: Jo Ann Bianchi, “Egg on your Face”, acrylic on canvas, 24”x24”, 2017
Jo Ann Bianchi
My recent seasonal move to Maine was for the cool summer climate, its geographical remoteness, its earthy scenic lure, and the dynamic artistic pulse of Portland.
My creative inspiration and expression comes as a visceral response to an ever changing geopolitical climate as seen through social and mass media.
Janice L. Moore
Regionalism for a painter has an established meaning: it’s painting what an artist lives with, in, and around. I’ve lived and painted in Maine most of my life. My work is specific to my experience here. I’m interested in what’s real and particular about us; namely in the landscapes of our Maine work that speak directly of who we are and how we got here.
Maine is my context; it’s not negated because I’ve lived and worked in other locations.
Neither is my connection negated because I’m exposed to a wider culture or other influences and art forms. These influences will be filtered through my experience as a painter grounded in Maine. My portrayal of place is in direct response to an increasingly homogenous popular culture dominated by national brands and franchised box-stores. My connection to place helps me find reliable truth in the face of the barrage of “alternative truth” and selective reality.
I love Maine other than the prolonged winters and short summers. We get to experience the fullness of 4 seasons. We have diversity of landscape from the coast to mountains to the rolling hills of Aroostook County. It would be abnormal to my mind not to be influenced by where you live. An art teacher told me once to paint what you love. I love my home state of Maine.
Regionalism is absolutely relevant within the US because the attitudes and values of the people around you reflect the landscape/cityscape and the local industries. In Maine, I am living on the edge of wilderness. It is a cold, mountainous and rocky country where the summer plants grow like a jungle. A certain type of person chooses this place as their home. They must be people who love the wilderness, who see the sublime in the landscape around them, who rejoice in the ferocity of the environment.