JANE DAHMEN TAKES A PEEK
It’s been 10 years since Jane Dahmen moved to her home in the small seaside town of Newcastle, Maine — but she has yet to tire of the ocean, river and woods that serve as her daily backdrop.
In fact, just the opposite: Her surroundings have inspired and enriched her work for the past decade. “Everywhere I walk, I see paintings,” said Dahmen. “It’s a very beautiful part of the world here.”
It’s a part of the world she’ll share in her upcoming solo exhibition, “Through the Trees,” at Powers Gallery in Acton, Mass. The show will feature more than two dozen of her paintings, including multi-panel works, that reflect her wanderings around the seashore, Damariscotta River, and vast conservation lands near her home.
For example, the two-panel, 72” x 60” “Clear View” presents an unconventional view of the Maine coast — instead of frothy waves roiling against craggy rocks or dabbing the shoreline, we see the distant sea through a stand of pines and birches on a muted day.
Similarly, in the colorful, three-panel 60” x 72” “Sunny Day,” islands and opposite land outcroppings straining to meet each other can be glimpsed through bright yellow birch leaves growing out of skinny white trunks.
Although not abstract, the pieces are not wholly realistic — they feel somewhat wispy and fantasy-like, a projection of the artist’s inner view of the outer world. “What I’m trying to convey is more of a feeling of a place than an actual place,” Dahmen explained.
She’s always been drawn to the world immediately around her, rather than far-off lands – she began years ago with silkscreens in her garden, then branched out to mono-prints.