Shari Goddard Shambaugh
PAINTING THE 45th PARALLEL
Living in Maine has done more for my work as an artist than any other step taken in my life. It is a landscape littered with jaw-dropping beauty, and filled with a clear light that seems to fill things up from the inside. It is also filled with artists drawn here: writers, musicians, poets, woodworkers, fiber artists, film makers, and traditional painters to name a few. Rather than trying to block others from entering this creative world, Maine artists tend to be generous and approachable. It is artistic heaven, especially for someone who has inched her way into this world over decades. Decades of working without an art school background, but with a need to create that drives the work I do as I grow in my craft. Each place I have lived, from several national parks to Paris, and Portland, Oregon, to Portland, Maine, has inspired the direction of my art.
My grandmother painted in a Grandma Moses style, but gave it up under the demands of a busy life. She "made do" with inexpensive paints and toothpicks wrapped with cotton, creating exquisite scenes that still amaze me. I stared at her work over my youngest years, trying to deconstruct how she achieved each effect. It eventually led me to try to do the same. And, although our styles are completely different, I like to think she would approve of the work.
I mostly paint the world in which I live, doing the things that I love. While I sometimes sketch on site, and occasionally paint outside, most of my work is done from photos I have taken while hiking or exploring my world. I try to recapture the beauty of light or composition or feeling that drew my attention to a particular scene. Besides the varied landscapes and activities of Maine, I spend part of each summer at a family cabin in Northern Michigan. These two locations provide a rich and changing source of material for my work.
I hope you enjoy your visit to this site. If you have questions, comments, or would like to purchase a piece, I would love to hear from you. I hope this body of work captures a little of the joy that I have found in this place and work.