Support Local Artists This Holiday Season and Create a Legacy for Your Family
Updated: Nov 23
The holidays will certainly be different than years past due to the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still spread holiday cheer and give thanks for all the blessings in our lives. One of my favorite gifts to give the loved ones in my life is a piece of original artwork.
It’s not only a way to transform any space in your home, but it helps build a legacy for your family. When my grandchildren were born, I gave them each a special piece of artwork so they can build their own art collection as they grow up.
It’s more important now than ever to support our local artists and businesses. Here are some of my favorites.
(Blue Serenity/Photo Courtesy of Holly Lombardo)
Holly Lombardo grew up in Maine and has an amazing ability to bring the vibrant colors of nature to life. “I have always noticed the colors in nature,” Lombardo says. “The greens and greys in the rocks and ocean, the dappled sunlight on the trunks of the great pines and the blues and purples in the shadows of the snow. It is this color palette that inspires my work.”
Elizabeth Whelton’s work ranges from traditional landscapes in watercolor to abstract paintings in oil and acrylic. Based in Portsmouth NH, Whelton says her work is “heavily influenced by her life in and around Maine and New Hampshire” and it shows. She is deeply inspired by weather, botany, horticulture and oceanography, which all are great elements to draw from in your home design.
Portsmouth NH-based Kent Maxwell says he tries to “transport viewers to worlds unseen while imbuing them with a sense of nostalgia or mystery” with his artwork and he succeeds in that endeavor. “I veer away from the detail presented in traditional landscapes and hyperrealist scenery and instead highlight universal visuals through an impressionistic focus,” Maxwell says. “The effect is liberation from the world we inhibit in the present moment and an escape to a place with the eerie familiarity of a lost memory.”
(Wentworth By the Sea in New Castle, NH/Photo Courtesy of Christopher Volpe)
I’ve always been drawn to Christopher Volpe’s intense and haunting artwork. Based in Hollis NH, Volpe says he aspires to create paintings that “turn the pain and confusion of being human into a kind of beauty that doesn’t deny the darkness or sugarcoast reality yet insists on a lyrical engagement, not just with the world around us, but with the deeper mysteries of the human heart.” Volpe has an upcoming exhibit titled "Transient Light" at the Kennedy Gallery and Custom Framing at 41 Market St. in Portsmouth from January 8 - February 26, 2021. His artwork also hangs at the historic Wentworth by the Sea in New Castle NH.
INGUNN MILLA JOERGENSEN
Ingunn Milla Joergensen moved to Maine in 2007 from her native Norway. She describes her art as having “this sense of something timeless, grounded, peaceful, quiet and the presence of the absent.” Joergensen is greatly inspired by the rugged landscape and hardworking people of New England. “Standing inside a huge old barn when the sun is beaming through all the gaps fills me great respect for those who, with such perseverance and hard work, created it,” she says. Her artwork has a natural aesthetic that works in any space.
Based in Peterborough NH, Daniel Thiebault is a self-taught painter and his work is greatly inspired by the Mount Monadnock region. He paints portraits, flowers and still lifes as well as nature and landscapes. His artwork reflects the beauty and magic of New Hampshire and will bring the spirit of the Granite State into your home.
Sue Callihan is also based in Peterborough NH and draws on the beauty of the Mount Monadnock region to inspire her artwork. “My landscapes, painted in oil, attempt to capture the unique beauty of the region. I am especially drawn to the wetlands – marshes, boggy meadows, spring-flooded fields – in part because they are constantly changing, season to season and hour to hour. But also because they are so affected by the light and hold so many secrets,” Callihan says.
(Sawyers Beach Breeze/Photo courtesy of Sam Malpass)
Based in Rye NH, Sam Palpass has traveled all over the world. She has studied in Australia, New York, Spain and Argentina, but she has deep roots here on the seacoast. Her artwork reflects her wanderlust lifestyle. “Everything I see, feel and experience contributes to the depth and fervor of my work. I am constantly traveling, learning and reinventing myself through my art,” she says. Her sister Charly Malpass is also an accomplished artist who is now based in California.
Charly Malpass has traveled the world, like her sister Sam Malpass, and draws on her global experiences to create her art and fuel her inspiration. She studied in Italy and Greece and now lives and works in California. “Art has no guidelines. Art has no rules. So I dig deep into my roots. I seek out inspiration from my travels and recreate the light from the memories. And that is how invention is born,” she says.