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Frenchtown painter brings home Maine light in new exhibit


Frenchtown, N.J., painter John Schmidtberger, who often features local architecture and natural settings in his paintings, spent four weeks in Maine this summer, capturing scenes in the Pine Tree State.

“The Upper Black Eddy-Frenchtown river area is beautiful, and I love painting it, but Maine tugs at my heart,” said the painter.

His teacher Neil Welliver, whose works hang in many major museum collections, introduced him to mid-coast Maine and Schmidtberger has a passion for depicting its special atmosphere.

“It fascinates me. Its crisp light, with so little haze, changes how colors appear, how distance occurs, and how light sculpts subjects. I can get totally involved in capturing that.”

His most recent works, from Maine and New Jersey, will hang in a new exhibition, “My Maine Thing,” opening Oct. 5.

“I want to share my explorations in painting both states, so people can see for themselves the way locations really inhabit paintings,” he said. “In all my works there is a quiet expectancy. Either something has happened, so the painting is a portrait of a memory, or the viewer senses something is about to happen. They are landscapes but there’s a story in them if you look.”

“My Maine Thing” will open at the SFA Gallery, 10 Bridge St., Frenchtown, N.J., from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5. The exhibition will run through Nov. 20, featuring many paintings from Maine and New Jersey for sale.

For information, visit the gallery website, or call 908-268-1700.

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