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Frenchtown painter opens exhibit with book-signing


Painter John Schmidtberger, who often features Delaware River Valley locations in his paintings, is exhibiting Maine paintings this month, with a combination reception and book-signing at his gallery in Frenchtown, N.J.

“Sojourn: Recent Paintings from the Maine Coast” runs from March through April, and features mostly small to midsize landscape paintings completed in the summer and fall of 2022.

A special celebration and book-signing has been planned for the artist from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, March 11. Schmidtberger recently published a self-titled book of paintings from the past 20 years, which also features an in-depth interview with Frenchtown poet Fred Lowe. This event is free and open to the public.

Unlike many nature painters, Schmidtberger works completely “en plein air,” setting up his easel at his chosen vantage point and completing a painting outdoors, even if it takes more than one session. “Sometimes I have to wait days to get the same weather,” he said.

He does not work from photos or retouch later in the studio. “This gives my paintings an immediacy that I think the viewer can feel. Collectors of my work tell me the scenes really energize a room…they don’t just hang there. They breathe.”

“Sojourn” refers to a painting trip Schmidtberger made to the rugged Maine coast in October 2022. Having not painted the fall in Maine for more than 10 years, he was eager to return, armed with new brushes and piles of linen-wrapped panels. He produced 21 paintings in 22 days, an all-time productivity record for the artist.

Fortunately, the fall foliage was then at its peak of brilliance and figured in many of the paintings. The subjects included mountains, lakes, country roads and the scarlet-red blueberry “barrens,” which also were at their peak. Schmidtberger also spent time working on the many peninsulas and bays that dot the region, and the remote fishing and lobstering villages one finds there.

For information, contact 908-268-1700 or

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