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Portland Painter Bethany J. Major

Curtain Call, 2011, 22 x 26 by Bethany J. Major

Landsea, 2011, 24 x 36 by Bethany J. Major

I view most of my work as imagined seascapes and landscapes. I concentrate on horizon lines, light, and deep layers of color. My goal is to create a sense of place. Using flashes of brightness in a horizon line, or a dark streak hiding in a field of light, I am trying to create that special area the eye will gravitate towards and then search for what else might be hidden there.

I fight with my paintings. I wrestle them into what you see. One time I found myself sneaking up on a painting to put tape over it, as if I was trying to take it by surprise. I laughed at myself after, but the feeling was real. There are usually about five “other” paintings underneath the last, layer upon layer, sometimes taking months, sometimes set aside for years before I put it back on the easel and continue. Really they create themselves, I just try to guide them in a direction, but often I feel as if I have no control at all over the finished piece. They become what they are meant to be.

My early work was done using gouache with colored chalk and charcoal on paper, the only painting tools I'd been familiar with. I've since graduated to gouache and acrylics mixed with gel mediums on canvas to create texture in the surfaces.

Major Graduated from Maine College of Art (MECA) 1992. BFA with concentration in Ceramics.

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