Chronology of my experience in art
1970 -1973 University of New Hampshire studied under John Laurent and John Hatch as Art Minor
1974 pursued water color as medium with restaurant exhibition in the coming of age Old Port District in Portland Maine
1974-1978 University of Cincinnati Medical School student. Watercolor remains medium of expression though limited to vacation and increasing limited opportunity in academic Schedule.
1978-1981 Maine-Dartmouth Family Practice resident, Augusta, Maine. On call schedule remarkably reasonable and allowed for continued refinement of watercolor technique.
1981-2015 Family Practitioner Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Preferred medium evolves to use of oil paint on gessoed board after being given a wet palette my brother Peter had finished with and finding a freedom and comfort in the plein air setting previously not experienced at that level with watercolor. Peter who also had minored in art at Bowdoin College studying under Joseph Nicoletti remains my most strident critic turning paintings to the wall that he is unapproving of.
2014-present Although living in coastal Maine where cottage renovation and wooden boat building is carried on year round and what is not reused or discarded after being altered by blade to router bit, available in the transfer / recycling domain of this region, I was late to recognize the ready availability of a resource that has fueled a pension for 3 dimensional assemblage sculpture. Equally available has been drawers from desks and bureaus for one reason or another finding their way to the woodpile at the transfer station. When it is possible to salvage these before they are broken down by heavy equipment and sent to the chipper, I have cut them down on a table saw to a 2 inch depth and use that as a template for what is assembled within. The relative shallowness of the sculpture allows it to be hung easily on a wall and although the challenge for people with low tolerance for dust they are pleasing to the eye.
Location of Studio
Studio André Benoit
Boothbay Harbor, Maine 04538
227 Samoset Road
Locations of artist in residence
- Cape Elizabeth, Maine
- Cliff Island, Maine
- Cincinnati, Ohio
- West Gardiner, Maine
- Boothbay Harbor, Maine
- Hurricane Island Penobscot Bay, Maine
- Monhegan Island, Maine
- Camp Keewaydin, Ontario Canada
- Eaton Island, Little Deer Isle, Maine
- Northeast Harbor, Mount Desert Island, Maine
- Ellsworth Maine
- Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland
Artists of influence
- Edward Hopper
- Rockwell Kent
- James Fitzgerald
- Group of Seven, Canadian
- Marsden Hartley
- Bernard Langlais
It seems for a lifetime I have been drawn to collecting things of interesting shape and visual appearance. Most of my youthful treasures before the inception of propeller sparing styrofoam buoys were wooden wash ashore lobster buoys often shaped by the Salt water hardened hands of a fisherman equally skilled in sculpting Half models and duck decoys out of season. Less colorful and less unique we’re brass shell casings found at A pre WW1 coastal defense installation that was slowly being phased out during my youth. After school access to the sandpit where these were found was through a fault in a chain-link/barb wire fence on the East side of my grandmother’s property that abutted the military base which allowed me to east cape interrogation at the facilities entrance as to the purpose of my visit had I tried to pass through more legitimately.
I attended a high school with a reputation of emphasizing the classics and that made no effort to broaden its curriculum to include any type of instruction in art to soften the emphasis on the dying language, Latin. It was not until I attended college that I had an awakening to A growing visual orientation that seem to advance exponentially during my freshman year. Slowly I mastered perspective and without a curriculum in color, Intuitively became comfortable with color compatibility and composition, spending little time in trying to represent realism, believing that less detail evoked a mood response from the viewer not dissimilar to the effect of a paucity of words in a poets verse. Embracing the ideology that less is more would appear critical to inviting readers and viewers of art to alternate interpretation of what often is intentional ambiguity of meaning or artistic purpose.
My early paintings were primarily dry brush watercolor still preferred by friends and family over my recent work in oil and acrylic. In my professional life as a physician I had the fortune of living in a primarily marine oriented community which provided work for many skilled ships carpenters as well as a vacation destination for many third and fourth generation families occupying turn-of-the-century cottages stressed by strong wind and repetitive wetting and drying requiring the need for replacement of porch trim and other ornamental details of Victorian cottage architecture.
In my lifetime the dump became a transfer station and what in years past would’ve been burned now depending on time of day and the activity of the heavy front end loader and the monstrous wood grinding equipment ,can be salvaged. Over the past 15 years I had growing interest in assemblage sculpture struck by the initial work of Louise Nevelson where entropy was allowed to invade later more organized eclectic wooden collections as well as the creative designs and animal representation of Bernard Langlais who utilized flotsam, jetsam and found wood that he often would distress in innumerable ways. With availability and the uncertainty of the future of such unique raw materials the number of blue Rubbermaid barrels and their handpicked contents proliferated in my dooryard. In the late fall of my youngest son’s senior year my collection experienced a sudden shrinkage over a homecoming weekend when number 3 son felt I would not miss a few barrels of what he regarded as prime kindling for the school bonfire remaining defensively unaccountable when I chided him for an authorized taking of some of my best handpicked and unique pieces of wood that I was saving for a rainy day when there would be time to bring the pieces together ,planning for which had been going on for over a decade but only came to fruition three years ago.
Although aware of Rorschach, I have never studied the patterns nor wished to have a personal interpretation analyzed, preferring to interpret the likeness to living things seen in Driftwood or passing clouds overhead.
A template for my wooden assemblages or constructs as some people refer to them was chosen when I witnessed this disposal of multiple desks and bureaus and other cabinet like structures containing drawers that had been inhabited by mice and squirrels during the winter in vacated cottages. The undesired occupation generally would lead to staining and odor contamination from excrement with no apparent interest or attempt by the cottage owner to prevent this with use of mothballs or a more recent anecdotal favorite, dryer sheets both strategies I feel, pale to the effectiveness of turning the drawer upside down and replacing it into the framework that holds it ,until the following summer.
The drawers I prefer are dovetailed and exhibit a century of patina. Nearly all have to be cut down to a depth of approximately 3 inches to prevent room intrusion when hung on the wall or excessive shadowing of the component pieces.
What I choose to represent may range from maritime iconic to impressionistic and their coloration mono to multi-chromic. With abstractions, I generally attempt to create more than one focal point to maintain eye-movement through the composition beyond a single glance
Although it is easy to comment on what my intent was with each piece that I complete, I prefer to tell of the circumstances surrounding the acquiring of the composite pieces as many come from interesting circumstances, occurrences and human interaction as well as often from viewer unrecognized prior use or purpose.
Photos of Guy Ducas