Poet Gary Rainford, left, and painter Gary Hoyle. PHOTO COURTESY OF WENDELL GILLEY MUSEUM

Inspiration flows between Swan’s Island neighbors 



A painting by Gary Hoyle that uses a technique called marbleizing.
PHOTO COURTESY OF WENDELL GILLEY MUSEUM

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Painter Gary Hoyle and poet Gary Rainford delve into the details of a new artistic collaboration, “InkFloating,” fueled by their longtime friendship in an online event with the Wendell Gilley Museum on Friday, April 29, at 7 p.m.  

Rainford and Hoyle are next-door neighbors on Swan’s Island and have long admired one another’s work. “InkFloating” was sparked when Rainford borrowed one of Hoyle’s paintings. It inspired him to write a poem, which spurred Hoyle to make another painting. 

“Since then, inspiration has flowed back and forth,” says Hoyle.  

In 2019, Rainford told interviewer Carl Little that “if we’re not communicating about art,” Rainford relates, “we’re borrowing tools and materials.” 

The Garys’ current work together is all about the confluence of visuals and verse, the flow of ink on the canvas and the page, and the ways each form guides and enriches the other.  

Using a technique called marbleizing, in which a stretched canvas is dipped into ink floating on water, Hoyle works with the flow of ink as the foundation for his paintings; they look like aerial views of waterways and landscapes.  

In response, Rainford employs unique punctuation and line structure in his prose poems to make them “drip” down the page, creating moments of surprise. 

Both Garys are lifelong artists with an impressive set of past works. 

Hoyle’s sculptures and paintings have been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the United States, as well as at the Aomori Prefecture Museum in Japan. In a 28-year career with the Maine State Museum as an exhibits artist and the Curator of Natural History, he designed and fabricated a majority of the exhibit elements for the permanent exhibit halls, worked on a team that relocated and restored four historically important wildlife habitat dioramas, and led a100-person excavation of the first discovered bones of a woolly mammoth in Maine. A book about that discovery, “Mystery Tusk: The Search for Elephants in the Maine Woods,” will be published later this year by North Country Press. 

He has also created exhibits and artistic works for museums and corporations nationwide, and his work appears in the book “Art of Acadia.” He has been an artist in residence with Acadia National Park. His fanciful dinosaur illustrations toured the United States in “The Dinosaur Show” sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Smithsonian Institution. In 2008 he was Artist in Residence at the Climate Change Institute where he developed a cartoon series on global warming.  

Gary Rainford’s latest collection, “Adrift,” is being published by North Country Press this month.
PHOTO COURTESY OF WENDELL GILLEY MUSEUM

Rainford says his poems are shaped by tides, saltwater and music. His latest collection, “Adrift,” is being published by North Country Press this month. “I really dig what Gary does here. He plunges into everyday lives and worries, family loves and loss, but he does it with a sweet twist of dialogue, making the person the poem, the words draw out the inner poem in the speaker,” says poet, memoirist and screenwriter Jimmy Santiago Baca. “They become real to us, become our friends and family and neighbors.” 

Rainford is also the author of two other poetry collections – “Salty Liquor” and “Liner Notes.” His suite of poems, “We Are Here,” was an honorable mention selected by Betsy Sholl for The Gabriel Zimpritch Memorial Poetry Prize.  

This special event is free and open to the public, but registration is required at www.wendellgilleymuseum.org/reserve/RAMKR. 

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