“Madonna and Children” by Diana Roper McDowell. PHOTO COURTESY OF WENDELL GILLEY MUSEUM

Local painter explores the shapes of nature  



“Afternoon Walk in Acadia National Park” by Diana Roper McDowell.
PHOTO COURTESY OF WENDELL GILLEY MUSEUM

SOUTHWEST HARBOR —Artist Diana Roper McDowell translates natural landscapes into geometric shapes while retaining the warm and organic feel of the scenes she paints. She is the featured People-Nature-Art presenter at the Wendell Gilley Museum and will give a free Zoom presentation on Tuesday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m. 

“I explore both abstractionism and realism in art, and I work to combine the two art forms,” Roper McDowell said. “The outline of my subject matter leans towards realism, but the shapes of color inside the subject, are abstract. I use color and line to meld the two art forms together.”  

Roper McDowell’s work is shown widely throughout the region at public venues and art galleries. 

“Half the time I spend creating a work of art is spent drawing,” Roper McDowell said. “I use this time to explore what interesting shapes it takes to make your eye move throughout the painting and pull the viewer in. Then I work with color to either solidify the realism, or give rise to more abstraction, depending on what works best to hold the viewer’s interest.” 

“Crow in the Maple Tree” by Diana Roper McDowell.
PHOTO COURTESY OF WENDELL GILLEY MUSEUM

Roper McDowell studied art at the Norton Gallery & School of Art in West Palm Beach, Fla., and at the University of Maine Orono. Her work is included in the books “The Art of Acadia” and “Paintings of Maine – A New Collection.” 

People-Nature-Art is the Gilley’s signature year-round series, offered once a month, that brings painters, writers, carvers and creative types of all kinds to the museum to share how nature impacts their art and how that art affects their approach to the natural world.  

Registration is required at www.wendellgilleymuseum.org/events and attendees will receive a Zoom link a few days before the event. 

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