BAR HARBOR — Author Carl Little and artist Philip Barter will speak about Little’s book “Philip Barter: Forever Maine” at the Jesup Memorial Library on Tuesday, Aug. 29, at 7 p.m. Pieces of Barter’s artwork, on loan from the Courthouse Gallery Fine Art in Ellsworth, will be on display at the library during August.
In “Philip Barter: Forever Maine,” Little traces Barter’s life from a formative trip to California in the 1960s to Down East Maine, where Barter and his wife, Priscilla, made a life immersed in art for themselves and their seven children; to critical acclaim for Barter in the 1990s and his most recent paintings from 2016 and 2017.
The book highlights a selection of masterful works that reflect Barter’s increasingly abstract inclinations in depicting Maine landscapes. Barter also explored the world beyond Maine, painting in Spain, Newfoundland, Greenland, the American Southwest and elsewhere.
“The narratives I paint are historical documents of the characters of Maine and the places they frequent,” said Barter, “a roguishly, independent people whom I seek out and try to be with, and who make this place I know the one-of-a kind place it is – forever Maine.”
Little is the author of more than 25 art books, including “Paintings of Maine,” “The Art of Monhegan Island” and “The Art of Maine in Winter.” He has written books on John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Dahlov Ipcar, Beverly Hallam, Francis Hamabe, Joel Babb, William Irvine, Jeffery Becton and, most recently, Wendy Turner. His book “Eric Hopkins: Above and Beyond” won the first John N. Cole Prize from Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance in 2012. He edited his brother David Little’s first book, “Art of Katahdin,” and co-authored “Art of Acadia.” Little’s poetry has been featured in five anthologies edited by Wesley McNair. He now lives on Mount Desert Island and is the director of communications and marketing at the Maine Community Foundation.
Barter is a self-taught artist from Boothbay, who was living in California during the 1960s when he met Alfonso Sosa, an abstract expressionist painter. Sosa took Barter under his wing and added a “charge of light and color” to Barter’s aesthetic vision, which influenced his work for the next 50 years. While living out west, Barter discovered the work of Marsden Hartley and felt an immediate connection with this great American modernist, vowing to further Hartley’s vision. Back in Boothbay Harbor, Barter met Frederick Rockwell, a painter and sculptor, who also encouraged Barter to keep painting. Barter has received critical acclaim for his work. Bates College Museum of Art mounted a retrospective of Barter’s work in 1992, and Bates, the Farnsworth Museum and Portland Museum of Art acquired his work. Barter has since spent a half-century painting narratives based on the Maine’s fiercely independent people and the landscape of his home state, becoming the “painter laureate” of the region.
Contact the Jesup at 288-4245 or [email protected]