MOUNT DESERT — Growing up in Australia, Joanna Logue knew at a young age that she wanted to be a painter.
“Drawing and painting came so naturally to me,” she said in an email to the Islander. “Being a very anxious child, it was something I could do which empowered and grounded me.”
Back in her heartland, Logue has created the kind of reputation as a painter where she has two shows a year in a gallery in Sidney and numerous works in other galleries there. In her Somesville studio, Logue paints full time and can often post a newly finished work on Instagram before going to bed and have it sold by the time she wakes up.
During the month of October, art lovers can view Logue’s show, Rhythm and Rhyme, at The Gallery at Somes Sound on Main Street in Somesville. While the exhibit will officially open on Oct. 1, there is a day-long soft opening on Saturday, Oct. 9, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. where visitors can meet Logue. A portion of the proceeds from any works sold during the show will be donated to Acadia Wildlife Center in Bar Harbor.
“I wanted to give something back because I’ve gained so much being here, a new way of seeing,” she said from her studio in Somesville.
Logue moved to Mount Desert Island in 2017 when her new husband was hired by The Jackson Laboratory to work in their stem-cell research department. Living next to Acadia National Park has made for a whole new landscape and subject than where she grew up in southeastern Australia.
“The seasons change so quickly here and that sort of wakes you up to how transient the landscape is and how transient life is,” she explained. “These paintings for this show are called my meditation paintings…in response to that relationship I made with nature during the pandemic year.”
Using oil paints, Logue’s images go on linen or birch board with paintbrushes and often a concrete trowel that creates sharp edges among her softer mix of colors and shapes.
“I’ve learned so much by looking at how other artists interpret that landscape,” she said, mentioning several classic artists who have spent time on MDI. “My whole idea is I communicate a whole different way, through a unique language. I’ve never understood why people want to paint something in its likeness. I think it’s important to push beyond that.”
In her studio collection, there are paintings of different sizes showcasing reflections from Pretty Marsh, Somes Pond and Witch Hole, one of Logue’s favorite places.
“I can find so much beauty there in its mysteriousness,” she said, further explaining her process. “I go and make little gouaches in the woods. Then I come home and I work it out here, sometimes from memory because you can bring more of the essence and feeling of a place in.”
Recent exhibits in Australia feature the scenes she paints from here and those who are fans of her award-winning work are eating it up.
“Regardless of where I draw my inspiration, it’s more about the spirit of place,” she explains, “more of where I arrive at.”
Some of Logue’s paintings have a dreamlike feel to them and others offer a sharper take on lines and shape. Each is an extension of her hand speaking from her heart.
“They’re very soft and very emotional for me,” she said.