Artist Philip Barter, whose career has spanned more than 50 years, says a new book on his work is an opportunity to “look back with contentment.” ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

Philip Barter to discuss painting with Carl Little

MOUNT DESERT — Artist Philip Barter and author Carl Little will speak Wednesday, July 10, at 5:30 p.m. at the Northeast Harbor Library.

Two years ago, the two collaborated on a book about Barter’s career, “Philip Barter: Forever Maine.”

Barter was born in 1939. When he in his twenties, he discovered Marsden Hartley, and he felt a calling: to further the vision of the great American modernist.

This was an ambitious undertaking for a brash, self-taught artist from Boothbay Harbor.

“But passion for Maine and its fiercely independent people gave his work a unique, unencumbered vision. Barter was prolific and he spent a half-century painting the landscape of his home state, becoming the ‘poet laureate’ of the region,” event organizers said.

Little describes Barter as a “master simplifier.”

In the book, Little traces the painter’s life from a formative trip to California in the 1960s to Downeast Maine where Barter and his wife Priscilla made a life immersed in art for themselves and their seven children.

The book highlights a selection works that reflect Barter’s increasingly abstract inclinations in depicting Maine landscapes, from the coastal estuaries and blueberry barrens of Washington and Hancock counties to the western mountains and lakes and north to Mount Katahdin.

Barter also explored the world beyond Maine, painting in Spain, Newfoundland, Greenland, and the American Southwest.

“The narratives I paint are historical documents of the characters of Maine and the places they frequent, a roguishly, independent people whom I seek out and try to be with and who make this place I know the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,” Barter said.

Contact 276-3333.

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