Maine Home & Design Magazine's "The ART Issue" features Maine College of Art & Design through out its page; take a look below and make sure to buy the entire issue— out on newsstands now!
Last winter, I took a painting class through the Continuing Education program at Maine College of Art & Design. Ten of us— we happened to be all women, ranging from a South American exchange student to a retired doctor to several, who, like me, were squeezing in a bit of right-brain activity after our nine-to-five hours— met every Thursday in one of the available studios. The class? Inspiring, and demonstrative of the educational vision at MECA&D (Staying the Course, page 50). My painting ability? Let's just say it's a good thing I have a 9-5.
During one of the exercises, we were to replicate a well-known work. I sat before an easel in old jeans and my now purple-paint-stained puffy coat, and working from a photograph. I studied dozens of different colors in an attempt to find each match. What kept going through my head were lines from a chapter on John Ruskin in Alain de Botton's The Art of Travel. De Botton writes, "If drawing had value even when practiced by those with no talent, it was, Ruskin believes, because it could teach us to see— that is, to notice rather than merely look."
Ruskin had it right. Since that class, I never regarded anything quite the same. Art gives you a new way of looking, and encourages you to study the details, to open up your eyes and gaze upon beauty, and finally, for the first time, to really see. All those hours of slowly swirling out a slightly brighter blue, just adding just a bit more green, a hint more orange has given me a new appreciation for a when a designer comes up with a killer color palette, or for how the veining in a marble countertop, for example, may complement the pattern of a tile backsplash which plays off the warm cast of the bronze pulls, their square lines echoing the seatback of the dining chairs. Aren't designers basically painting their vision of a room?
Even the best designed home never really feels decorated until there is actual art on the walls. It creates a focal point, brings in a sense of texture, and most important, should be something the owners love to look at. So I'll leave you to feast your eyes on the following pages. They're filled with artful beauty at every turn.
— Jen DeRose, Managing Editor
Maine Home & Design Magazine
Maine Home+Design is connected to those who live and breathe architecture, art, and good living. Its pages are filled with architectural masterpieces, home design inspiration, compelling artwork, designers, craftspeople, and the latest design trends and industry news. Each issue brims with original writing and photography capturing interiors, exteriors, and the heart of Maine homes from traditional to modern styles—and everything in between.