Ted Bidwell

image of rug

My journey into the art world began in New York City in the free wheeling 60’s. The city’s distinct architecture and interesting building shapes stimulated an interest in drawing and catching unusual light effects from NYC’s great sunsets. Around that time with a lifelong connection to Islesboro Maine, I began experimenting with watercolor paint to capture the magical effects of light on mussel and clam shells near our summer house. I had long been inspired by several of the great artists who painted in the Maine coastal area around Penobscot Bay such as Frank Benson, Hopper, Homer and, of course, the Wyeth’s. Living the rest of the year in the artist town of Gloucester, Massachusetts has given me great exposure to regular classes and workshops from the areas’ experienced senior artists. Gloucester’s working waterfront gives ever changing scenery much like that of the Maine coast. While our boats have changed in recent years from sailing fishing boats to colorful draggers and now more heavily involving lobster boats, the shapes, colors and light shadow effects from the sea continue to inspire.

My style of painting has evolved from a somewhat realistic approach to a more impressionist vision now. Ideally I would want to paint outdoors and catch the reality of the scene in terms of value (light and dark) relationships, simplicity of message and color relationships that create excitement. I feel that the most interesting art to me now achieves a harmonious sense of the scene or a capture of a feeling of the moment of the viewer’s experience when there might be that “wow” response. Color and light go hand in hand to help achieve that effect. But with issues of weather and the New England climate often I must fall back on photos during those weather interruptions.

Some of my teachers have been at the Rockport Art Association, especially Ron Straka and Caleb Stone. Others who have helped include David Lussier and the many workshops I have done with him, Rokia Waring and David Curtis and Mike Graves.

I have shown my art for many years at the Islesboro Historical Society summer shows, the Islesboro Community Center, the Gloucester Sawyer Library (solo show), and local coffee shops and restaurants. I have also have participated in several juried shows at the Gloucester Bass Rocks Golf Club.

My long term goal is to continue to improve and be more selective of the information I convey so as to deliver a simpler but more effective message of beauty in nature.

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