South Portland, ME
Jack Riddle, a Maine Painter
A native of the New York City area, Jack summered in Maine as a young child and moved there initially in 1970, and then permanently in 1981. A businessman for most of his career, he has always had a passion for the arts and became especially active in local and regional music organizations. He dabbled in drawing and painting for most of his life, but it was a trip to Tuscany with friends Bill and Mary Hall in September, 2001 that triggered a serious interest in painting. Mary is a fine painter and tutored Jack during that time. Jack speculates that it was the combination of the natural beauty of Tuscany juxtaposed against the events of 9/11 that inspired his renewed interest in painting.
Jack’s varied art education ranges from his own independent study to working with established artists. He studied drawing with Kathleen Boldt of Brunswick, Maine, and also taken course work at Maine College of Art and University of Southern Maine. He has also studied with noted San Miguel de Allende, Mexico painter, Frank Gardner with whom he first experienced plein air painting. His independent study includes the writings of Charles Hawthorne, Robert Henri, John Carlson, Emille Gruppe and others. He is continuing his studies and now paints full time at his studio in South Portland concentrating on landscape and cityscapes of Mexico, other travel destinations and Maine, still lifes, what he calls “scenes,” and he has a separate collection of figure and portrait work.
Jack has had shows at a wide range of locations in Maine including restaurants, banks, specialty stores and galleries. He also shows in the major outdoor shows in southern Maine during the summer.
“I usually pick scenes that are to me inherently beautiful, move me in some way, or suggest an untold story. I am particularly attracted to ironies and contradictions. I now paint plein air or draw images from memory or from photographs. I start with sketches and usually have a plan in mind. But I often find that the process inspires new ideas so I never really know what the end is going to be until I get there. I find this discovery and rediscovery of ideas exciting and inspiring, and I hope the exhilaration that comes from this is reflected in my work.”