Emily Trenholm: Monhegan: A New Perspective


During a five-week artist residency on Monhegan Island Emily Trenholm walked the same island paths trekked by scores of other painters, including Rockwell Kent and Edward Hopper. While these acclaimed artists have been inspirational, Trenholm aspired to offer a fresh vision of the dramatic rock and surf captured by so many. Her plein air paintings portray the eternal energy of this dynamic landscape. The artist’s bold palette, skillful manipulation of oil paint, and ability to capture the ebb and flow of nature, has resulted in a beautiful array of works that attest to the uniqueness of this historic island.

This exhibition offers a prolonged contemplation of carefully chosen locations, the majority of which are on the east side of the island. Trenholm explored one particular place over several days in multiple paintings as she sought to absorb the essence of the environment and “paint my perception of an exact moment in time.” Her loose and varied brushstrokes reveal nature’s colorful exuberance in landscapes that, at times, dissolve into abstraction. She explains that “the chasing of light brings an abstract quality” to the works. Monhegan’s frequently changing environmental conditions create painting challenges that result in revisions—compositional elements shift and colors fluctuate. It is this search that has imbued Trenholm’s paintings with abundant vitality and has produced a fresh contemporary glimpse of one of Maine’s most treasured artist destinations.

Emily Trenholm received a BFA in painting from University of New Hampshire and a MFA in painting from Boston University, where she studied with celebrated painter John Walker. Her works have been shown at Rose Contemporary, Portland, ME; Bromfield Gallery, Boston; Bowery Gallery, New York City. This summer Trenholm will exhibit works at the George Marshall Store Gallery in York, ME.

Christmas Cove , 2012
Oil on panel
Courtesy of the artist