EXETER — As part of their ongoing Body of Work series, this May the Seacoast Artist Association in Exeter, will feature oil paintings by Jim Ryan and watercolors by Lorraine Makhoul.

Known for his oil paintings of birds of prey, some of which now grace the walls of the new Center for Wildlife facility in York, Maine, Jim Ryan now turns his talent to songbirds. In his new series, “Unexpected Visitors”, Jim has placed birds seen in his yard into still lifes he designed in his studio. He calls this “a whimsical venture into realism.” Surprisingly, Jim started painting only a few years ago and is mainly self-taught. He works in oils, but also uses watercolors, colored pencils, charcoal, graphite, and also enjoys working “en Plein Air”. "My style is still developing, so I’m still not sure how to classify my art. I guess most would call it contemporary realism. It’s exciting to see it change and develop, and I try not to force it or listen to others tell me where I should go. The artists that have influenced me include Robert Bateman, Andrew Thicshler, David Cheifetz, and John James Audubon."

Lorraine Makhoul has been drawing and painting since she was a child. She has taken a number of art classes but is mostly self-taught. Her new show “Definition in Watercolors” shows her love for detail. “My watercolors are unique in that they are not ‘loose’ and ‘unstructured’. I like detail, color, and definition; it just feels right to me.” Her painting "Fish Shanty I" was awarded First Place in Watercolors at the Newburyport Art Association in their 2018 Fall Members Juried show. As an amateur photographer, Lorraine has a wide variety of photographs to choose from when she wants to begin a painting. “If I don’t have a reference photo, I just go out and take one.”

May hours at the gallery are Wed.-Sat., 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and Sun., 1:00-4:00 p.m. Masks and social distancing required. Please call 603-778-8856 for more information or visit seacoastartistassociation.org.

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