Louise Bourne

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Louise Bourne

“Louise Bourne’s paintings offer a visceral response to the physical world. They are deeply emotive, felt responses to the artist’s immediate surroundings. Light, atmosphere, elements of the landscape, corners of sunny porches, the interior of the studio- wherever she turns her keen eye and probing brush, we are rewarded with paintings that reflect her deep intelligence and curiosity about the world. Like the paintings of Fairfield Porter, Bourne’s paintings make us care about the most humble and yet most universal of subjects, our everyday lives.” Suzette McAvoy, Director, Center for Maine Contemporary Art.


I hold a BFA from Portland School of Art (now Maine College of Art), and an MFA from the University of Michigan. My work is in collections throughout this country and in the UK. I teach at the University of Maine in Orono, Colby College, Maine Maritime Academy, and privately.

I am interested in how color shifts in a given light condition and how those changes move through and structure a painting. Gathering and responding to visual information, to the sensual world, keeps me itching to paint. I like the challenge of natural light, its dynamic quality.

We’ve learned that most of what constitutes a person is not so much human molecules, but water and bacteria, not so different from the surrounding air, or from the next person. Similarly, the constitution of a painting is not about separate objects and their locations, but about the pieces of color these things and spaces divide into, and that, simultaneously, unify them. This matrix delights me and informs my paintings.

Recently, I have been making multi-panel paintings.  When we experience wide open space, we turn our heads; stop, and turn again.  This is how I think of each panel: a moment of vision, a chance to compose a painting within an overall experience.  Usually the sections are vertical or square, like a cross section of  the traditional landscape horizontal.  I enjoy working large, as I can deal with the proportional intervals between islands and navigational markers.