Meet the Artists

Meet the Artists

Valerie Aponik lives with her husband Paul, and dog Ruby on Great Wass Island, Beals, Maine. Born in 1953, she grew up in Rhode Island and moved to Maine in 1976, following the back to the land movement. The extended family of son and stepson live in Maine.

She received her AD and BS in Nursing and Health Education from the University of Maine in Augusta and Farmington. She first studied painting with Lois Griffel at the Cape Cod School of Art  (following the work of Charles Hawthorne) inspired her use of color and form to convey light. Her pursuit of painting excellence has led to studies with Colin Page, Phillip Frey, T Allen Lawson, Louise Bourne and is ongoing every day.

“I am passionate about painting outdoors. Witnessing the color, form and light of a place that is changing, in motion and musical allows me to move out of the lines. I see spots of color and shape, that when laid down next to each other represent the whole. There is an urgency when painting outdoors to lay down the paint boldly, before it all changes. Whether it is a grand landscape or a celebration of the everyday, my work is a response to being present. Time stops at these moments for me. When the painting works, you can enjoy the tracks of paint and share my point of view.”

Heidi Beal, native Beals Islander, recently moved back to her home town area after living in upstate New York for over 25 years. She started drawing at a young age and began painting in her teens. She is essentially self-taught, having no formal art instruction througout her school years. However, she later took several pen and ink classes. A lifelong admirer of lighthouses, she began painting a series of Maine and New York lighthouses, selling many prints in local gift shops. She primarily works in acrylics, however over the years she has tried her hand at air brush, body painting, and photography. She has received several awards for her photography in New York.

Carole Donovan has been showing with “Art in the Library” since its inception and her often whimsical and thematic paintings have pleased and brought smiles and pleasure to local art lovers. She and her husband, Stuart, live on Englishman Bay in Jonesport, where they are owned by a kitty named Queeky, often a subject of her paintings.  She dabbles in stained-glass, creating three-dimensional sailboats, and she creates mosaics to use up left-over pieces of glass that would otherwise go to waste. She is also a Board member of Peabody Memorial Library in Jonesport.

Sadie is 32 years old and lives in Jonesport. She enjoys painting, scrapbooking, sewing, and generally all forms of creative energy that works towards putting more light and love in the world.

Sandy Gawkowski, and her husband Jay, live in Jonesport overlooking Sawyer Cove which is the model for her photos on canvas as well as photos of sunflowers grown from seed.

Her love for drawing and painting began as a child when her parents noticing a talent, gifted her with a “Learning to Draw with Jon Gnagy” kit in the 1950’s.

However, three hand surgeries later, and unable to draw or paint, her camera has become her photography medium.

Kylie Hinkley is currently a business student at the University of Maine, Machias and is the Finance Assistant at the Downeast Institute on Beals. She has been an avid volunteer at Peabody Memorial Library and is the Treasurer of the Board of Trustees. Through her volunteer efforts, she has worked diligently with the librarian to upgrade the library with many important programs for all ages, especially for children and teens. She has enjoyed photography as a hobby for many of her teenage years and loves to photograph scenic photos of the Moosabec area. A native of Jonesport, Kylie resides with her family and her cats Pete and Jordan.

Robert E. McCollum started his journey into photography when he was 16 years old. He was hired as a part-time Darkroom Assistant at the Springfield Herald Shopping Newspaper. Bob joined the U.S. Navy and was stationed at the NavCommSta Cutler, Maine. He met his wife Leslie who lived in Roque Bluffs, Maine.

Fast forward to 2014 and the couples retirement. Bob and Leslie moved back to Roque Bluffs to become full time residents. Now going on six years Bob has a number of accomplishments he is proud of: through Sunrise Senior College he taught two sessions of “Finding Your Photographer’s Eye”, a founding member of the “Bold Coast Artists Collective”, and the “Down East Photographer’s Group”.

Bob also founded the “Roque Bluffs Art Gallery and Learning Center” which is moving into its fifth year of operation. From May to October the gallery hosts at least one art show per month along with artistic classes.

Living in Maine inspires Jeanne to paint her small acrylic paintings. She paints almost every day and learns something as she paints each piece. Friends from away often go home with a painting as a memory of their visits to Jonesport.

Charlene is a local artist who has been enjoying a successful career doing her bird carvings. She is self-taught as an artist but had her late husband, Bob’s, guidance in woodcarving. Over the years she has earned numerous awards for her songbirds, shorebirds, and decoys. She has been featured in several magazine and newspaper articles. She has recently broadened her horizons and entered into the world of watercolor painting. After working with acrylics for so many years, she is loving the challenges that watercolor presents. Charlene is a full-time resident who owns and operates Nelson Decoys where she also showcases other local artists. Charlene is the Director of the Peabody Memorial Library’s Art in the Library program.

“When I go out to paint I have a location in mind, save driving around wasting time. Time is important when painting en plain air. Nature and all its elements change quickly and will influence how a painting will evolve to completion. Decisions are constantly being made – composition, color, brushwork, is this okay, do I need to change that? How can I indicate what I’m looking at? Painting directly pushes me to see and figure out my approach.” Galleries: Woodwind Gallery, Machias; Maine Farmland Trust, Belfast; Lighthouse Art Gallery, Lubec; Columbia Falls General, Columbia Falls; intermittently Schooner Aft Gallery, Milbridge; Sweet Pear Studio, Jonesport; and sometimes Grand Manan Gallery, Grand Manan. B.A. Interdisciplinary Fine Arts, concentration Visual Arts. Workshops: Robert Beck, Barry Coombs, Philip Frey, Colin Page, Sharon Yates Contact: – email 207-497-5739 – home gallery – website for more info.