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Henry Isaacs

Henry Isaacs

Henry Isaacs

Cranberry Island artist Henry Isaacs paints with energy, passion, and self-assurance. His style—broken brushwork and a palette of delicate blues, greens, pinks, and yellows—marks him as one of the most recognizable artists painting in Maine today. In person, Isaacs is as engaging an individual as you will ever meet. He is both worldly and down to earth, both witty and self-effacing, generous with his time, and passionate about the dangers of the art world’s becoming overly commercialized.

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Cranberry Island artist Henry Isaacs paints with energy, passion, and self-assurance. His style—broken brushwork and a palette of delicate blues, greens, pinks, and yellows—marks him as one of the most recognizable artists painting in Maine today. In person, Isaacs is as engaging an individual as you will ever meet. He is both worldly and down to earth, both witty and self-effacing, generous with his time, and passionate about the dangers of the art world’s becoming overly commercialized.

 Isaacs and his wife Donna live in the village of Islesford on Little Cranberry Island, a small island located near the larger island of Mount Desert. But island living in no way inhibits Isaacs from going wherever he’s asked to paint. Recently, this was a commission to paint on the grounds of a large Namibian estate in southern Africa. “New Work” is Isaacs’ first one-person show in Portland, and for this special occasion, he has presented the gallery with nearly 20 paintings, some of very large in scale.

Isaacs has had a varied and impressive education, including the Slade School of Art in London, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the Putney School in Vermont.  Isaacs’ teaching career is even more impressive and varied, with stints teaching anatomical drawing at Dartmouth, drawing and painting at the Massachusetts College of Art, and drawing at several European colleges.

Freelance writer, and Portland Newspapers arts reviewer, Dan Kany uses high praise to describe Isaacs’ technique: “Isaacs’ approach to color is based in balancing warm and cool tones. He does this brilliantly with his ubiquitous whites and neutrals, and with his brighter colors as well. Like the French Impressionists, he doesn’t use black. [Isaacs’] handling of paint owes an unapologetic debt to the chunky boldness of the early 20th century Modernists and Fauves. The brushwork is strong, but primarily dedicated to the job of pushing paint around the canvas—an activity Isaacs clearly enjoys.”

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