“We visited John Whalley and his wife, Ellen, last summer while vacationing near his home in Damariscotta, Maine. As we entered his studio, beautifully organized with hundred of antique objects gleaned from small town barn sales, we spotted his latest offering, Nest at Olson’s. The effects he obtains with his use of egg tempera are electrifying. Mixing pure pigment only with egg gives the colors enhanced saturation, and the intense blue greens of the cupboard contrast sharply with the background and nest. There is always a story waiting to be told in Whalley’s work, and one’s imagination keeps coming back to guess the meaning.”
-Marcia Vose, Vice President
More information about this painting...
Nest at Olson’s depicts a bird’s nest in the kitchen of the Olson homestead in Cushing, Maine. Whalley was “taken by the blue green color, the worn patina full of stories, and [he] included a small card of the Robin . . . it echoed the story of the nest sitting there in the afternoon light." As with many of his still-life compositions, Whalley is deeply interested in the stories of objects. The home previously belonged to the Olson family, and is where artist Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009) maintained a studio for many years and painted numerous works, including his most notable Christina’s World which depicts Christina Olson. The Olson house was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2011 and is now owned and maintained by the Farnsworth Museum.
Collection of the artist
Signed lower left: JOHN WHALLEY