Although a native New Yorker, John Whalley discovered a passion for the Maine coast over twenty years ago and has continued to be inspired by its landscape and people ever since. In graphite drawings, oil, watercolor and egg tempera paintings of finite detail and delicacy, Whalley depicts landscapes and figures, as well as arrangements of discarded objects that he collects while exploring the coastline near his home in Damariscotta, Maine. His studio shelves are stacked with the subjects of his paintings: rusted locks and hand-tools, crab claws, antique books and other vintage objects. In a 2008 interview with Joshua Bodwell, Whalley explained his connection with these items: “I love worn things, things that have just been saturated with a story.”2 Whalley’s creations stem from a history of photo realism and trompe l’oeil painting, but incorporate a narrative element that even William Harnett (1848-1892) and John Peto (1854-1907) would respect.
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