WINTHROP — The techniques and media on display at the Winthrop Sidewalk Art Festival today ranged from the traditional to the unusual.

More than 30 artists set up in downtown Winthrop to show and sell paintings, ceramics, jewelry, wood carvings and fiber crafts.

A regular at the annual festival, Marvin Jacobs, of Belmont, brought a booth and a couple of bins full of watercolor paintings depicting lighthouses and snow-covered barns.

“It’s traditional, representational watercolor, and it’s purist in that there’s no white paint,” he said. “Anyplace you see white, that’s the paper showing.”

Jacobs’ love of Maine and its landscapes shows through in his work. He said he grew up in northern Maine and just had to return after living out of state for several years.

One of Jacobs’ customers on today was Mike Wagner, who was on a mission to decorate his house in Readfield. He chose a small, framed painting of a hand-tied fishing fly.

“We have a very nice house on a lake, and we need to put some things on a wall,” Wagner said. “And this will fit right in.”

Across the way from Jacobs’ booth, Roland Simard also was selling paintings of quintessential New England scenes such as birches and barns — along with some abstract landscapes — but his were painted with pulp.

Simard, from Shelburne in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, shreds cotton, flax and abaca fibers into pulp and then dyes them. He then arranges the pulp in a shallow pool of water, which is later drained to leave a sheet of thick, textured paper with the image incorporated into it.

The finished paintings are full of daubs and dashes resembling brush strokes, perhaps because Simard worked primarily in oils before he began experimenting with papermaking several years ago.

“As I started playing with the fibers, it was just too exciting, and the potential was there,” he said.

Sharon Boody-Dean’s paintings on birch bark are somewhere between unusual and traditional. Few artists paint on the bark, but it has historically been used for writing.

Boody-Dean collects the bark from fallen trees during walks near her home in Lincolnville. After drying, cleaning and sealing it, she paints birds, fish and other Maine animals on it, adding dried mosses or leaves as accents.

She said she was inspired to paint on birch bark after seeing the work of another artist who did so. The rusticity of the materials, the subject matter and the gray wooden frames she uses attracts a different audience than some of her other paintings do, she said.

“I find that men are more prone to buy my work on the birch bark becuase it’s outdoorsy,” she said.

One of Boody-Dean’s customers today was Tonia Boterf, of Belgrade, who bought a birch bark painting of two chickadees perched on branches, covered in red and orange berries. Boterf praised Boody-Dean’s choice of subject matter and her attention to the coloring of the birds.

“If you’re talking about chickadees, you’re talking about Maine,” Boterf said, “and being on the bark is so different.”

Susan McMillan — 621-5645
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