Cover Story

Greta Van Campen

Molly, Birch Island by Greta Van Campen

Molly, Birch Island by Greta Van Campen

A photo made our cover for the first time in January 1985 (a shot of Cape Neddick’s Nubble Light). For the 31 years prior, it was all illustrations, paintings, watercolors — where the cover was concerned, every issue was an art issue. This month’s cover, by Thomaston-based artist Greta Van Campen, marks a rare return to form. Van Campen, who describes her style as “hard-edged landscapes,” works from photos (her own), then filters the scene through what she calls her “weird brain.” “I want it to be like a memory of a place,” she says. “The painting should feel like the place but be made up of little pieces that aren’t entirely accurate.” The original acrylic reproduced for the cover, Molly, Birch Island, hangs in Van Campen’s kitchen. It’s the product of a visit she took with her sister and family friends to the midcoast’s Muscle Ridge Archipelago. “I think the best critique I could have asked for came from my year-old nephew,” Van Campen says. “I showed him the painting, and he said, ‘That’s mama!’” A show of Van Campen’s recent work runs June 1–30 at Rockland’s Dowling Walsh Gallery.

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