Past Show

“Afloat” – A Visual Celebration of Watercraft featuring paintings by Todd Bonita, Jonathan McPhillips, and Kirk McBride

View a video of our 2016 marine show, “Afloat”

View a video of the show (Part 1)

View a video of the show (Part 2)

Camden Falls Gallery is pleased to announce its current marine exhibition, “Afloat,” which features the work of oil painters Todd Bonita, Jonathan McPhillips, and Kirk McBride. An annual tradition for the gallery, this year’s “boat show” has been scheduled to coincide with the first annual Camden Classics Cup. The show is a visual celebration of watercraft, masterfully rendered by three highly-accomplished oil painters whose passion for all things nautical is conveyed with every brushstroke.

A current resident of Portsmouth, NH, Todd Bonita earned a BFA at The Art Institute in Boston. He also studied classical painting and drawing in Philadelphia at The Academy of Fine Arts. His eclectic career has spanned stints as a graphic designer for commercial gaming machines, a commissioned artist creating large scale murals, and an assistant to the world champion chain-saw sculptor, Barre Pinske. As a highly respected illustrator, Bonita has also worked for many large publishing houses including McGraw Hill and Houghton Mifflin.

As an oil painter, Todd focuses much of his work on small watercraft, a subject matter that harkens back to his New England coastal childhood. With a draftsman’s keen eye for fine detail, he creates quiet portraits of modest working vessels with an almost photographic realism that conjures up profound emotions. His paintings are imbued with a deep sense of psychological mystery that elevates his subjects to a place apart. The softness of light on these solitary vessels, resting quietly at their moorings or tethered securely to abandoned docks, seems to take the viewer outside the normal strictures of time to a more mystical state.

Bonita writes, “I paint what is familiar to my background… introspective memories of my childhood…they’re contemplative, reflective of where I grew up. I guess I’m digging into my soul.” He adds that, “in the end, my primary goal is a composition that is simple and contemplative – and there is nothing as simple as that subject, the boat.”

Another accomplished artist who is currently featured in this exhibition is Jonathan McPhillips. He graduated from Connecticut College in 1993 with a Cum Laude Distinction in Fine Art. Working equally in his studio and on location, McPhillips enjoys painting the harbors, beaches, vessels, and architecture of our coastal environment. He won the prestigious Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport “Purchase Award” in 2015 and participated in the Olmsted Plein Air Invitational (Atlanta, GA) in 2015 and 2016. Jonathan is also honored to have work on loan to the U.S. Department of State “Art in Embassies” program. which has expanded his work to an international audience. His painting “Twilight Crossing” (of the schooner Appledore in Camden at sundown) was recently accepted into the American Impressionist Society’s 17th annual national juried exhibition, which will take place in Kirkland, WA this fall. His work was also selected for the AIS national shows in 2013 and 2014.

Renowned plein air painter Kirk McBride is the third artist whose work is to be featured in “Afloat.” McBride works up and down the eastern seaboard and from his home studio on Maryland’s eastern shore. His work has been juried into numerous exhibitions including “Paint Annapolis,” Plein Air Easton, and The Laguna Beach Plein Air Invitational. He was also recently elected as a Signature Member of the American Society of Marine Artists, which was founded in 1978 in order to support the member artists and enhance public awareness of maritime art. As a Signature Member, Kirk has been recognized and honored by his peers within the field as one of the nation’s most accomplished painters of water, boats, and marine activities.

“Afloat” ran from July 23 through August 19 at Camden Falls Gallery. The exhibition also included marine paintings by Lee Boynton, Carol Douglas, Paul Garnett, Hannah InesonLoretta Krupinski, Renee Lammers, Henri Lepetit, Aline Ordman, Judith Schuppien, and Peter Yesis. Open daily from 10:00am-8:00pm, the gallery is located at 5 Public Landing in Camden. For more information, please call 207-470-7027 or email us at: