Thomas Merton once said, “Art enables us to find ourselves, and lose ourselves at the same time.” It is evident within the depicted work of Angie Blevins, the capability of this observation. A self-identified lifetime artist currently residing in Hallowell, Maine, Angie draws inspiration from the moment: Past, present, and the ever-changing future. Her art, created from a place of purpose and symbolism has the capability to convey its meaning to a wide variation of audience.
Having served in the military for twenty-seven years, Angie was given a multitude of unique ways to showcase her gift. From painting murals in Beeville, Texas at a Naval Air Station, to working as an Illustrator Draftsmen in Virginia, painting slides for training schools prior to PowerPoint capabilities. Upon joining the Army National Guard in 1990 Angie began drawing maps and illustrations for briefings, and was even trained to complete police sketches as a Crime Analyst in the Counter Drug Program. It wasn’t until 2010 that Angie retired and decided to utilize her new found freedom to pursue a career in independent art, and the results thus far have been stunning.
A possibly ceaseless question asked of artists and creators of all kinds; From what, where, and/or whom do you draw your inspiration? Ceaseless, but requisite nonetheless. For within inspiration lies the heart and soul of creation, and for Angie, that inspiration is nature – And what better state than Maine to continue to fill one’s cup? Angie discusses the beauty found within trees in particular, their representation of continued growth, and inclusion of light and shadow in which Blevins finds a comfortable presence.
Familiarity and nostalgia are two themes that Angie wishes to capture within her art. The preservation of a moment in time, since passed, or the essence of a person. The intent to evoke emotion and meaningful work appears profound throughout Blevins’ art, allowing it to hold a sincere and significant space.
Revisiting nature, Blevins works to bring attention to the back ground, bringing it to light in a sense. “When I draw trees, I’m looking to get the right perspective – With shadows, and a bit of wild design such as leaves on the ground… roots on rocks, and darkness in shadows. ( It seems I’m always trying to reach into the darkness And pull out whatever exists..)”
Angie brings her work to life within a home studio, a small shed in her yard where her creativity takes sanctuary. Reflecting once again on Merton, this space quite literally allows Blevins to lose herself, separating from the everyday chaos of life, while simultaneously finding herself in granting a tranquil environment to create through an array of mediums: Pastel, Plein Air, Graphite, Acrylic, Water Color, and Oil with Cold Wax.
From now until the end of June, Angie has two paintings featured at the Boothbay Region Art Foundation, as well as portraits of the 8 Fallen Soldiers – National Guard, on display at Camp Chamberlain in Augusta, Maine. This exhibit features seven soldiers that lost their lives in battle while serving overseas in Afghanistan. In addition, Blevins has four oil paintings featured as part of the the Veterans Art Show at Inland Hospital in Waterville, Maine.
Angie’s ability to bring both the everyday and seemingly ordinary to life, as well as to shed light on important challenges and triumphs is a gift; A gift that she has been developing for a lifetime, comprised of equal parts experience and equal parts soul. Creativity takes courage; The courage to hold fast in both boldness and vulnerability simultaneously, what a beautiful gift.