Melanie and George WardwellI was born in Maine in 1946. The day after graduation from Old Orchard Beach High School, I left Maine and wandered extensively, living for a time in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, back to Portland, Maine and again in Boston before settling in midcoast Maine in a home by the water I built with a couple of friends who actually knew how to build a house, I married Melanie in the summer of 2000, making this year our 20th anniversary.
I have a lovely stepdaughter and three very wonderful, active grandchildren. I used to finger paint with them when they came to visit, and now they are artists in their own right, painting, taking pictures, making movies and throwing, firing and glazing pottery (those last three as a profession.)

In the spring of 2005, I decided to take up oil painting, and that has kept me occupied (some would say pre-occupied) ever since. Stay tuned.

I started painting when I came across an article in American Art Review about the Martino family, three brothers, a wife and two daughters, who painted urban and rural Philadelphia from early in the 1900's until the present. I was so taken by their work that I dragged Melanie to a family retrospective at the Woodmere Museum in Chestnut Hill, a Philadelphia suburb. A museum guide told me that a lot of their paintings were done in Manayunk, which lies a few miles north of the city center along the Schuykill River, and only five miles from the museum. So off we went, where I took a lot of photos and came back to Maine eager to paint.
It's hard to say what catches my interest, because that changes day-to-day, but I am fascinated by the hand of man on our landscape, whether it's buildings, bridges, highways, dive bars, warehouses, abandoned boats or factories. I am compelled by the banal and mundane look of decaying American infrastructure. Having said that, I live in Maine, and it’s insidious beauty creeps into my head a lot. That’s why I have pages for “urban” and “rural” paintings. Additionally, my “latest work” page includes 5 paintings (so far) in what I call “the hashtag paintings”. Typically I hop in my car and do a driveabout, taking photos of things I want to come home and paint. The Covid19 epidemic has put a halt to that, so I’ve been contacting photographers on Instagram and asking permission to use some of their work for composition. So far, all the photographers I’ve asked have graciously consented. If you are interested in purchasing any of my work, please use the contact page to send me an inquiry.