Artist Colin McGuire grew up on Cape Cod, surrounded by vast dune and sand landscapes that distinctively contrast the rocky coastline of the North Shore. You’ll find different types of seascapes in his oil paintings, from a calm horizon at sunrise to rustic shores at twilight to crashing breakers dripping in pastels. And he’s just opened a new art gallery in Marblehead.
Colin’s father, Michael McGuire, an oil painter himself, has owned and operated McGuire Gallery in Provincetown for the last twenty years. The father and son exhibit jointly at both the original McGuire Gallery and the new Marblehead expansion.
Colin first came to the North Shore to study at Monserrat College of Art in Beverly, and has worked as an adjunct instructor there since 2018. Although he was raised by a practicing artist, Colin didn’t find his passion for painting until he was around twenty, while he was visiting his father who winters in Mexico.
“He said why don’t you just pick up these paints and spend some time doing it,” says Colin. “I just—as soon as I made one successful image, I was enchanted by it. I went into this time warp and made all of this work during that month that I was there.”
Colin finds his inspiration, especially of late, by the ocean. “And particularly crashing waves,” he adds. “I’m just amazing at how drastically different it can be day to day and hour to hour.” He describes seascape painting as an endless scope of light, reflection, atmosphere, or swells. He calls it “vast potential.”
“I’m definitely enchanted by the North Shore coast right now,” says Colin. “I’m fascinated by the way the towns are really right on the edge of the water.” He works with a combination of plein air, or on-site, painting and color studies in his studio. He uses reference photos as jumping-off points, but likes to let the artworks develop independently on the canvas. The results are dreamy and Monet-like, as he uses palette-knife work to depict different atmospheres and lighting with an impressionist use of color.
The McGuires host their official grand opening of the Marblehead gallery this Saturday, July 11, from 1:00 p.m. to 7 p.m. The event will be held in sync with Creative Spirits, a gallery just two doors down, exhibiting their Purple Show. “The idea is by making it an all-afternoon event, we’ll create an environment that feels very safe and very much open air and roomy,” says Colin. Both Michael and Colin will be at the gallery on Saturday to formally introduce themselves to the Marblehead art community.
Creative Spirit’s current exhibit, The Purple Show, is the last show in their Year of the Rainbow non-juried gallery exhibits. The community gallery celebrates the work of all artists, regardless of background or experience, and all work will be for sale. “If you wish to hang and sell your art in a professional gallery, Creative Spirit can make that dream come true!” says owner Peyton Pugmire.
“Colin and I both felt that a gallery stroll would be a great way to re-inspire the community after months of COVID quarantine,” says Pugmire, who’s also looking forward to having another lone art gallery in Marblehead. “Colin and his father bring a new and varied style of art to town.”
Visitors can also buy works from McGuire Gallery in person with touch-free purchasing. “Our aim here is to make it inviting but also feel very safe,” says Colin.