Gwen Nagel

Town: Harrison, ME and Grantham, NHBridgton Barn in Winter

Artwork:  Oils, pastels, watercolors; plein air and studio paintings; landscapes

Originally from the prairies of Minnesota, I painted in oils as a teenager before my formal study of art at the University of Minnesota.  I switched majors, however, eventually earning a Ph.D. in English at Tufts University. I taught writing and American literature at Harvard Business School, Tufts, Bentley College, and the University of Georgia.  I lived in the Boston area for twenty years, Athens, Georgia, for 21 years, and in fall of 2012 moved to New Hampshire. Since 1997 I have devoted myself full time to art.

Barbara Traficonte first introduced me to pastels; I have also taken workshops in pastel, oil, and watercolor with many nationally known artists. I enjoy plein air painting and was a founding member and former president of the Plein Air Painters of the South East (www.PAP-SE). I am also a member of the Georgia Watercolor Society (, the Southeastern Pastel Society (,  Oil Painters of America, American Impressionism Society, as well as several local art organizations in New England. In Maine her work can be seen in the Eastport Breakwater Gallery (Eastport), Beth’s Cafe (Bridgton), Maurice’s (South Paris), and the WMAG gallery (Norway).

My fascination with landscapes began on the flat prairies of western Minnesota where I grew up. When I taught American literature in New England I found myself drawn to fiction that had a strong sense of place, especially the Maine settings of nineteenth-century writer Sarah Orne Jewett.  The first painting courses I took were held outside on the coast of Maine, and it was there that I cemented my love of the landscape. I now live in New England and find inspiration in its lakes, mountains, coastal villages, and upcountry farms.

Although I work in the studio, I prefer to paint outside on location.  I seek out unusual light situations and am particularly fascinated by water and reflections. Travels in Northern Italy, Norway, Ireland, and the American south and west also inspire me, and their landscapes find their way into my work.  I create paintings to capture a sense of place, to preserve the sometimes-disappearing elements of a vulnerable landscape, to record the quality of light, and to spend time with like-minded artists in beautiful places.


 Studio Art courses at the Univ. of Minnesota, Moorhead State Univ., and the Univ. of Georgia

Pastel Workshops with: Albert Handell,

Madlyn-Ann C. Woolwich, Ann Templeton, Aline Ordman

Watercolor Workshops with: Betty Lou Schlemm, Frank Webb, Skip Lawrence,Tony Van Hasselt, Tony Couch, Judi Wagner, Stanley Miller, Robert O’Brien

Oil Workshops with: Charles Sovek, Ann Templeton, Kevin MacPherson, John Budicin, Joe Mendez, Marlin Linville, Dee Beard Dean, Richard Oversmith

 Annual Shows in Maine:

Bridgton Art Guild’s “Art in the Park,” July, Bridgton

Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library, Arts and Artisans Fair, August, Lovell

CFAAM show, July, Southwest Harbor

Contact:; to see more of my work, look at