Married duo’s love of nature infuses their work and relationship

SOUTHWEST HARBOR – Nature is a thread that ties Tom Curry and Kimberly Ridley to their respective work, and to each other. Curry is a noted painter of Maine landscapes. Ridley is an award-winning science writer, essayist and children’s book author. Though their professions are quite different, the essence of both is the natural world, something that also permeates the personal lives of this creative married couple. They join us at the Wendell Gilley Museum on Tuesday, Aug. 10 at 7 p.m. as the speakers for People-Nature-Art. Registration is required, but there is no fee to attend. You may attend in person at the Gilley, or watch the live-stream via Zoom. When you register via the Gilley’s website, please let us know whether you’d like to attend in person, or online.

Curry says, “As a plein air painter, I immerse myself in landscape to explore the relationships between stillness and flux. What we call a ‘place’ is a paradox—it is not fixed but always changing: the light shifts from moment to moment, water is never still, clouds come and go.”

Ridley says, “My passion is inciting wonder by sharing my love of nature and science with children and adults.”

This signature series brings artists, writers, carvers, and creative types of all kinds to the Gilley to explore how nature and art interact in their work, and how their art impacts their own approach nature.

Curry and Ridley live in Brooklin and Curry paints the landscape near their home. In 2012 he published a book featuring a series of paintings of nearby Chatto Island. “What we call a ‘place’ is a paradox—it is not fixed but always changing: the light shifts from moment to moment, water is never still, clouds come and go,” he says. “In this series, I paint the interplay of light, island, sky and water as metaphor and meditation on place and time and the dance between what we perceive as eternal and ephemeral.”

He says he drawn to paint both the raw, wild places and the small villages and harbors on the peninsula where he lives with Ridley, working outdoors where he can be in direct contact with what he is painting.

Ridley has been writing about nature, science, health, and the environment for more than 25 years. Her articles and essays have appeared in The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, The New York Times, Down East and other print and online venues. She is also the author of three nonfiction children’s books: “Extreme Survivors: Animals that Time Forgot,” and two more that were illustrated by Maine artist Rebekah Raye, “The Secret Pool” and “The Secret Bay.” Her fourth book – and the first for adults – is “Wild Design: The Architect of Nature” and will be published this November.

Books by Curry and Ridley will be available for purchase at this event, which is co-sponsored by Sherman’s Books.