Ogunquit BathersMabel May Woodward, date unknown

Mabel May Woodward (1877-1945) lived in Rhode Island, USA and is known for her impressionistic style of painting. Her affluent family paid for her to have the best artistic education available, and she became a prominent artist and teacher. She painted when on holiday from teaching, often in Maine, where this painting is set. Her ability to show fresh and colourful scenes, created with bold brushstrokes and focusing on the play of shadow and light made her canvases much sought-after. She was one of Rhode Island’s best-known artists in the 1920s and 1930s. However at the time of her death, interest in American Impressionism had fallen away in favour of French Impressionism, and Woodward fell into obscurity. As a result, her family sometimes gave her paintings away, so little interest was there in purchasing them. Today, her work is much-prized and sells for six-figure price tags.


By Mabel May Woodward (Vose Galleries, Boston, Massachusetts) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Wrap Up Your Painting

  • In what way, if any, did this guided noticing activity add to your original impressions of the painting?
  • What was it like to remove the people from the painting?
  • Did you think the people were central to or incidental to the painting?
  • Did you want to be in the painting with the other people? Why did you feel that way?
  • How do you feel now you’ve completed this activity? If you enjoyed it, why not add more Look at Paintings audio guides to your week? And don’t forget, you can take these guides with you to your local gallery and try them whilst standing in front of ‘real life’ art