David Higgins

Dave Higgins has been an artist and educator for more than 40 years. Born in Portland, Dave is a lifelong resident of Maine and has lived all over the southern and central parts of the state. It is little wonder why his favorite subjects, like his favorite places, are the Maine landscape and waterfront.

Dave’s work is exhibited and published throughout Maine and New England. At Saltwater Artists, visitors are likely to see photographs and paintings as well as his newer digital images on the walls.  

Regarding his artistic experiences during the Pandemic, Dave says:

The COVID Pandemic has been a very interesting time for me. It has provided me with an uninterrupted opportunity to experiment and research my painting technique and directions. 

During the pandemic year, I began working with a much smaller pallet of colors, mainly just the primaries, and began to mix the colors I want. My work has more harmonious than ever before. In addition to color mixing I picked up another technique. As I was watching a painting tutorial online,  the instructor said something very important. He said to let the brush do the work. This made no sense to me until I tried it. There's now a much greater emphasis on brush technique in my work rather than on illustration.

Last summer I discovered a new (to me) substrate, and I have begun painting exclusively on aluminum panels. These are approximately a quarter inch thick with brushed aluminum on one side, glossy on the other and a polyethylene core. I prefer painting on the brushed aluminum side. 

At first I tried painting directly on the surface with no primer which the manufacturer said would work, but I found it very unsatisfactorily as the surface was too slippery and glasslike and paint application didn't feel right. Then I tried using a typical white primer acrylic and that worked pretty well, but it was rough like painting on a wooden panel. So the next technique I tried was spraying it with canned metal spray paint. This worked very well, but I wanted the aluminum to appear to be part of the work. In what has become my normal procedure, I decided to start taping the outside edges of the aluminum in approximately a one inch band, and then I sprayed the primer into the untaped area. I finish a painting and then put several coats of clear glaze on the painted area overlapping onto the tape.This provides a very durable surface that resists scratches and smudges and has UV protection. After this I peel the tape back and have the brushed aluminum showing around the edges. The unexpected surprise is that when the painting is hanging on the wall and the viewer walks by it, the aluminum creates a reflection which changes as the person passes. This movement really draws the viewers attention to look at the painting.

Visit his website at D-Higgins.com or see his most current work on Facebook in various art and photography groups.