New York City to Camden, Maine


Colin Page left NYC to find a more inspiring place to paint and continue to build his fine-art career. The change of scenery and Colin’s incredible talent, professionalism and work ethic has fully established him as a full-time working artist. Colin takes his work seriously and paints from about 9am-5pm in his studio or outside. His studio is attached to his home. It has become a place where his family gathers. His daughters can often be found scribbling in coloring books at his feet.  

Leaving the city gave Colin the time and space he needed to build a thriving art career. He recently opened his own gallery in downtown Camden. In addition to showcasing his own work, Page Gallery represents numerous emerging and established artists from around the country. 

Since leaving New York, Colin has won numerous awards for his work, shows at galleries all across the United States and teaches painting workshops internationally. (Click here to jump to his interview)


What inspired you to move to the country? 

It wasn’t so much a desire to move to the country, as a desire to flee the city.  The city was too expensive and it was hard to survive as an artist.  


Initially what was the hardest part about making the move? What challenges came later?

Initially, finding friends and a sense of community was difficult. Later, once I had made friends and found community, I realized the downside – that there is no anonymity.  If you’re having a bad day, you can’t flip someone off while driving or lose your temper because it gets back to you. You’ll probably see the person you flipped off in the grocery store line later in the day, which would be awkward.  



What were the hardest things to get used to? What do you miss the most about the city?

I miss the convenience of public transportation, but more importantly I miss art museums, galleries, and cultural inspiration. The Metropolitan Museum of Art was a kind of church for me. It was a place to escape the city and feel comforted by centuries of exquisite art.



Would you ever go back to an urban existence? 

If we ever get rich, then we’ll have a pied–à–terre somewhere. Long visits would be great, but I don’t think I could live full time in the city again. 



What do you appreciate the most about life in the country?

I appreciate urinating outside – don’t underestimate the satisfaction of peeing in your own front yard.



What advice would you give to someone thinking of moving out of the city?

Don’t think that moving to the country will change who you are – I am still basically the same person - but the atmosphere and the people around you are different and that influence is immeasurable. 



When you go back to visit the city, what are the first three things on your to-do list?

1. Go to the Met

2. Eat a hot dog from a street vendor on my way to the Met

3. Go for a walk, people watch and explore. When I was in school in the East Village I would just take off in some direction and walk for a few hours exploring Little Italy, Soho, Chinatown, the Lower East Side, or walk north to Midtown. It was always fun to see what I stumbled upon. 



Where do you draw your inspiration and passion from for your work?

The Maine landscape is a frequent subject of mine and I'm constantly inspired by my family. Recently I have started painting more of my family experiences; seeing my young girls explore the world around them. I love taking part in their discovery.  



Have you noticed a change in yourself and/or your work since moving away from the city?

I think you are who you are and environment doesn’t change you. I’ve been here 12 years and I would be different regardless of where I lived. It’s hard to quantify.



Walk us through a typical day in your country existence? How does it compare to the day to day in the city?

My days are more peaceful, but I also work and accomplish more here. Simple things in the city can often take much more time and be more difficult to accomplish. 



Are there things that you are able to do here that you wouldn’t have dared to try before moving from the city?

When I moved to Maine I learned to grow my own food, bought a home, learned to do a lot of building, and home upkeep. I reroofed my house, replaced windows and siding. It also became much easier, and more appealing, to paint outside, which became the focus of my artwork for a long time. 



Do you have a specific space or place that helps you feel inspired? 

Outside – I mostly paint outside. An interesting or dramatic light almost always excites me when I go outside to paint. The specific place is less important than finding an interesting sense of light. Also, wherever the kids are not, that way I can get something done. 



What are some common misperceptions about life in the country? What do you want people to know/understand about life in small communities? 

We think one misperception is that the city has a monopoly on interesting, smart and creative people. We have met more people here who are pursuing fascinating lives than I did in the city. We feel inspired and humbled by my friends here.  



What are your future plans/goals for the coming year?

Keep making paintings and raising these cool kids.