Beyond the Law: John Carnes


For John Carnes to find inspiration, he does not need to go far. From his perch at the Artdogs Studio in Gardiner, Carnes has an enviable view of the Kennebec River, which is always within earshot. Although these roaring waters may at times tempt him to reach for his fishing rod, he has found his life’s work in creating artworks that interpret and express his own experience with the region’s natural beauty. Carnes, who formerly served as counsel for the Maine Human Rights Commission, spent time with the Maine Bar Journal to discuss his interests.

MBJ: Could you tell our readers about your interest in painting?

JC: Like most artists, my interest started when I was a child. My parents were supportive enough to make sure I took some drawing lessons at the lo-cal university. But in high school my interests turned to science and history. I graduated from Boston University School of Law, but then after a stint in the Army, I enrolled at an art school in Cambridge, Mass. I spent several years attempting to be an art photographer in Boston and up here in Maine, just about starving to death. My wife, Kate, was supportive of all of my artistic endeavors, but once our first child was born, it was clear that I needed to settle down and get a paying job, so to speak.

Originally published in the Maine Bar Journal - February 28, 2014.

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