Monday, February 25, 2013

Why I Paint Landscapes

Lately I've had a few people ask me about my work, specifically why I choose to paint so many landscapes. I've found myself trying to put my finger on exactly what it is I want to do with my artwork.  Sometimes landscape artists are kind of dismissed as being merely decorative, but to me a good landscape has the power to make us pause and maybe regain a little of the sense of wonder we lose as we get older and go about our busy days. 

Throughout my life as an artist I have often pursued figurative work and even spent a few years focused on abstraction, but at the end of the day I always seem to be drawn back to the landscape.  The landscape is the vehicle for my emotions.  From the rebirth and hope of a sunrise to the fear of a distant storm on the horizon, the calm contented peace of a lazy afternoon or the sweet sadness and awe I feel as the sun slips below the horizon at the end of the day.  The feeling of being alone and at one with creation lies beneath all of my work.  The lack of people in my landscapes lends a sense of timelessness and isolation, yet I often include subtle aspects that imply a figurative narrative.  Trees and other elements often act as stunt doubles giving a human like presence, sometimes withering and twisted, other times standing tall and graceful against the elements. In many of my paintings this narrative takes the form of the remnants of mans effort being reclaimed by the land:  a fence line long since abandoned and now overgrown, pylons of a washed out pier disappearing into the ocean, small almost imperceptible buildings dwarfed by the sheer vastness and immeasurable power of the world.  They all serve as a reminder that despite all our technology and “progress” all things end up returning to the earth.  We are but a part of the cycle of life.

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