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Monday, June 15, 2009

The kind of landscapes that intrigue me!

Morning Light - Landscape study - 6 x 8" oil pastel on paper
matted in white and ready to frame
(please add $10.00 shipping in the US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax)

I've been hinting that I'd like to return to landscape as a subject matter. I continue to find myself intrigued with the idea of landscape as a way to express some basic elements of art: value, color, space, shape. But they also lend themselves to an emotional expression.

What I find interesting about the small study above is that it has a very clear abstract value skeleton, I guess I would say. Just the lights and darks, minus color, are interesting and bold.
They, in themselves, create a rather interesting shape within the space. The variance of value from dark on the right to light on the left, give a sense of depth and space beyond. Then, the play of color is also interesting - fairly close to a complementary (yellow/violet) color scheme which begins to dissolve in the darker right side into a more narrow scheme of green and violet.

Trying to balance all these ideas and pull off an interesting finish is the challenge that intrigues me. When all is said and done, it creates a piece of work that demands a second look ... and perhaps a longer gaze.

When you look at the small study - none of the colors are very actual. I have used colors that do not really appear in the natural world as I've used them - and yet ... they harmonize and create understanding. That's what I like about this idea of landscape painting and why I want to pursue it. It borders on abstraction - and yet, it isn't.

One of the masters of this kind of work - an American artist that I can never quite get enough of seeing - is Wolf Kahn. I encourage you to check out his work. He is an amazing artist with a long history of work through the 20th century (and still working) - and an extraordinary life story as well!

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