Sunday, November 14, 2010

Figures in Landscapes

Alpine Meadow 
18 x 20
This painting is unusual for me in that it has a figure, but he's not centrally important.
Normally I do either figure or landscape, but not both at once. There's something relaxing about putting a little person in there for scale and narrative, but not having to render him with any degree of detail or finish.

Though I love landscapes, I have found that they look empty to me without some people or their traces.
I guess that makes me truly urban, or maybe my aesthetic has been shaped entirely by European impressionism and post-impressionism. You'd be hard pressed to find a wild scene even in 19th Century western Europe; the land had been densely populated and cultivated since Roman times. Planted forests have lived and died on that continent. It makes North America seem rugged and untouched.

It's that raw wildness that I'm unable to render in paint. Maybe it's just too huge and impersonal for me to contemplate. It makes my attempts at depicting it seem irrelevant.

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