Landscape Painters

I was in charge of photographing the crit group’s work on Tuesday, and  I have a full collection of images of the paintings we talked about. So I thought it might be fun to see what I’m looking at intensely to as I stumble my way through my own artistic processes.

Each of the painters in the group works with landscape, although a couple (but not this Tuesday) bring in figurative work as well. They all work plein air at times, although they have no hesitation to rework in the studio or to simply work their landscapes entirely within the studio. So here’s one sampling of the variety of landscape paintings that we discussed. I’ll have at least two more posts devoted to this grouping of paintings, so you can see a fuller range of our respective visions.

Catherine Taylor,12 x 16″, Oil on board, 2010

Catherine said she had been wanting for 35 years to paint these larches(?) in the Hoyt Arboretum. What is so delightful about this painting of autumnal color is that it uses the colors so effectively, and so unexpectedly. The blue of the sky in the upper right quadrant and of course the brilliance of the golds are all placed into shapes that we can read and yet that make us see anew.

Susan Monti, 11 x 14″, oil, 2010

Susan wanted to capture the sense of wind swirling around the tree and landscape, and rather than doing it in the conventional manner, by using the tree as the primary image-carrying device, she used something we might ordinarily read as blank sky, turning it into a mark-making adventure. The effect works well. Susan has been pushing herself to work more abstractly, and here the strong marks convey an abstract yet readable quality to the piece. It looks like a great adventure to me.

Jane Erskin, 20 x 24″, oil, 2010

Jane’s use of color and shape always stuns me. She accomplishes what many of us would like to be able to do — she makes me see differently. This is perhaps the most “readable” (i.e. representational) of the four pieces she brought to the critique group on Tuesday. The reflections shimmer but don’t obtrude (it took me a while to find them), so it becomes a game of seeing and then seeing more and seeing again more. I was particularly fond of the flames of light that dart up through the trees.

So there are three of the 19 pieces we talked about (that includes five of mine that I’m not going to show in these posts). We’ll move to more abstract landscapes in the next couple of posts. As you can perhaps tell, I am continually challenged by the others in the group. –June

This entry was posted in Art, critique group, landscape, oil painting, Portland and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Landscape Painters

  1. gerrie says:

    Beautiful piece by Catherine. Also had fun looking at the shapes and forms in Jane’s.


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