Experience a painting: go beyond seeing. I paint my landscapes in such a way that my audience is also smelling, hearing and feeling the scene.
To help my viewers fully experience the landscape (like I do), I lead their eye into my composition using zigzagging diagonals. These diagonals are more visually energetic than restful horizontals, and help me communicate my sense of excitement and discovery while exploring a scene. This is especially true if the diagonal is a road or river that guides the viewer to an exciting destination.
Instructor Jack Beal says, “Give your viewers visual treats and secret pleasures.” It’s hard to do this in photo-realistic landscapes, which do little more for the viewer than the photo itself. Instead, let your audience savor the beauty of unusual color combinations, strong value contrasts, varied patterns and rich texture. Help them not only see the morning light illuminating fall foliage but invite them to smell the damp fallen leaves and hear the cuckoo calling in the woods.
“My paintings are based on direct visual perception and emotion,” Joseph Mendez says. “I try not to reason while painting.” Born in Spain, Mendez emigrated to the United States in 1962. He studied art at The Famous Artists School in Westport, Connecticut, and apprenticed under Sergei Bongart, all the while maintaining a 20-year career as a commercial illustrator. Mendez has also shared his knowledge by teaching at the Otis-Parsons School and the Businessman’s Art Institute, both in Los Angeles. His work has garnered numerous awards and can be found in public and private collections throughout Europe, South America and The United States. He’s represented in California by The Jones & Terwilliger Gallery (Carmel) and The Robson Gallery (San Diego), in Texas by The Whistle-Pik Gallery (Fredericksburg) and The Ann Hughes Gallery (Dallas) and in Ohio by The Hammond Gallery (Bexley).
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