Memorable Landscape Painting Require Us to Push It
Here it is: If you aren’t going to really push it when you make a landscape painting, it is going to be completely forgettable. I’ve looked at thousands of landscape paintings. I’m sure you have to, and made a few yourself. If we are all honest, we’ll admit that only the best of the best landscape art really stick, right?
But this doesn’t mean we should all give up on our landscape paintings. Instead, I’m going to refocus on creating impact with each work and seek out landscape artwork to “mimic” or learn from that is compositionally strong, employs unusual coloring, and isn’t merely about recording the hills, valleys, and trees I see. There’s got to be something more.
And I know it can be done. Look at Gerhard Richter’s snow paintings, which are amazing portrayals of light and have a murky, atmospheric quality that utterly mesmerizes me. Isaac Levitan’s compositions and vantage points are always unusual, and the way he can so subtly vary the texture of the paint on the canvas to reinforce what he is painting is incredible. Emily Carr was fearless about color and about telling a story–not merely recording what she saw–with her landscape art.
Another landscape artist whose work is incredibly impactful is Don Demers. Every painting of his that I’ve seen has a “wow” factor, and Demers works tirelessly to evoke that lively sensation I’m talking about. The conscious decisions he makes give his work greater authenticity and a palpable sense of delicate light.
It’s all there for us to learn. Take these examples or some of your own favorites and really analyze what makes them memorable. That paired with the guidance from resources like Alla Prima Pastel Painting with Richard McKinley allow us to be able to make the memorable work we know we can. Here’s to your unforgettable art!