When we encounter the vast wilderness of the American West, we are forever changed. Our experience of this varied and expansive landscape shifts our understanding of what’s possible. Mostly, we are left with unspoken emotion. America’s foremost landscape artists draw inspiration found in the skies, mountains, waters, forests and plains of the Western United States, for this exceptional collection, Close to Nature’s Heart.
Using expressive and abstracted brushwork to convey the nature of the scene, and relying on value and ambiguity of line to reveal the mystery of the landscape, I seek to evoke strong emotion from the viewer. Such ambiguity also invites personal interpretation and memories to emerge.
As in all my work, these paintings are titled from stanza's of favorite poems. The poem "Meet Me in the Green Glen", by 19th century English poet John Clare, influenced my portrayal of the landscape. The relationship between painting and poem captures a powerful expression as I interpret nature.
In thinking about the “Nature’s heart”, it seems tempting to imagine a particular place, or even a kind of place, that exemplifies wildness, beauty, purity. Each of us probably knows many such places, and holds them dear. But I think this ignores something critical, something that, more than location or physical characteristics, defines Nature: dynamism.
Nature is a force, constantly moving in ways both subtle and overt. The trickle of mountain snowmelt that becomes a roaring torrent of whitewater; the slow, constant rhythms of seasonal shifts; the shadows of clouds gliding swift and silent over high country, or the mute spectacle of a winter storm, it is the dynamism of the natural world that gives it life. Nature’s essential quality is change.
In my work for this show I sought to not only paint the beauty of the natural world as I see it, specifically in alpine regions, but to show in each of the works some aspect of the dynamic power that I feel is truly at Nature’s heart.
Peace. Hope. Wonder. Restoration.
Coming to the U.S. from war-torn Beirut, and experiencing the beauty, and peace of protected natural areas in Colorado was exhilarating and a new beginning. Expansive and intimate, here was room to breathe, room to grow—a place to lose and find oneself, to be simultaneously uplifted and grounded, to be restored. It’s an exhilaration I continue to experience and cherish each time I go into nature to paint.
This series features themes of the American West. Even though these pieces were inspired by studies done on location, my landscapes are actually less about describing a specific place than they are about the feelings evoked. With an impressionistic, tonal approach, I hope to convey the emotional connection that I had with each scene. My hope is that they bring a sense of awe, comfort and connectedness; a reminder of our shared human experience.