Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The American Landscape

As a woman who grew up in the mountains of Virginia without running water and in isolation from a great deal of modern society, when people talk to me about the American Landscape I am still drawn to the rural south of home. The Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance. Open fields and the timberline of trees ringing them in the haze of summer afternoons. Miles of old dirt roads - often abandoned or no longer in use at least - between neighbors. The skies so clear and free of neighborhood lights that you could lay in a field and reach right up to heaven to touch the stars. It is the memories of those crystalline nights at home that lead me these series of paintings of the moon silhouetting these trees. The moon so big and bright it almost feels like day. Her gossamer light filtering through the light clouds to spotlight trees dancing in the heavy summer evening breezes.
Now when there is a call to artists for a landscape competition and the winners are photographs of city sidewalks and the buildings that surround us... I have to smile to myself. I guess I was the lucky one that I got to live in a world still clean, uncluttered, fresh. I guess I am also lucky that I have a gift for capturing those memories in a format ( paint for me) that allows me to experience them again. To share my views of the countryside unfettered with reality. I am thankful that as a painter I have the freedom not to reproduce exactly what I see before me, but to play with it, bend it to my vision. Some may say my world is no longer real. But to me every time I recreate the simple landscape of my birth, I re-live it and that makes it as real as any one floor walk up could ever be.
Till next time
create beauty and fill the wold with love.