Living in a beautiful countryside is a source of inspiration to many artist and many indeed find joy and passion in recreating the scenery on their canvas. There is so much enjoyment out there, in constantly changing light affecting the clouds and the sky, the texture of grass, the pattern of fields which spread before the eyes like a patchwork, the lines of dry stone walls, the reflection in water, shadows of trees and bushes as they move gently in the air.
Despite all that stimulus, I find that approaching a blank canvas and simply beginning sketching the fields, the hill, the dry stone wall, creates a problem, the image on the canvas does not appear that exciting as it excited me out there. I want to know what it takes to create a stunning piece, grabbing hearts of people. I want to be the one who shows the world from an angle beyond an ordinary human perception, surprises.
I’ve done a little survey asking my viewers to give their suggestions and here I’m presenting my results.
Which style attracts you most?
I have showed them 5 different styles of landscape painting
- Traditional – realistic style, a bit figurative.
2. Natural – Colours are as they appear to you in nature – so green grass, blue sky
3. Colourful – The one where colours are abstract, unreal like in Fauvism.
4. Naïve style – where objects are depicted in simple forms.
5. Abstract landscape – objects are losing their forms, it’s a composition (a set up) of colours and shapes, nothing appear to look real.
Person 1: ‘ I like them all, but number three is my favourite. My reason is because i feel that this style is what i see throughout most of your paintings, and that’s simply what makes your work so unique from everyone elses’ – Oh, Thank you Laura x,
Person 2: […I like] number 1. This feels as though I could actually be there. Or 2, for the same reason. (Number 2 makes me want to see what’s on the other side of the hill!)
- So you are intrigued Maureen, that’s a fantastic answer. I also know that you see seaside – which is a place you want to be.
Person 3: [the abstract painting which is number 3, is] the most unique and expressive and colourful.
Person 4: I’d probably go for 1and 3 out of this selection because I like bold strong art but with content.
Person 5: I like no 1 best though very much appreciate the modernistic view of no 3.
Person 6: Its 1 and 2 for me because I find peace when walking in fields.
Person 7: Number 4 and 3. Simplicity, and brightness.
- At least for once the naïve style gets the votes.
Person 8: 2 so beautiful & also 4
Person 9: Number 1 and number 5. Just love the poppies. The pictures draw you in to make you want to be there.
Many discover a familiar place, some place from their memories or dreams. Place they have been to, which they recognize, or a place where they would like to be, place where they would feel comfortable and happy. Such place they see is intriguing, inviting, alluring… and such place is real, easily recognizable. There might be some elements in this landscape art, that they like the most, such as poppies or simple the sea side J.
Some of you appreciate and notice the artist’s unique expression, a technical innovation such as: interesting brush strokes, bold colours, texture. Those are affecting the mood and the mood of the painted landscape is also important, frozen from ever so changing weather condition. The weather on the painting affects our mood and the overall mood of the painting.
Whatever you like about the painting what’s most important is to feel the connection with the image on emotional or spiritual level. It is that feeling of nostalgia which the painting evokes, that makes people like it and want it..
So: memory of place, place you want to be, interesting technique, and the feeling of connection – these elements all together are ingredients for a perfect masterpiece. Thank you for your survey.
I very often look at famous artists to learn how they have approached the subject. This is a great way to learn. For those who learn art such process of looking at famous paintings is comparable to a relay race: we take the baton from our preceding artists and run with it our own way…
One of my favourite landscape artists is Vincent Van Gogh. He was certainly a master of colour and mood. Notice how his countryside paintings are rich in a variety of yellows and how they shine like gold when juxtaposition with dark blue or green. His thick layers of paint, with brush strokes so expressive, seem to be dancing, creating a sense of movement. By highlighting elements such as stars – they appear to have a powerful influence, or birds in his famous painting ‘Wheatfield with Crows’ , he brings anxiety and gloom.
I have seen the masterpieces of Van Gogh in Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and it was an experience comparable to seeing your favourite band live, so emotional and enriching. All the ingredients mentioned by you are contained in those paintings: reality yet in an unusual way. The golden wheat fields remind me about Poland, hot Polish summer which I really miss.
What would I like to achieve as a landscape painter? I have asked the question to meet your needs – you as a viewer, receiver of my imaginary and hopefully a collector… I have to admit, I do not seek realism as this job is reserved for cameras. Painting a landscape is ever such a challenging task as the scenery I see and get excited about is unreachable, so fleeting, at that moment at that time when I look, it looks different and I know it won’t last, time changes the image at every moment of the day and night. My desire is to stop it, frame in my memories.
Magnificent Pendle Hill