ATMOSPHERIC LANDS Collector’s Focus: Landscapes
Alan Bray was born and bred in Maine. He became intimately aware of the seasonal nuances of its landscape. He studied art in Boston and discovered a new world of art in Florence where he learned to paint in egg tempera. He brings the ancient technique and the visual insights of the Florentine masters to his interpretations of the common things in the landscape. His paintings do not express wonder at the grandeur of nature. Rather, they single out the wonder of simple oddities most of us would miss. Ice Dam, 2017, is a scene many of us have never experienced either from above, Bray’s point of view, or at water level. I was once warned by the police to evacuate because an ice dam had formed on the river near my house and the river would flood. I didn’t and it didn’t. Ice dams, though, can pose great threats and cause terrible damage. Bray records the phenomenon as one of the wonderful commonplaces of nature. Spiritually in tune with the commonplaces, he paints images of deep beauty.
Diana Moore is known for her figurative sculpture inspired by the sculpture of ancient worlds—monumental concrete heads of Justice and literally statuesque
female figures in carbon steel. Flying in and out of Lafayette, Louisiana, for a commission, she became fascinated by the patterns of the landscape. Later she looked at Google Earth images of the area. “I discovered stunning little compositions of wonderful color, form and texture,” she says. “These sections, when framed out from the surrounding areas, were very abstract, often suggesting an entirely different reading of what they represent. That was part of their appeal for me. Although each is a fairly accurate portrait of a real piece of the earth, they offer alternative ways of seeing.”
She discovered that “These fields, forests and bodies of water are configured by property lines, the lay of the land and by the most efficient use of that land for agriculture with no consideration for their aesthetic appeal from above.”
Her “Earth Etchings” are composed in clay and cast in Forton MG, a mixture of cement, plaster, glue and fiberglass that she colors with dry pigments and glazes.
Turning from the celebration of the commonplace from above, Thomas Paquette finds the soul in the ordinary— country roads near his home in northern Pennsylvania or the backcountry of the land along the Mississippi. He was fascinated by the river growing up along its banks and recently spent three years painting scenes along its 2,300-mile length for a book and exhibition called America’s River Re-Explored now traveling throughout the Midwest. Paquette connects to man’s archetypal response to nature. The universal response to his work has resulted in the Department of State to place his paintings in embassies from Chad and Cambodia and from San Salvador to Moscow. Recently a painting went on permanent display at NATO headquarters in Brussels.
Power in Late Day is a study in diagonals with power lines complementing shadows. The power is just passing through while nature continues on.
Warren Prosperi began drawing when he was 5 years old and, after moving to Boston, spent two years copying masterworks in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts. He collaborates with his photog-
rapher wife, Lucia, on his scrupulously accurate history paintings, contemporary portraits and landscape paintings. Fog, 2014, bears both their monograms.
Marcia L. Vose, of Vose Galleries in Boston, writes, “Warren aligns himself with the tenets of optical naturalism, a method started by Caravaggio, perfected by 17th-century masters Hals and Velasquez, and continued by late-19th-century contemporaries Zorn, Sorolla and Sargent. ‘This tradition examines the nature of visual experience and the structure of an actual moment,’ cites the artist.”
He turns his mastery of capturing the subtleties of color to a scene of a cut down cornfield and a dirt farm road in the fog, neatly divided into four nearly equal quadrants, reminding us again of the extraordinary beauty of everyday experience.
Rain is not an everyday experience where I live in the high desert of New Mexico. Karen Woods records the landscape through her car window—in the rain. She says, “I paint—in the realist tradition— from photographs taken at intersections and on the road, when I’ve been struck by the beauty in the ordinariness of my commute. These images are the ‘lyrical suggestions’ that compel me to paint, to communicate these transcendent experiences so clearly that others might in turn recognize this beauty in the course of their day.” Her paintings cause me to remember rainy days more fondly than I did when I experienced them.
The landscape on the road is often something merely driven through. Woods encourages us to see it in the rain in a new light. Stephen Fox paints the view on the road at night under artificial light and bathed in mystery.
He says, “When I was 7 years old, I’d play an outdoor game with friends, where at dusk we had to dodge the headlight beams of cars coming into the neighborhood, diving behind trees or into ditches when the light was about to find us.” Today his fascination with night light and atmosphere reveals deeper meanings. “Highways disappearing into the distance, billboards with their messages obscured,
“The more educated a collector can be about the academics of art and the skill that an artist uses, the more they will appreciate the value of the fine art that they are purchasing.”
— Roger Dale Brown, artist
lonely phone booths and deserted playgrounds, high vista landscapes and even the sidewalk life we might find ourselves a part of on some misty night...,” he says. “It seems that all of these elements can have both literal and symbolic significance, worlds of form and spirit given voice at the same time.”
Within the pages of this special section are an array of landscapes—rocky mountains to quiet beaches—that captivate the viewer with a sense of place and beauty. There are insights from dealers about the genre, as well as commentary on inspirations and techniques from the artists themselves.
Paquette says, “Whether it’s my own painting as it takes shape on the easel or a centuries-old masterwork, I am keen to see works that pulse with intention. You can trace artists’ fascinations and passions through their choice of subject, of course, but also in how they choose to paint it.”
Recurring in Paquette’s paintings is the natural world mainly because it astonishes him daily. “I take nature not just as subject but as teacher, too. The slow, massive grind of plate tectonics and the whims of weather alike are mentors guiding me as I build up and scrape off layers of paint to get at something vital, something more essential than the mere look of the subject,” he explains. “It doesn’t matter at all how much time this process takes. It is the spark of life and my interest in the subject that must move and inspire the viewer in a similar way, even if it takes years to hone the painting to that point.”
Roger Dale Brown always finds inspiration in nature and the outdoors, including marine and coastal scenes. Though he may explore other subjects—cityscapes, figures and still lifes—he always returns to his passion of nature. “I stay true to my heart and paint what touches me, not what the market asks for,” he says. “I hope that is evident when you see one of my paintings, that you see what truly touched me at that moment. My artwork has my heart and soul in it.”
Located in Orleans, Massachusetts, The Gallery at Tree’s Place represents a number of landscape artists including Morgan Samuel Price, Bill Farnsworth and Leo Mancini-Hresko. Gallery owner Mike Donovan says, “The landscape genre is a favorite of many of our collectors. Often the connection to a specific painting is a familiarity with a place they may have visited or an emotional connection to a place they’d like to be. Farnsworth, Price and Mancini-Hresko are all accomplished plein air artists, and they capture the moment and atmosphere of the places they
Wells Gallery, located on Kiawah Island in South Carolina, features landscape artists who primarily paint the Lowcountry region. Artists such as Junko Ono Rothwell, Rick McClure and Karen Larson Turner have their works in the gallery.
Of her pieces, Rothwell says, “I do not block each color, but try to flow colors over the entire canvas to create the feeling of movement. Color brings each of my landscape paintings to life.”
For McClure, the plein air experience has become a time to gather information for larger works. “I find that the more I am in my studio, my work keeps getting tighter and tighter, so I have to get outdoors to keep that freshness,” he says. “That’s really what I strive for. I want a studio piece to look like it was painted on location. And that’s really hard to do.”
Richard A Johnson is an alumni of Ringling School of Art & Design and has been painting for more than 40 years. People have always liked his landscapes, as they remind them of happy times and places in their past. One collector bought 27 paintings of Johnson’s over 16 years at a gallery on St. Simons Island, Georgia. Johnson works in an impressionistic realism style, with lots of dots and dashes of constantly changing color. His mother is
“When purchasing a landscape painting, the collector has the opportunity to choose how they wish to view an idealized version of the setting. It does not matter whether that painting is a beach, a mountain scene, a river valley or a nocturne. My advice would be to choose one that makes you feel.”
— Christine Graefe Drewyer, artist
a 98-year-old bird-watcher and Johnson got his interest in both art and birds from her.
“As a child my mother took us kids to every art museum we got near and was constantly pointing out different birds to us,” he says. The birds in his paintings started as small decorations for his landscapes. In the past six years they have become the dominate factor in the landscapes. Johnson has also done several paintings with squirrels and turtles. His work has been shown with galleries from Virginia to Florida and he has been in shows from New Jersey to Florida.
According to Lotton Gallery director Christina Franzoso, “Landscape paintings invite the natural world and the outdoors into our homes, allowing a continuation of nature where we sleep, dream, eat and live, creating a sanctuary indoors.” At the Chicago gallery, artists such as Gelena Pavlenko and Vakhtang paint landscapes that invite the viewer in and welcome their own interpretations.
Pavlenko immigrated to the U.S. just over a year ago from her native Ukraine, seeking a new life for her and her family. Living in a small New York City apartment with her husband, son and mother, coming to America was a dream for the artist. Pavlenko finds her serenity in painting tranquil landscapes, sharing her love of nature and the outdoors. Her landscape paintings are meant to be soft and peaceful, she welcomes viewers to her happy place.
Georgian artist Vakhtang paints threedimensional landscapes by capturing a mist or a hazy fog, giving the feeling of being in a dream. He paints on linen, using the texture of the linen to give his landscapes a tactile quality. His landscapes draw the viewer in, and although the pieces appear to be very simple, they are complex at the same time, together in complete harmony.
At Cheryl Newby Gallery, there are paintings by artists such as Lisa Gleim, Paula Holtzclaw and Mike Williams that are attuned to the atmospheric conditions of the lands. When it comes down to making a purchase, gallery owner Cheryl Newby says, “I feel that art buyers should always only buy what they love no matter what type of art they are buying. Also, in my opinion, if you are not a seasoned collector, it’s best to buy works by artists who are established and have a reputation for excellence in a particular style or genre.”
Gleim, who lives in Atlanta, has always been drawn to color, light and atmosphere and strives to capture all three elements in her paintings. “My favorite time of day is the ‘golden hour’ when the light is at its richest and most dramatic,” she says. “The effect that late day light or moody atmosphere has on the landscape is what I strive
to capture. I want to record a moment in time that moves the viewer and reminds them of a special point in time.”
Romona Youngquist, who resides in Newberg, Oregon, says, “Sometimes I worry because I tend to paint scenes that are near me and I don’t branch off into other genres. And then I think, ‘why would I care what anyone thinks because what I do comes straight from the heart.’ Otherwise I won’t be moved to feel that I have to paint that. But I’m always striving to make those paintings even more dynamic.”
Youngquist has been experimenting with her under paintings to bring an elevated sense of mystery, tension and peace all at once. This fall, Youngquist will have the chance to paint the Tuscany region of Italy. It is a place she has never been, but she has always wanted to capture its beauty. She’s also participating in Sonoma Plein Air and will paint the Napa Valley Wine Country from September 10 to 14.
Bowersock Gallery in Provincetown, Massachusetts, features the work of Emma Ashby and Darlou Gams. Ashby uses a broad range of color, but chooses to speak, deftly, through the encaustic medium layering her work into the
three-dimensional landscapes. Gams’ harmonious, tonal work is about poetic place and people. The past few years the accomplished artist concentrated on the study of faces, but returns to her popular landscapes for this season.
According to gallery owner Steve Bowersock, “These are differently effecting works and mediums; each deserve special attention to the land and sea. Together they epitomize the value and purpose of art.”
Studio 7 Fine Art Gallery is located in the beautiful rolling hills of New Jersey horse country, an hour from New York City and Philadelphia. The gallery represents over 30 artists including nationally acclaimed watercolor artist James Fiorentino. He was the youngest artist to be voted into the New York Society of Illustrators and Society of Animal Artists and to show his work in Cooperstown
Baseball Hall of Fame, at age 15.
His solo show, People, Places & Things, will hang at Studio 7 from September 1 to October 27. In this show Fiorentino demonstrates his mastery of landscapes and captures the faces and places in the world around him, in all seasons. According to the gallery, “His unique realist dry brush watercolors are reminiscent of Rockwell and Wyeth and even seasoned artists and experienced collectors have to scrutinize his work before believing they are original watercolor paintings.”
Western North Carolina-based artist Phillip Philbeck displays expertise in realism, regionalism and romanticism, or sometimes combines all three styles. For the past several years his focus has been the grand, dramatic landscape. “I’ve always been enamored with this style of landscape painting. I remember as a kid leafing through art books with the images of Thomas Cole, Albert Bierstadt and other Hudson River artists,” he says. “That was very inspirational and provided the seeds for what I do now. There’s rarely anything more enjoyable than hiking and have it open up and bam—there it is, that awesome view I was looking for!”
Topeka, Kansas-based artist Stan Metzger paints panoramic landscapes of places such as Monument Valley and Coronado Butte. “With being inspired by the challenges of subject matter, of high degrees of difficulty, I have mastered the technical, artistic skills necessary to put those images on canvas,” he says.
Canyon Road Contemporary Art in Santa Fe represents the work of Mark Bowles who is fascinated by texture, form and color. He uses this fascination to express how he feels at the moment he is envisioning. Although aware of and competent in formal methods of creating art, he does not limit his expressions by rules, or even by his own interpretations of what he sees. The freedom resulting from such an open and expressive approach allows his work to move effortlessly from representational to minimalist to abstraction, often within one canvas.
“One should choose a Mark Bowles piece based on their reaction to the interplay of light and form,” the gallery says, “as throughout the day a Bowles canvas is apt to change not only what it is expressing but what the viewer is feeling.”
For her latest body of work, Christine Graefe Drewyer aimed to infuse the view with a feeling of hope and peacefulness. “It would seem the world is becoming more chaotic every day and the pressures and anxieties which tend to accompany that can get overwhelming,” she says. “The landscape has always been my primary focus because it is the universal common denominator which we all share.
“My recent paintings contain celestial components,” she continues. “In these it happens to be the sun. The stars, planets, the very Earth herself are ancient compared to our fleeting time here. By placing these glowing orbs in the paintings, it is my hope to instill a feeling that time endures, the universe endures and
there is light and protection and security which accompanies that.”
With her camera as a constant travel companion, Nancy Balmert has documented a recent trip to the U.K. and the sights appear in many of her works. “This trip started in the Cotswolds, which in mid-May, were in full bloom. While staying at the Manor House, I found this view of the church from the bridge on the one street in town,” she says. “A few yards away I saw a pathway [and] door and I was inspired to paint the wisteria. Everywhere I looked, I saw enchanting old structures.”
October 3 to 31, Balmert will exhibit her paintings at Amsterdam Whitney International Fine Art Gallery in Chelsea, New York. There will be a Gala Champagne Reception and Halloween Masquerade soiree on October 6 from 3 to 5 p.m.
Each of the 10 paintings in Sally Ruddy’s newest series feature varying shades of pink, such as The Pink House, which appeared overnight as an orchard of almond trees was bulldozed down nearby her home. “In a few years, the pink
house will slip from view behind new trees planted in the orchard once again,” says Ruddy. “I felt I must paint that house before it disappears.”
Another of her new paintings, Owl Box 2, depicts an owl box on her ranch. “It’s just a plain white box on a wooden post. However, it is a mysterious box. The owls are hidden in there and they house their babies inside. At night, they come out to hunt for prey. I never see them, but I hear them. The mystery is in the box,” she says. “All of these works record scenes of my personal environment and celebrate the essence of life.”
Artist and gallery owner Christiane David says, “My artwork transcends the subject and concentrates on emotions in bold and playful colors.” David, who owns her Christiane David Gallery, adds, “Collecting is essentially based on intuition and the response of an emotion. Great collections are made of what some may find major and minor artworks. This diversity reflects the personality of the collector.”
For the past seven years, Macey Lipman has been spending September and October in Florence, Italy, to study at Michelangelo Istituto Accademia d’Arte. “The atmosphere of Florence is full of art history having been the center of the art world since the Renaissance. It is truly a ‘Company Town’ for the arts,” says the artist.
On weekends the school takes day trips to various cities in the Tuscany region. “That’s where I got the inspiration for my
landscape paintings,” says Lipman. “My goal was to paint a small piece of history that could represent a taste of Italy. Of course, the age of the structures in Florence testify to the ancient history of Italy itself. The Monastery was built in 335, the Roman Ruins were built in 200 B.C. and the Medici Palace (not shown) was built in 1299. They are all fascinating edifices full of stories and some are still in use even today.”
Camilla Hale’s newest soft pastel painting, In the Shadow of Pedernal, was inspired by the light at Ghost Ranch, which she finds to move across the landscape like a living creature. “Every inch of movement creates a new inspiration and this pastel painting is but one of those moments,” she says, adding, “To anyone reluctant to collect soft pastel paintings as opposed to oils, I say view the vibrancy and texture of pastel firsthand and you will surely become a passionate collector of both.”
Located in Round Top, Texas, Copper Shade Tree Gallery represents a number
of artists who create landscape-themed artwork. Gerald Tobola creates copper repousses, such as his piece Forest Floor, which gives a dimensional aspect to the landscape that is found when looking at the ground beneath one’s feet. “I am deeply drawn in to nature, particularly leaves and trees,” the artist explains. “Just like life, the leaf life cycle is in constant motion and change. Their color palette is endless.” Another artist represented by the gallery is Nancy Bandy, who lives in the coastal prairie region of South Texas and is fascinated by its ever-changing skies and low horizons. She says, “They provide a great variety of patterns, colors, shapes and moods. I try to capture a sense of light and movement in the skies and hopefully create a work that is evocative for the viewer in some way.” Judith Babcock, who runs her studio/ gallery in Denver, says she has been thriving with commissions. Babcock employs an impressionistic style when she paints, and draws inspiration from the sights around where she lives in the picturesque state. Babcock elaborates, “The Russian Impressionistic style enhances the beauty of the Rocky Mountains and the elegance of the Aspen views.”
1. Vose Galleries, Fog, oil on canvas, 33 x 50", by Warren Prosperi.
2. Thomas Paquette, Power in Late Day, oil on linen, 20 x 32" 3. Quidley & Co., On the Boulevard, oil, 14 x 18", by Karen Woods. 4. Arcadia Contemporary, Uphill Climb, oil on canvas, 20 x 24", by Stephen Fox. 5. Nüart Gallery, Waterworks 2, dry pigments, gypsum, cement, fiberglass and glazing, 11 x 15¼", by Diana Moore. 6. Garvey|Simon,Ice Dam, casein tempera on panel, 24 x 18 x 2", by Alan Bray 7. Thomas Paquette, Cleft, New Hampshire, oil on linen, 60 x 48" 8. Thomas Paquette, Interlude of Light, oil on linen, 30 x 46" 9. Roger Dale Brown, Monterey Evening, oil on linen, 24 x 36" 10. Thomas Paquette, Winter River from Blueberry Drive Bridge, oil on linen, 36 x 28" 11. Roger Dale Brown, Mountain Flow, oil on linen, 36 x 24"5
12. Roger Dale Brown, Sunset Over the Valley, oil on linen, 24 x 40" 13. T.H. Brennen Fine Art, Winter, oil on linen, 10 x 8", by Ryan Brown. 14. The Gallery at Tree’s Place, Winter Rhythms, oil on linen, 18 x 24", by Leo Mancini-Hresko. 15. The Gallery at Tree’s Place, Lot River in Puy-l’Eveque, oil on canvas, 8 x 10", by Morgan Samuel Price. 16. The Gallery at Tree’s Place, The Escape, oil on board, 16 x 20", by Bill Farnsworth.16
17. Wells Gallery, Kiawah Marsh from Marsh Island Drive, oil on canvas, 30 x 40", by Junko Ono Rothwell. 18. Wells Gallery, Starlight Vigil, oil on linen, 36 x 24", by Karen Larson Turner. 19. Wells Gallery, One, Two, Three, oil on linen, 20 x 24", by Rick McClure. 20. Richard A Johnson, On the Way to Kiawah, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 30"21. Lotton Gallery, Rain, oil on linen, 12 x 12", by Vakhtang.20
22. Lotton Gallery, Early Twilight, oil on canvas, 20 x 28", by Gelena Pavlenko. 23. Lotton Gallery, Early Morning Light, oil on canvas, 16 x 24", by Gelena Pavlenko. 24. Cheryl Newby Gallery, Carolina by Moonlight, oil on linen, 37 x 47" (framed), by Paula Holtzclaw. 25. Cheryl Newby Gallery, Point 48, Variation II, acrylic and ink on canvas,60 x 72", by Mike Williams. 26. Romona Youngquist, Farm Entrance, oil on panel, 30 x 30" 27. Bowersock Gallery, Beyond the Dunes, encaustic on panel, 24 x 48", by EmmaAshby. 28. Romona Youngquist, Barn on the Backroad, oil on canvas, 48 x 48" 29. Romona Youngquist, Tranquil Snowfall, oil on canvas, 54 x 54" 30. Studio 7 Fine Art Gallery, First Snow, watercolor, 22 x 30", by James Fiorentino. 31. Bowersock Gallery, Ocean Cloudscape III, oil on linen panel, 24 x 24", by Darlou Gams.25
32. Richard A Johnson, The Lost, acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20" 33. Neal Philpott, Primordial Fog, oil on canvas, 26 x 54" 34. Phillip Philbeck, Passing Storm in Yosemite Valley, oil on canvas, 48 x 86" 35. Studio 7 Fine Art Gallery, All is Calm, watercolor, 24 x 24", by James Fiorentino. 36. Richard A Johnson, Carolina Parakeet, acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20" 37. Phillip Philbeck, Into the Valley, oil on canvas, 36 x 65"37
38. T.H. Brennen Fine Art, Still, oil on canvas, 60 x 48", by Jean Luc Messin. 39. Nathaniel Skousen, Wind Swept Lake, oil on canvas, 12 x 19" 40. T.H. Brennen Fine Art, Mother & Daughter, oil on linen, 23 x 31", by Pierre Van Dijk. 41. Washington Society of Landscape Painters, Cresting the Dune, oil, 9 x 15", by Lisa Mitchell. 42. Stan Metzger, SnowSqualls Over Monument Valley, acrylic on linen, 27 x 80" 43. Washington Society of Landscape Painters, First Snow, oil, 8 x 10", by Hai-Ou Hou. 44. Stan Metzger, Snow Squalls Over Coronado Butte, acrylic on linen, 24 x 42" 45. Stan Metzger, Looking Back Up the North Fork, acrylic on linen, 21½ x 36" 46. Lisa Gleim, Storm Clouds in Blue, pastel, 20 x 16"41
47. Lisa Gleim, Alpenglow, pastel, 16 x 20" 48. Nancy V. McTigue, Kauai Falls, oil on stretched linen, 16 x 12" 49. Canyon Road Contemporary Art, Awakening, acrylic on canvas, 36 x 48", by Mark Bowles. 50. Nancy Balmert, The Bridge at Castle Combe, oil on canvas, 20 x 16" 51. Canyon Road Contemporary Art, Changing My Perspective,acrylic on canvas, 48 x 60", by Mark Bowles. 52. Christine Graefe Drewyer, Celestial Promise, oil on linen, 30 x 40" 53. Christine Graefe Drewyer, Ocean Pearl, oil on linen, 20 x 30" 54. Christine Graefe Drewyer, Twilight's Last Gleaming, oil on linen, 24 x 36"53
55. Nancy Balmert, The Path at Castle Combe, oil on canvas, 20 x 16" 56. Canyon Road Contemporary Art, Summer Rain, acrylic on canvas, 40 x 40", by Mark Bowles. 57. Sally Ruddy, Owl Box No. 2, oil on canvas, 16 x 20" 58. Christiane David, Spring in Pemaquid, Maine, oil, 16 x 20" 59. Macey Lipman, Relais la Suvera, Tuscany, Italy, oil on canvas, 36 x 48" 60. Macey Lipman, Monastery, Farmacia Tornaghi, Italy, oil on canvas, 36 x 48" 61. Sally Ruddy, Pink House, oil on canvas, 20 x 24" 62. Christiane David, Nestled Among the Trees, oil, 16 x 20" 63. Christiane David, Beautiful Bruge, oil, 36 x 24"56
64. Copper Shade Tree Gallery, Rare Sky, pastel on paper, 20½ x 28", by Nancy Bandy. 65. Judith Babcock, Afternoon Nuance, oil, 24 x 36" 66. Camilla Hale, In the Shadow ofPedernal, soft pastel, 5 x 7" 67. Judith Babcock, Golden Day, oil, 24 x 36" 68. Macey Lipman, Nemi Village and Crater Lake, Nemi, Italy, oil on canvas, 24 x 30" 69. Copper Shade Tree Gallery, Forest Floor, copper repousse, 24 x 36", by Gerald Tobola.68