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Accessing "Mountain-ness"

October 13, 2017

Reflecting back in April of 2012 I had a conversation about landscape painting with a gallery owner. I believe there really isn't much departure from my older work, despite the varying appearance of my new works today.

Below is an excerpt from that conversation:

I asked one of our current exhibitors, James O'Brien to speak to me about his process of his work in landscape painting:


"I want the painting and the viewer to have an experience together. My goal is to convey to the viewer a philosophy embedded in the art—for the viewer to see how natural light can reveal new truths within the objects it affects, bringing into focus an unexamined life. Our surroundings hold a hidden key to our emotions and by documenting the relationships of light values and focusing on the space, I can convey an emotion to the viewer in a carefully calculated composition. 


When painting landscapes, I begin with hundreds of thumbnails, each sketch conveying a different point-of-view or idea. I attack the canvas with aggressive and energetic brushstrokes. I don’t worry about color or the placement of anything, but attempt to capture the level of intensity or tranquility surging in the moment. When painting a mountain, my goal is to