Just got back from a ski trip to Montana. I usually don’t get a lot of time outside in the wildlife, but I was in luck. This feeling of luck was not shared by the three other men in our family who consider Montana in the winter to be a single minded opportunity to stream adrenaline through their veins as they fly down the ski slopes mock three with their hair on fire. They are addicts. I too love skiing, but I also love to get out and appreciate the beauty of winter in the mountains where streams run a cold translucent pthalo green, and the bright snow melts into sculptural anomalies set agains the black winter armatures of wild mountain landscape. This year I was lucky. This year there wasn’t much snow. The skiing was meh, and I was able to talk our little clan into going horseback riding one day of the trip.
Lucky for me I was located at the end of the horse train. My horse, Zephyr, was a quiet confident fellow...confident enough to hang back from the group so I could get that awe inspiring feeling of being surrounded by rugged landscape that is otherwise difficult to experience. Horses travel farther than we can on foot, and they navigate terrain that our mechanically engineered devices can’t travel.
So, there I was in the quiet rocky woods with gentle snow blanketing the ground masking the rugged terrain and overwhelmed by “that feeling.” How to describe it? It is the driving force behind my inspiration as an artist. It’s that moment when I’m transformed by the landscape....when I feel a sense that I”m a visitor on a magical planet. I feel a bit like Alice in wonderland at these times, and am equally amazed that they often exist right under our noses. (Although this place was hard to get to)
This is the feeling that I try to express in my paintings. I’m not really a landscape painter as much as a treasure hunter who chases the moments that transcend the banality of daily life. Maybe I’m an addict, too. I’m addicted to these moments, and I want to transcribe them in my work. I don’t know if this is important enough to justify anyone’s interest, but I need to do it. I need it for my mental health, and I feel good in taking the time to cherish and bring light to the value of our beautiful earth who provides all while we try to ignore it’s wildness.
So, Here I find myself back in the studio again with this new experience in my mind and heart. Lets see where it takes me next....