Art That Reminds Me of Home

During this time of year I like to reflect upon and appreciate all the blessings in my life (…also eat a lot of carbs and watch TV marathons). But lately I've been dwelling on how lucky we are to have so much amazing art created and inspired by the American landscape. I would have no problem filling hundreds–thousands!–of pages of landscape paintings from East Coast to West that remind me of "home" in the broadest sense.

I could start with landscape artist Frederic Edwin Church. He traveled throughout the Americas, creating works of art that make me want to stay outdoors forever. Twilight in the Wilderness is one of my favorite landscape paintings and captures the natural beauty of America without being a depiction of a specific place.

Twilight in the Wilderness by Frederic Edwin Church, oil painting, 1860.
Twilight in the Wilderness by Frederic Edwin Church, oil painting, 1860.

O'Keeffe's landscape art of New Mexico made such an impression on me when I first saw it that, in a way, it now defines that region for me more than the actual landscape does. The artist was inspired by nature and yet took that into a completely new place, visually speaking; making works that give a sense of the landscape but also bring to mind ideas about vastness, loneliness, and beauty.

Grey Hills Painted Red by Georgia O'Keeffe, oil painting, 1930.
Grey Hills Painted Red by Georgia O'Keeffe, oil painting, 1930.

Ruscha's roadside gas stations make me a little bit envious because they are of a time and place I never got to see–when taking to the road was an adventure and meant freedom and independence, not the rage-filled grind of today. I also love the graphic, slick, Pop qualities of Ruscha's work–how he can make a gas station feel like it is larger than life with a few diagonal lines, though he simultaneously shows the homage to be a bit absurd as well.  

Standard Station by Ed Ruscha, oil painting, 1966.
Standard Station by Ed Ruscha, oil painting, 1966.

California through David Hockney's eyes is a composite of a lovely urban jungle. His swimming pool paintings give a sense of the West Coast that isn't all glamour and glitz, although he does show off those elements through the bright colors and modern architecture that fills his landscape paintings–and yet there is an introspective quality to the paintings that sometimes goes unsung.

Portrait of Nick Wilder by David Hockney, acrylic painting, 1966.
Portrait of Nick Wilder by David Hockney, acrylic painting, 1966.

Each of these artists has become iconic in American art and their landscape paintings offer unique and one-of-a-kind views of the places they were inspired by and called home. If you are looking for artistic ways to do the same, consider AcrylicWorks. It's a great resource to use in order to discover how to get the most out of the medium and see how you can use it to create your very own rich and varied artistic landscapes and more from fellow artists, all the while learning tips and methods that can help you hone your own skills. Enjoy!

P.S. What artist or painting that is quintessentially "American" comes to mind for you? Leave a comment and let me know!

 

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Courtney Jordan

About Courtney Jordan

  Courtney is the editor of Artist Daily. For her, art is one of life’s essentials and a career mainstay. She’s pursued academic studies of the Old Masters of Spain and Italy as well as museum curatorial experience, writing and reporting on arts and culture as a magazine staffer, and acquiring and editing architecture and cultural history books. She hopes to recommit herself to more studio time, too, working in mixed media.   

10 thoughts on “Art That Reminds Me of Home

  1. Wolf Kahn: is at the top of my list, his landscapes and barn paintings. His use of color is extrardinary. two barn paintings, 1st – the yellow square and 2nd – My barn on a summer night @ the Smithsonian Institution in DC. and Landscapes, two fav. are 1st – Height of Autumn and 2nd – the last glow of sunset

    Ken Elliott: Another great colorist. Has the ability to create Wonderfully Tranquil, paintings.

  2. My favorite is Edward Hopper. His work is so real,I just love it. I have a book that has pictures he painted along with photos of the places today. There is a Hopper at the Dallas Museum of Art that I always stop to see when I am there for any reason.

  3. Hi Courtney:

    Your posts are all enjoyable, and this one is one of your best!
    We’re introduced to the concept of portraying our homeland, then introduced to a variety of artists and works which convey the message!

    Reminding me of home the most would be Homer Winslow. I live in New York State just south of the Adirondack Mountains in which Winslow spent some time and did some painting.

    Indeed, his work has been an inspiration to follow!

    A lesser-known favorite of mine is Paul Detlefson. I know little about the artist, but always recognize his work at a glance. Literally reminding me of home, my parents had a sofa-size print of a Detlefson painting which I viewed every day of my childhood. It now hangs in my house, where my kids grew up viewing it, and it remains hanging there as my grandchildren grow!

    Thanks for another good post, Courtney!

    Scott R. O’Connor
    Sharon Springs, new York

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