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.|
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.|
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.|
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.|
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!