In my previous blog post I shared my Alberta landscape paintings from the particularly busy year of 2010. In this post, I share my landscape works from a couple years before and after that year.
(See the previous blog post for Alberta landscape paintings from the year 2010)
Although landscapes are a theme I have always painted, there are periods when they become a particular focus. In around 2010, I developed a new series of landscapes from my home province of Alberta. Most of these again depict the prairies and parkland that dominates the central region of the province. I was painting primarily with oils during this period and this series was painted in the studio.
In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s the subject matter of my painting was primarily landscapes, and more specifically the prairies, parkland and foothills of central part of Alberta.
It is mid-September here in my part of the world and that means that autumn is arriving in a hurry. There is an exciting burst of color that will soon give way to 7 months of greyness. Fortunately images captured, can be images savored (and perhaps painted), during the long wait til spring.
I’ve made three visits in the last couple of months to one particular exhibit at the Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA) and I suspect I will be good for at least two more visits before the show closes on February 20 2012. The show is State of Nature, Western Canadian Landscape Painting in the AGA collection, 1980 to the present. This exhibit is running concurrently with a couple of other complementary painting exhibitions Prairie Life: Settlement and the Last Best West 1930-1955 (just until 2012 January 29) and a Passion for Nature, Landscape Painting from 19th Century France.
While the Passion for Nature exhibit is larger and with some big names would probably be considered the more prestigious exhibit, I must say that State of Nature is my favorite! State of Nature features nine large works by Alberta and Saskatchewan artists. The paintings are bold and strong, some tending towards abstraction but all recognizable as landscapes and certainly capturing the essence of the landscape from the Western Canadian prairie and parkland. There were a couple of paintings that really connected with me, invited me to sit down in front of them, to absorb the atmosphere and be transported to a different place. One of these was David Alexander’s Swags in a Northern Swamp. This large (approximately 3 by 4 meters) piece features a dominant foreground swamp with reflections in the mid-ground.
My favorite piece in this exhibit is Rockface, Quiet Bay 2008 by Gregory Hardy. This large work dominates one’s field of vision with a rocky landscape refelcted in a lake. the colors are rather subdued but with a few exciting dabs of orange.
If you happen to be in Edmonton, with an opportunity to visit the AGA before February 20th be sure not to miss this exhibit. It is interesting in its own right but especially so when seen against the 20th Century French paintings and the other current AGA exhibits.
In the first part of 2010 I painted a series of landscapes inspired by the Alberta Prairies. Here is one of this group:
To see more paintings from this series, please visit my web site: www.randalltalbot.com