Paul Cezanne once said, “To paint from nature is not to paint the subject, but to realize sensations.” Ask any landscape painter today and they would agree. Capturing the light and atmosphere is key to revealing the “sensations” of the landscape.
In this Art Discovery session, artists Martin Blundell, Kirk Randle, Becky Pashia and Matt Sievers talk about how they use light and atmosphere to evoke sensations in their work.
Becky is a self-described “atmospheric artist” leading the charge in the “atmospheric movement.” She is more about capturing the atmosphere in her work than a subject matter. She wants the viewer to connect with her pieces and have their own moment.
“I am trying to paint an expression of a moment,” Becky said. And she does this through movement, air and light.
“I care more about the weather in a piece than about the subject,” Becky said. “I really want you to feel it.”
On the other end of the landscape spectrum is Kirk Randle. While he takes some liberties on his scenic works, he aims for more detail to transport the viewer to a specific place and time. Many of Kirk’s pieces start with a long journey to find just the right location and wait for that perfect moment when the light hits the landscape just right.
“My paintings are about experiencing a place,” he said. To capture that, Kirk will often work from a study that he paints en plein air.
For Matthew Sievers, he often doesn’t have the time to capture his subject (Arizona sunsets) en plein air as they rapidly shift from minute to minute.
“I’ve really fallen in love with the atmosphere of Arizona,” he said. “More specifically, the sunsets in Arizona. When painting sunsets, it changes so fast, so you can’t do a plein air. I’ve been using a lot of photos to compose a composition.”
Matthew works from those photo references adding multiple layers to create different types of light and evoke emotion.
For Martin Blundell, he describes his work as, “…the intersection of reality and memory. I start at a real place, but halfway through I get rid of my resources. I start with a brush and finish with a palette knife. The process helps me eliminate detail.”
Martin said his work is a blend of what he saw, the memory of what he saw, and what he felt about it. “I have one foot in abstraction and one foot in realism.”
While each artist has their own distinct style and color palette, each has mastered the art of capturing life’s most fleeting, but special moments. And while they each arrive there differently, they seem to share a similar vision: Make the viewer feel something amazing.
Watch the full Art Discovery: Landscape and Light below, and for more on each of the featured artists, check out:
- Artist page
- Blog post and video interview
- Podcast interview with Graydon Foulger and Marty Le Messurier
- Podcast interview with Matt Suess