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Recently a fellow artist raised a question about the lasting (or not) appeal of the traditional landscape painting. His theory, in part, was that younger art collectors are attracted to larger, more colorful, and abstracted works. Therefore “quiet landscapes” have no appeal for them.
While I understand his concern, I believe that the traditional landscape can never be completely out of fashion. There may be trends in art that come and go, but the landscape well executed will always find an audience. Even the most fashionable trendy art collectors will find themselves moved by a gorgeous vista viewed from an SUV on the highway. Even staunch urbanites do occasionally look up and catch their breath at the sight of a glorious cloud display in the sky.
Many of the now middle-aged population grew up in a time when play-time was outdoors and in the surrounding landscape. They (we) all hold those memories dear to our hearts.
As for the 20-something’s of today, they are the computer generation, the gamers and texters of the world. It came to my attention recently that computer games have upped the ante in graphics, and many games now sport incredibly real environments for the characters to move around in. Guess what? Some of these environments look exactly like traditional landscapes! These younglings will grow up with good feelings about those images.
I am grateful to live in a part of the world with incredible natural beauty to inspire me. I can find sweet lines in the shape of the land, intricate lacework in a vigorous tree, and there is always the ever-changing sky. My world is lush and water studded in the summer and blanketed with snow in the winter. I paint the beauty I see around me, and what moves me, moves everyone who lays eyes on it, regardless of trends, age, or personal convictions.
A landscape artist does well when they choose to paint the general area they live in. So west-coast landscapes tend to be colorful and impressionistic as opposed to the east coast where works are more subdued but no less beautiful. The American southwest with its dry atmosphere lends itself to far reaching vistas and almost graphic rock formations. Each area has it’s own beauty and appeal, and I believe that nobody is completely unaware of it. Even the man who walks with his head down is sure to notice the sky reflected in a puddle.
Recording the natural world in a traditional way, capturing a moment of serenity or breath taking beauty can never be outdated. We all walk this earth, and each of us wishes for those moments of connection to last.
Editor's Note: You can view Laura's original post here.