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Are Traditional Landscapes Passť?

by Laura den Hertog on 12/14/2011 1:25:22 PM

This post is by guest author, Laura den Hertog.  This article has been edited and published with the author's permission. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here. We've promoted this post to feature status because it provides great value to the FineArtViews community.  If you want your blog posts listed in theFineArtViews newsletter with the possibility of being republished to our 16,000+ subscribers, consider blogging with FASO Artist Websites.  This author's views are entirely her own and may not always reflect the views of BoldBrush, Inc.

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.


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Nicole Hyde
Different strokes for different folks. I feel incredibly blessed to live in an era where there is such diversity in the styles of art readily available. The internet has broadened the scope, me thinks.

Traditional or contemporary, tonalist or colorist, abstract or realism -- it's all out there and personally, I appreciate it all.

I like art...all kinds of art. Viva la diversity! :-)

Brian Sherwin
Good point about the landscape influence on gamers. look at games like Skyrim...noted for their 'realistic' environments. Even in this digital world people still seek nature -- even in the context of a video game.

As for computer based art in general... people keep saying that social media art and the like is where it is at -- that it is the future of art. Yet when you look at art trends on sites like Facebook it is clear that said direction in art has not really caught on yet. Meanwhile traditions like landscape paintings are still very, very, very popular.

There will always be someone who prefers a landscape painting in their home over an abstract painting... just as some will prefer portrait paintings over landscapes. Collectors have different tastes.

Kay Rideout
There is so much to love about painted landscapes.

I appreciate the Early California Impressionist artists who allow us 21st century art lovers to see more than what a photo can capture. Sometimes while viewing their works, I try to image what it was like to be painting the undeveloped San Diego landscape, before freeways, shopping malls and housing tracts.

George Inness's thoughts on the landscape invoking an emotional response is in tune with what I read/hear from artists today. The paintings draw me in and are a joy.

John Kelley
As a decorative element traditional landscape paintings are by no means passe. They stand up well and provide needed contrast in homes dominated by more abstracted works. As long as empty white walls do not become the dominate trend there will always be a place for the escape of a well painted landscape. The bigger question is whether these landscapes can continue to maintain fine art value and fine art prices when so many artists are using the same thematic and technical approaches. When you hunt for skilled non-established landscape painters it is stunning how indistinguishable many of them are. I am looking forward to seeing more young painters who approach the landscape in a way that sets them apart from the norm.

Phil Kendall
The media-form screen is tomorrow's world.

My generation read books listened to the radio and marvelled the art on the wall...

My children's generation watched the Television and looked occasionally at the art on the wall...

My grandchildren's generation look at their games machines or their lap-tops or their "i" what evers!!

So the work of all artists must be reduced to the digital image to get any passing attention...

Rick Rotante
I am not sure what is meant by "Traditional" landscapes in today's context. Do we mean painted with traditional techniques? Or traditional as opposed to abstract or expressionist or loosely painted? Many don't paint in the antique method anymore. Modern Landscapes are far from traditional and that is a good thing. Modern landscapes should reflect the here and now. The scenes from landscapes from the early California Impressions are no longer there. Much of what was painted then has been paved over, plowed under or manicured to perfection leaving in their place tall buildings and paved streets.
I do see more urban scenes being painted again.
Those coming up today, future young buyers will need to see scenes that relate to them. Unfortunately, the paintings by Inness, Cole, Church, et al, thought wonderful and magical to us, will not suffice being repeated in the “traditional”Ě manner. We live a new world and that world will demand new landscapes; scenes that relate to life today.
What should not change is the artistry in producing such work. Artists still need to apply themselves as heartily as our predecessor. Artist's need to paint their time.

Andre Salzmann
Have been studying fasco web info for a while. Will link in the new year. Oil paint all themes myself and live in South Africa. Most beautiful part of Gods world.
Been thinking a lot about this fas-set of landscape painting lately. Realisation of the sensitivity of nature to the climatic changes should come to the consciousness of the wider
public soon and hopefully then appreciation for
the role of the landscape painter in preserving moments of beauty that could soon never be seen again?
Question is whether painters themselves realise their own value in this respect and market their
work from this perspective. In this manner then
helping more than just themselves.You apparently
have 2 million artists in the USA. How many people must each landscape artist reach as to influence your entire population, increase sales and assist in reducing/ stalling/stopping climatic changes . Time to forget about economic downturns and such negatives.

Regards. ( And for heavens sake, paint the world and keep it alive. You are the people blessed with creativity).


Marian Fortunati
Well written. I couldn't agree more. Mostly it's the landscapes that speak to me... but then I've got quite a few figurative paintings on my walls as well.

Landscape's do speak to us .
I remember a movie that I saw on TV when I was in my teens ,I cant remember the name of but I will never forget it , the story was about a elderly couple that went to a museum and were always dreaming about being in that Special Landscape painting , the lady in the story had passed away and the man was very sad that she was gone, but when he went back to look at the large-landscape painting on the wall there to his surprise was his life long Love,standing on the road waiting for him in that painting. He went back several times, when he was getting close to his time to leave, he stayed in the museum after closing , the next scene I remembered was that the large painting was on the floor and there were two loving people walking down the road into that wonderful Landscape .. well I am soon to be 65 and I love landscapes and want to try to paint one that will hang on the wall of a museum,after I am gone, for other to wish that they to could,or at least seen, some of the landscapes that great painter like yourselves paint. Well if we, or you great painters stop painting or ( I mean you great Landscape painters stop ) putting on canvas or paper the gifts that you give the World,and myself it would be a very sad day, so please keeping putting you Landscapes out there for all of the rest of the world to enjoy ,because I can and will never get enough of the ART of Landscaping. Thank You
please do not stop painting great Landscapes

I just started art last year but have always loved looking at landscapes

bill nichols
No subject is ever irrelevant, what is important is opening the door
a bit more, to show a new way to experience an old theme. This means reaching into yourself and creating a visual vocabulary that
meets what is special to you. Van Goghs content comes from his
unique way of deploying paint and it is that which provides another
glimpse at understanding the landscape.


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