Artist Roberta Glidden

An example of fine art by Roberta Glidden

Photo of Roberta Glidden


I followed a circuitous route to oil painting.  Moving from a rainy childhood in the NW to Colorado Rockies then to Utah Wasatch and far flung travel in between exposed me to dramatic landscapes.  As a hiker, skier and biker I always needed to be outdoors in any weather.  But standing there behind an easel trying to convey this passion was quite another matter.  My education and art career as a textile designer had not prepared me for this moment of truth.  Where to start?  It was as if I had never seen a simple tree before.
The slogan is that you have to do 100 pieces before you can call yourself a painter.  I wish.  I have the advantage of the proximity of great master teachers here in Utah, which I wisely latched onto.  Still. You have to find your own voice at the end of the day, maybe after 500 attempts.  And counting.  It's a lot like becoming fluent in a foreign language.  At a certain point it becomes intuitive and you feel free to express yourself.
As I progress, I reconfirm my certainty that being face to face with your subject is the real experience, the true spirit of understanding it in all its nuance.  Like many painters, I first do one or more small plein air (direct) studies to get the best angle on the view.   I then take it back to the studio as the basis for a larger piece.  Of course, I take lots of photos as the light changes which I use as aids in composition but never as primary source material and certainly not for color information.  That has to come from first-hand observation on site.
I usually have several pieces going at once so I won't get stuck on one and lose my first impulse.
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