Issue #13 | Fall/Winter 2009

Artist Statement

Art depicting the landscape seems to be the predominant genre in our part of the world. Perhaps because the Peace is so picturesque that its appeal is compelling, or perhaps because the scenery here is uncluttered and precise. Or is it the ever-changing light?

Painting or drawing a landscape is one of the most challenging tasks any artist can choose. What might to the casual observer seem obvious and simple requires a complex set of skills. It isn’t enough to just be able to recognize that the view you are capturing is beautiful and worthy; the artist must also be perceptive and worthy.

For the audience, a landscape is either a satisfying journey into the artist’s world, or a bad trip into disbelief. Probably the genre most accessable to viewers, landscape is also the one they feel they know the most about. Confronted by an error in perspective or a wash of muddy colour, the viewer mutters, “That’s not what it looks like there.”

Landscape art demands a myriad of choices: What will be depicted? Does this call for panorama or detail, realism or interpretation? What medium would be best? What is it about this place that calls for expression?

Climate also challenges the Peace country landscape artist. As restricted as we are to being inside, it’s admirable that so many obviously live for the en plein air experience of sketching, painting and taking photographs. One might reasonably expect more still life and portraiture, yet the entries in the Art of the Peace Juried Art Show tell us that, as diverse as the works and genres in that show are, landscape art still predominates.

Though the demands are plentiful and rigorous, the local subject matter is divine. Next time you look out on a sunny, cloudy or snowy scene, grab your sketchbook, throw open the door, rip off your toque and throw it in the air. It’s always a perfect day for Peace landscape art.

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