Early Heroes and the Rural Landscape

"Green Roofs"  Pastel

"Green Roofs" Pastel

When I was a kid one of my favorite artists was Andrew Wyeth.   I had a bookon his art and I remember studying it and admiring  the beautiful starkness of mood he was able to create with his gorgeous watercolors and egg tempera paintings, two media that I myself delved into “back in the day.”   Later it was Edward Hopper who I meditated on with abandon.   My dear friend from art school, Terry Jane and I flew to San Francisco from L.A. to see his retrospective at SF’s MOMA in 1981.   We still laugh because we had to carry our luggage through the museum.   Apparently we would have done anything to see a once in a lifetime event like that.   Hopper’s landscapes propelled the painter within me.    The common thread between the two is the sense of stillness, of solitude these artists so beautifully achieve in their depictions of scenes from their  surroundings and their travels.

In the series of work I have been developing over the past several years involving rural architecture, I feel a sense of going back to my roots as a painter to the initial inspirations that guided what my painting has always been about at its core.  Though my earliest work was decidedly more suburban in subject matter – as was my actual surroundings,  the thread of my early obsession with painting masters Wyeth and Hopper was always there.

In my work, and with pastel specifically there is a tendency for it to create a dreamlike atmospheric feeling in the finished work.    Since I continue to play with the premise of a heightened sense of reality or a dreamlike version of same, it continues to be my favorite medium of choice.   My latest completed pastel landscape painting in the rural architecture series is “Green Roofs.”  I was very attracted to this composition for its sense of disquieting calm amidst a blaze of color, pattern and light.

And the journey continues…..


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Victoria Ryan