I visited the de Young Museum of fine art recently. In addition to being awe struck by several incredible paintings by Richard Diebenkorn, I spent a good amount of time looking at early American paintings. From the Hudson River School to Maynard Dixon in the west, I was struck by how these paintings give off a feeling of history and development. A landscape painting probably doesn’t encapsulate a political or social narrative of how a country developed but many have a sense of place.
As I spend more time painting the things that I see in San Francisco, I’ve started to think more about what my paintings mean. What do I have to say? Are these just buildings, trees, and occasionally people that serve as a conduit for the techniques and processes of painting? Or is it also a statement about what human beings have changed about our environment and how we have molded our surroundings to suit our needs and wants.
What about paintings of nature? I’m drawn to landscapes and can spend hours just walking around the cliffs overlooking the ocean. Nature feels very sacred and I can feel my need for time away from civilization growing and becoming more important. I feel that my connection to nature is very ingrained in my human nature. An inviting path or quiet overlook brings me peace and, I think, connects me with some part of my primitive ancestral self.
I love visiting museums and art exhibits because they are occasionally fascinating and, more often than not, make me think about what I’m doing in a new light. And, with new thoughts in mind, here is landscape painting of the shoreline near Point Reyes Lighthouse from a visit last week.
Also, if you have time, please check out my Etsy store, ArtFromBrian. I listed several new paintings this morning and, as always, appreciate your support.