What do you see when you look at a landscape? Most of us, when we hear the phrase “landscape art” think of sky, mountains, trees, and lakes. We stop at scenic overlooks as we drive and briefly take in the grand views of a landscape scene. There’s nothing wrong with that. I love stopping at those spots myself.
But my eyes are drawn to the building blocks of those grand images. The lines and shapes made by form and shadow, and the colors and textures of the different materials that make up the landscape – be it cloud, rock, sand or water. I like to find the beauty in the cracked dirt shapes, in the lines and shadows of rock crevices, in capturing the colors I see in a particular spot on a particular day.
So, when you look at some of my art you may not know "what it is" because my mountain landscapes don't often show the peaked silhouette that our brains so easily identify and associate with mountains. I want to draw you into the rock, into the sky, into the sand and show you the beauty of these natural elements expressed through the basic elements of art: line, color, and shape.
The images I create are still grounded in a landscape. It was a real time and place that gave rise to my lines, shapes, and colors. But the context for the image is not easily identifiable by looking at the abstract image alone. It's a challenge. Is it a landscape if you can't immediately tell it is mountain, sky, sand? Does the context of the work matter? Is a landscape a scene, a place, the elements? These are the concepts that have led me to paint abstract landscapes: What makes up the image? What characteristics are present in this place? With various iterations, how far can I push the image from visible horizon and classic landscape elements to a point of abstraction where it isn't a landscape anymore? Or is it always a landscape?
For me questioning what a landscape is and taking it to abstract places leads to the discovery of hidden beauty and a new way to see. It brings to light details that can be overlooked. It challenges how we see land and place. It creates new visuals that are beautiful. It adds layers to how we see the world around us.
Yours Truly, Amanda Porter,