People often ask what style my paintings are and I sometimes stumble to explain. Expressionistic colorscapes is the phrase I've coined, but it usually requires clarification. In a nutshell, I try to show how a particular experience or place felt, versus simply showing what my camera saw.
Expressionism ls a style of art, like Impressionism or Realism. Impressionism uses dabs of color to show light and dark areas, but the process constrains me. Realism reproduces what is actually there, almost as a camera would, and while it takes a lot of skill it doesn't feel creative to me. Expressionism, while based in reality and concerned with light, is all about emotion and energy. It originated a century ago, when artists like Matisse and Van Gogh distorted reality to share their experiences. It used exaggeration to give a sense of the object, whether a building, body or landscape.
My expressionistic tendencies distort objects a bit, certainly, but mostly I emphasize emotional color choices. A stone building a hot day might feel pink or orange to me. A cool shadow would likely feel purple or blue. Rarely does something feel gray or brown, or I wouldn't be inspired to paint it! These color choices enable me to share the energy I felt.
What about the colorscape part? Well, my paintings aren't traditional landscapes or seascapes, are often cityscapes, and always involve heightened color, so… This painting of downtown Manhattan is an example. The buildings were not actually these colors, but I experienced the city that way on a sunny, crisp day. You can see it in my upcoming exhibit, "From New York to Havana," at Pamela Hirth Designs in Woodbridge, CT. Join us for the opening reception on Thursday, Oct. 26, from 5:00-7:30.
This blog reminds me of this quote from Ansel Adams:
A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.