A Stranger in the Wilderness
My paintings represent nature’s intimate beauty. I am always aware that I am the stranger, an outside observer capturing the mountain panoramas, oceans, lakes or streams, clouds, landscapes or animals and birds in their native surroundings at one particular moment. Expressing the color, light and personality of the image as I see it is more important to me than reproducing an exact reality. Sometimes the use of gels and other textures in the paint itself forces me to adjust the innate painting techniques I have developed over the years. As I experiment, the appearance of the work changes. I do this to grow as a painter and to find new ways to bring the emotion of the painting out from the shadows of my imagination. I paint to capture that moment of intense observation that caught my interest in the first place.
If I were forced to classify my paintings, I would call them Representational Impressionism. Whatever the image, from wherever it is generated, the observed reality blends in my mind’s eye and flows from the brush without concern for an exact replication of that reality. Yet, a mountain is easily seen as a mountain. The clouds are clearly clouds. Water is fluid or reflecting, and I want the power of the wave or the calm of the still water to reach out to the viewer. But, I do not pretend to paint reality and so, I quietly allow my imagination to bring my paintings into form and substance.
Valerie Connelly — Artist
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