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Artist Statement

Dale LandrumThe French painter Delacroix wrote that "first... a painting must be... a feast for the eyes." Finding subjects that fit this description-the first step in the process of creating an effective painting, often requires a lot of looking around, which I do, so fall color trips around the country and excursions to certain areas of the American Southwest are where I find some of my inspiration for oil painting. However, I find inspiration and visual excitement just as well in my garden, or in my studio with a simple still life composition. But getting out in the open air is where I get most of my zeal for painting, and I always feel transformed by it. I find myself beholding the scene, and I feel very much a part of it. Most of the time I am a solitary figure standing or sitting behind an easel, and I reflect upon the many reasons for being there; interpreting a subject but also being assimilated by it. In a world where the natural, or pristine landscape is vanishing, my time spent out and about provides a spiritual retreat, as well as an interesting motif to work with.

Before I began painting on a regular basis, I worked for much of the year out-of-doors as a botanist, and always felt my life to be more complete if I could somehow manage to spend my day in an "open air" environment. I tend to feel as though I miss out on life whenever I spend the whole day inside. My tendency to paint landscape subjects more than anything else is also determined by a world that is all too rapidly becoming more pavement and suburban sprawl, rather than the fields and orchards that we need to sustain us. The pastoral scene is becoming harder to find, and this is another good reason to capture real places on canvas, while they still exist. The imagery of the pristine and agrarian landscape has become more important than ever for me. I see humanity as a whole suffering from a nature deficit, and much of our behavior reflects this condition. I hope that some of my oil paintings will awaken more people to this concern, by giving them a different, added appreciation of the world around us.

Exhibitions & Shows

Membership Associations:

American Impressionist Society
   Oil Painters of America (OPA)