Kathleen Newman - Artist Statement
The tradition of plein air painting began with the invention of the metal tube paint container and for the first time artists were able to bring their material out of the studio and into the open air. One can only imagine their response to the freedom and excitement of painting outdoors - painting the light, color, atmosphere, and sounds. Impressionism was born and with the relatively recent rediscovery of our own California Impressionists from the early 1900's, plien air painting is once again creating excitement in contemporary American painting.
As a studio painter, I have found that there is nothing more exciting and frustrating than painting outdoors. The overwhelming amount of information encountered in the field, the changes in weather and atmosphere, visits by bugs and other pests, and the movement of the primary light source - the sun - can be intimidating, however, there is nothing so satisfying as trying to make order out of nature's "chaos". Focus, like meditation or prayer, is the key. The ability to see and simplify, to organize the value patterns, shapes, edges and color and present it in a straightforward manner is the essence of a successful painting experience. And Nature is the best teacher.
The beauty and peacefulness of this landscape existing in balance with the highest energy, most powerful superconducting accelerator in the world and the brilliance of the minds that work here, is truly inspiring. As an artist, I am searching for an understanding of nature, of matter and energy, space and time. Thirty paintings of Fermilab is the result of my visual experiments.
-- "Anything under the sun is beautiful if you have the vision - it is the seeing of the thing that makes it so." Charles Hawthorne on painting.
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