“These are observations that accumulate with a life spent outside in the West, and I strive to capture as an artist because it is all so fleeting.”Peter Campbell
A featured artist in Ann Korologos Gallery’s Seasons of the West: WINTER, Peter Campbell shares his inspirations on his new collection of Winter works showcasing the mood and atmosphere of the season.
From the home and studio of Peter Campbell in Durango, Colorado, nature is a readily available inspiration artfully brought to canvas. While Campbell lives to paint, his artistic career started as a photographer upon completing his studies at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia.
He says his photography background comes in handy when he’s working on his landscapes, which are often abstracted views of nature. “Photographers are able to look at the world and imagine a frame around it, seeing the shapes interact with each other,” he says.
“Every Winter has a feel that takes time to assimilate into paintings,” he explains. When it comes to the season, there is something less tangible that strikes the artist: the quiet moments of snow “for those who sense it.” The majesty of these moments is captured on scene, in a race to transfer that instant response to canvas before the moment is lost. “You almost have to fight to hold on to that original idea,” he says. “It takes a lot of work to develop that glimpse into the work you’re trying to produce.”
Of those glimpses, Campbell thinks back to “that blanket of snow after it falls all night and before something has spoiled the surface,” as depicted in Winter Silence, or “the backlit diamonds of snow about to blow out of the trees,” captured in Sunlit.
Everywhere he looks, Campbell sees inspiration and challenge, fulfilled by an infinite passion to pursue painting. “I love that the Winter sun stays low on the horizon, providing long shadows that reflect the cobalt skies of Colorado.” In Creek in January, Campbell was intrigued by the light amidst muted trees and warm underbrush. “I wanted the viewer to be led into the background of the painting where you get a sense of a larger valley, but be counterbalanced with the foreground, with the remaining leaves literally hanging like notes on a musical score in the limbs. That play of warm and cool is always exciting to paint.”
Seasons of the West is a group exhibition which invites everyone to pause, to really take in the colors, textures and moods of Winter, especially snow. The show features Peter Campbell, Ewoud de Groot, Michael Fain, Simon Winegar, Dan Young, among others, and is on view at Ann Korologos Gallery January 17 through March 16, 2019.