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Robert Christy...Landscapes

I paint landscapes as an excuse for spending large amounts of time in places of great beauty and isolation. The American West has many such places, although they are disappearing faster than you might think. California probably has the most variety and extremity in its land forms and seasons and so I find myself painting there most often.

In plein aire painting, timing is most important. Isolated locations like the Saline Valley of the East Mojave of California require will-planned expeditions and even then poor painting conditions are the rule, not the exception. For example, on a recent trip to the High Desert, the windchill temperature roughly equaled the wind speed (45° F, 45 mph).

But being there is important since my paintings try to capture my reaction to a place and not just how a place looked on the surface. Sometimes my favorite painting from an expedition turns our to be the visual carnage from a messy and protracted dialog between the weather conditions, my technical capacities, and the scenery at hand.

Plein aire painting is like going fishing. You might catch a monster, a minnow, or you may just flail the water for the day. You never know which it will be unless you actually go there and do it. Catching a good landscape requires the faith that I can understand this place, the determination to stand here and paint that, as well as a large bag of techniques, chops and processes which allow me to capture that understanding in pigments on canvas.

"Valley of Fire I"

©Christy 1997 All rights reserved

"Valley of Fire II"

©Christy 1997 All rights reserved

"Valley of Fire III"

©Christy 1997 All rights reserved

"Fort Mojave Yucca Blossoms"

©Christy 1997 All rights reserved

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March 6, 1997