Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Save to My Library
Look up keyword
Like this
1Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
PAS0210_Schuerr

PAS0210_Schuerr

Ratings: (0)|Views: 388 |Likes:
Published by Aaron Schuerr

More info:

Published by: Aaron Schuerr on Jun 10, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

06/10/2011

pdf

text

original

 
The Pastel Journal •
February 2010February 2010
• www.pasteljournal.com
landscape artist aaron schuerr is
not a air-weather painter. The
 plein air
devoteegoes outdoors to paint in every season o theyear, including winter—which—in his homestate o Montana—can require some seriousortitude, not to mention gear (Ever traveledby snow coach?). Nevertheless, Schuerr eelsstrongly that this practice is all part o what hebrings to his stirring portrayals o the RockyMountain West.I asked the artist about the particular plea-sures and challenges o painting on location inweather conditions that would keep most o usat home in ront o the replace.
AH: You describe some painting excursionsin which conditions were challenging, i notoutright treacherous. Why do it?
 
AS: 
Last spring, I was painting in the Tetons. When I got started in the morning, I was stand-ing on a hard crust o snow. Later, everythingstarted to sink and I discovered that the snowwas actually thigh-deep with thin ice beneath!It was on that same trip, though, that I had abird land on my hand while I painted. And I sawan otter climb out rom beneath the ice and runaround as I cleaned my brushes. I’ve painted inwinds that rocked me o my heels and dritedsnow over my gear, and in snowstorms that havemade it so that I couldn’t even see my painting bythe end. But somehow, despite the challenges, Icome home with something so much richer thana photo could ever provide.
AH: Why do you think “being there”has suchan impact on your work?
 
AS: 
Being there is everything! The joy and en-thusiasm that I bring home to my studio workcomes rom standing out in the cold, eyes tearingup rom the intense light, or hands cold romthe whip o the wind. I’m convinced that I haveto experience nature to have something worthsaying. So much o lie is built around being incontrol o our surroundings. By being out there,I’m able to let go o that control just a little andcome closer to what art really is. It allows meto convey a personal experience, not merely tomake a pretty picture.
plein air
By anne hevener
 
The Pastel Journal •
February 2010February 2010
• www.pasteljournal.com
AH: But you could stick to the milder seasons.AS:
Yes, but winter has a dierent quality than anyother season. The snow insulates the land and closesthings down into a breathtakingly quiet insular world.It’s so hard to describe the eeling o “being there.”I think, perhaps perversely, that a degree o suer-ing and the diculty o managing a winter paintingsession leaves me with one essential eeling—joy. Imight not eel it while I’m struggling through theprocess, but oten when I’m done, when I sit in thevehicle and wait or the heat to kick in, I’m struck bythe wonder o it all. I’ll think: “I was just out there!”and I’ll eel amazed. I don’t think it’s some Heming-way man’s great-white-hunter crap that makes meso happy. I don’t eel at all like I wrestled nature andwon. I just showed up and, as Robert Frost said, “thatmade all the dierence.” It’s not merely nature thatI’m ater; it’s what happens
in
nature.
AH: And back in the studio?
 
AS:
I believe all o this experience gets poured intoa nal studio piece. I plan the studio piece, makingnecessary changes and searching out the right colorcombinations, all while considering the wind thatwhipped through the willows, spinning the snow intolittle white tornados.Painting is about memory, not merely about tech-nical dazzle. It’s easy to undervalue experience. We putso much stock in technical prociency, in the “how”o painting, that too oten we overlook the reasonswhy we paint. I once had someone look at one o mywinter pastels and exclaim, “I’ve been there!” Then,to clariy, she added, “I mean I haven’t been
there
; Idon’t recognize the place, but I’ve been there!” I knewexactly what she meant, and it made me smile.
AH: Are there benefts—artistic ones—that arepeculiar, do you think, to the snow-covered scenevs. the landscape in other seasons?
 
AS:
Snow covers the landscape, and ollows its orm,simpliying and abstracting it. This makes it easier oran artist to see what’s most important—the balance
Aaron Schuerr
lives in Livingston, Mont., where he’s sur-rounded by the spectacular scenery o the Rockies. The award-winning artist is a signature member o the Pastel Society o America. His work is represented by Montana Trails Gallery andBetsy Swartz Fine Art in Bozeman, Mont., and Legacy Gallery inJackson Hole, Wyo., and Scottsdale, Ariz. He works in both pastels andoils, and oers a number o workshops, including sessions at YellowstoneNational Park. Visit his website (www.aaronschuerr.com) or more de-
Early Snow 
(0x0)
 
o orms, the separation o value, the silhouette o dark shapes against light, and the overall color o eachorm. Nature has, essentially, made the rst move,simpliying the landscape or the artist, stripping itdown to its essentials. By painting the snowy land-scape, I’ve learned a great deal about the importanceo looking or the abstract qualities in the landscape.
AH: What about the unique colors o a winterlandscape?
 
AS: 
I really enjoy the colors in winter. Snow is refec-tive and becomes the sum total o everything aroundit—trees, rocks, sky, water and sunlight. I can’t thinko any color more intense than the shadow o a snow-drit on a sunny day, or the yellow at the top edgeo a hoo-print where the snow refects sunlight, oreven the blue-gray o the top plane as it refects theblue sky.
AH: Beyond the climate, what are the challenges o painting the winter landscape—indoors or out?AS:
Painting in winter has taught me the value o clarity and simplicity in composition, but has also
The Pastel Journal •
February 2010
taught me that achieving simplicity is terribly di-cult. Any imbalances in a winter painting are glar-ing. I nd that the studio pastels take me longer tocomplete when I’m dealing with a winter subject; it’s just more challenging to get the color combinationsright. Since we can’t gray colors down, the nature o pastels avors bold color combinations, and snowrequires more controlled, balanced color. A color caneasily be out o key, where as in other seasons, I ndI have more latitude.I’m learning to use a lot o broken color in snow,because I see it in nature, but also because it addsinterest. A fat plane o blended o-white does not getthe sparkle and dazzle o snow that broken color does.I I keep a close eye on color temperature and keepa clear separation in values, I can really play aroundwith the color. Each plane—the ground plane, uprighto the trees—has an overall value and that denes itsparameters in terms o color. But within those param-eters, it’s un to play. A big snowy eld becomes veryabstract with pink and blue vibrating against yellow.There’s no white in snow; it’s always refecting some-thing, so play with other colors.Correct values and temperature shits becomemore important in the winter landscape, since otenthe color range is reduced, while the value range isincreased. Oten the color and value changes are moredramatic in winter, (say, pines against snow or contrastor red willows against snow or a shock o color.)I it’s sunny, I think about the highlights as I wouldin a still lie. The top plane refects the sky, but anyupturn in the snow refects the sun in all its intensity. You might have to darken and cool the values arounda highlight so that it eels like the intensity o the sun.The only place where I’ll consider putting even a toucho white is in the center o the highlight.
AH: How do you settle on the scenes you want topaint? Say, or example, the scenes in
Big Creek December 
or
Early Snow 
?AS: 
I took note o the spot in
Big Creek December
 (above) on the way back rom a day o elk hunting. Ireturned about a week later to do an oil study. Whatreally caught my eye were the stripes o light acrossthe snow and the light on the red willows. Thisplace has a very closed-in, insular eel. It seemed
February 2010
• www.pasteljournal.com
Big Creek December 
(1x0)
Snow Patterns
(1x0)

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->