While we all adjust to a rapidly changing world, it continues to be important to stay connected to things that give us a sense of normalcy. The beauty of nature is an integral part of that. It offers us a reassuring touchstone of stability and security. That same beauty is found in art, and lets us build a personalized sanctuary of calm during turbulent times. As an artist turns to nature for inspiration, we turn to artists to help us create that haven of comfort and calm. In this series we’re exploring how several of our artists find inspiration in the beauty all around us.
The other week we got a studio tour from sculptor Star Liana York. This week we’ll learn what inspires Plein air painter Hadley Rampton. What makes her want to paint in the mountains in the middle of winter, or battle a swarm of bugs in the heat of the summer? And what’s it like to paint outside as the weather changes all around you, from snow, to sun, to wind?
“I’m energized by the challenges and beauty of nature, by the dynamics of light, atmosphere, and temperature in the Rocky Mountains and in the deserts of the Southwest.”
Hadley’s work rests somewhere between abstraction and realism. Her paintings are a fusion of her love of composition, color, mark making and being present in the outdoors. Painting with a palette knife using bold strokes, she breaks her subject matter down into simplified form, composed of value and color.
“What draws me most to plein air painting is the experience of being out in nature, surrounded by my subject. The changing light, weather, and mood add to the energy with which I lay down each stroke. My paintings become a reflection of my sensations rather than a depiction of a scene. I hope that when viewing my work, people will feel a bit of what I felt. You might say my paintings are my way of sharing my sensory experience.”– Hadley Rampton
The changes in weather that occur while Hadley is painting don’t bother her. They thrill her. When a storm arises on the horizon, gains momentum and catches her in its fury, it fills her with exhilaration. She finds that the same location time and again leaves her with a sense of awe.
Over the past few weeks, she’s been feeling especially grateful for the time she spends in the mountains painting. Between being in the great outdoors and the focus and release that painting provides, she says it has kept her sane and lifted her spirits. In the hopes of giving art lovers a welcome respite from these uncertain times, Hadley has created a video series. She hopes you enjoy it, and so do we.
Watch two clips from her series as she finishes a commissioned piece and you’ll see the wind swirl snow around her and then the sun comes out. A typical Colorado winter day.
Hadley’s work is featured at our Durango gallery and can be explored on our website. Picture them in your haven, and be inspired by the beauty all around us. Be sure to reach out to one of our art advisors about our “art on approval” program. Ask them about our Photoshop service to help you “see” what a piece would look like in your home.