Intuitive landscapes bring out an artist’s instinct

Over the years I have been asked by various galleries, websites and individuals what kind of paintings I do. Disliking classifying myself, I usually hum and haw until I come out with, ‘expressionist landscape painter’. That usually gets some kind of nod, ‘oh ya…’ and then the conversation moves on.

The thing I like about being an expressionist painter is that you really don’t have to worry too much about getting the drawing perfect. The stress of literal realism is left behind.

Expressionistic and impressionistic landscape painters get to hang out and feel the landscape in an intuitive way.

How do you get in tune with your intuitive landscape?

First of all, intuition is not an extra-sensory perception – and it’s not an instinct. It is a form of non-linear intelligence that artists use to decipher shapes and patterns from chaos.

A landscape can be described in a multitude of different ways.

A flick of paint can give the feeling of grass in the wind, sweeping brushstrokes can become a sky or inscribed marks can become a waterfall.

Intuitive landscapes are not limited by local colour but use a variety of pallets that describe the feeling of the artist and can be quite arbitrary. In fact, an intuitive landscape can be completely imagined.

Intuitive artists do not get too caught up in detail; it’s unimportant. They start from the big picture and work their way towards representation, sometimes never getting that far and landing in the abstract. It is their intuitive placement of paint that ultimately reflects the forms and forces of nature in a more emotional way.

The trick of intuitive painting is to look at something and see what it is about it that makes it, um, … it.

The artist then takes that examines it through the lens of their own emotional reaction to the scene being painted and adjusts their palette accordingly. Stopping to ponder and ask why, we invent and create, working to blend the emotional and representational into a greater totality that remains within recognizable contextual                          boundaries.

But best of all, when we paint our intuitive landscapes we get to have fun. We can be audacious, let go and truly enjoy the process of creativity.

It is then that we surprise ourselves and often create something far more interesting than what we had first had in mind.

Karla Pearce is an Artist, Teacher and is the Owner and Director of the Creative Edge Gallery located in downtown Castlegar.

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