Posts tagged Mountains
'Moment', Making Art's New Film on Landscape Artist Sarah Winkler

Landscape artist, Sarah Winkler, sums up our spiritual need for the wilderness in Making Art’s newly released film, ‘Moment.’

“We need the experience of being romantically and poetically lost in the wilderness, and being found again”

Sarah Winkler

Sarah Winkler lives and works near Denver, Colorado. Originally from Manchester, England, Winkler studied Art and Earth Science at William Patterson University. She has exhibited her work nationally in solo and group exhibitions at K Contemporary, Space Gallery, RH Contemporary Art, Helikon Gallery, Gallery MAR, The Thoreau Center for Sustainability, Fouladi Projects Gallery, Berkeley Art Center, and Gallerie Citi. Art commissions have been placed in private and corporate art collections internationally. These include Chevron, Marriott, Hyatt, Ritz Carlton, One Empire Pass, Montage, Deer Valley Resort, Hilton West Palm Beach, Viceroy, Mountain Shadows and The Cosmopolitan Hotel. Winkler's art has been featured in Scientific American Magazine, New American Paintings, Dwell, Mountain Living Magazine, and Alpine Modern Magazine.

My approach to landscape painting involves selecting textural elements of mountain or desert geology and rearranging them into a utopian vision of Open Space where the only human encroachment in these invented worlds is the artist and the viewer. 

I begin in a miniature collage format, creating fully realized landscape compositions. I scale up these paper sketches by hand drawing them onto wood panels and recreating their colors and textures in a large scale with acrylic media. The hard edge, sectional quality to my imagery reflects the many layered strata, deposited over time, that makes the whole scene appear quite natural. The artistic techniques used both in creating my collage papers and in applying the paint not only reflect the geological forces of landscape accretion and corrosion, but also reenact them. I often use crushed minerals embedded into the paint and apply resists of ground water, wind, friction and heat to erode the painted surfaces. 

In viewing these luminous mountainous worlds, I hope that they seem sentimentally familiar. That the environments carry an air of nostalgia and wonder about the natural world as if you are discovering a place for the first time. 

Support the production of a Making Art film about Sarah's work by signing up on Patreon.

On The Verge: Capturing Nature Through Contemporary Art With Mya Kerner

Originally from Philadelphia, PA, Mya Kerner completed her BFA in Interdisciplinary Sculpture and Environmental Design at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD in 2011. Since then, Mya has worked as an artist in residence nationally at Sculpture Trails Outdoor Museum in Solsberry, Indiana and Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham, Alabama, and internationally as a visiting artist at Akademia Sztuk Pięknych in Gdańsk, Poland. She has shown her work in England, Canada, Poland, Latvia, and, here, in the United States. In 2016, Mya completed a Certificate in Holistic Landscape Design at Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA. Working out of her Seattle studio, Mya continues her art practice full time, partnering with designers across North America. 


I think about the individual in the context of the mountains and their immense scale. As we have continued our supposed domination over Nature, regarding Nature as resource rather than Source, we have forgotten these concepts are constructs, built in recent history through the deconstruction of mythology. 

My studies in permaculture influence my art practice, expanding my perception. I regard the mountains as stoic icons reflected by mortality, records of the movements of the earth and the torrents of the sky. They represent a collision or maybe a collaboration of the elements and the forces of life. Though continuously rising or falling, the mountains stand, silent, weighing on the shifting fragments of the earth, moving at an incomprehensible rate. 

I depict geological disruptions, carved moments and parts within the landscape. Records of denudation captivate me, as these notes present a segmented image of the whole. The mountaintops stand crisp against a stark white, for the peak is both the destination and the departure - reaching for an infinite sky. Descending are scratched lines, which break through the slopes, while flecks of white dapple on eroded surfaces, recalling cooler seasons. Light moves across planes, marking time with stretched and shortened shadows. 

Recording these moments by drawing and writing, I return to the studio to paint in attempt to capture this vulnerability, leaving the rest in the haze. Often, my finished pieces linger on the threshold of completion, for what memory is complete upon its conception? Form denotes the flow of water through rocky slopes, and the image often disintegrates as it nears the base of the painting, referencing the deposition of mountain and mythos. 

Often, my finished pieces linger on the threshold of completion, for what memory is complete upon its conception?
— Mya Kerner

Tell us about your background. When did you become interested in mountains, nature, and geology? What inspired you to start exploring these subjects in your art? 

There are so many ways I could answer this question, but I will say:

When I moved to Seattle in 2014, I found myself in a completely foreign landscape. Thinking about earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, wildfires, etc., as a real threat, I was finally confronted by the Sublime in a way I could not comprehend while living in the North East. This contrast awakened a silent terror within me, which I think most people in the developed world have forgotten. However, my education in permaculture design has allowed me confront the naiveté of being a human within nature, and to begin to truly read and respond to the landscape.


How does each work come to life? Tell us about your process. 

I begin with drawing and writing, with the pencil as an extension of my sight. I trace lines with my vision and translate those directly onto paper with line or letter. This either happens in the landscape, or in response to photographic references, which provoke the memory of a distant experience. Sometimes, I use photographic references while I paint, but mostly, I apply the paint in response to the marks of the pencil, guided by my graphite code. By combining paint and graphite on birch panel, which accepts both forceful and gentle application without distortion, I explore a language of texture. As I work, I manipulate the paint, projecting my sculptural perspective onto the surface of the canvas. 


Is travel a big part of your studio practice? How do you collect imagery for your pieces? 

I find it incredibly rejuvenating to explore the unknowns of a new place, in both urban and natural landscapes. I sketch and draw in the landscape. I also take photos, which I bring back to the studio for reference. Most of what I take from travel, however, is the memories and the sensations, which I attempt to embed in my work.


What has been the most exciting moment in your career as an artist? 

Here, I will get a little spiritual. When the interconnectivity of the universe reveals itself, I know I am on the right track. Each morning, I set an intention for the near future, and I conclude each day setting an intention for the distant future. Although at first, there was little yield to these hopes, earlier this year, I finally began to see little pieces fitting together, leading me towards something larger than before. This was the most exciting moment ­— I realized that I was heading in the direction I had set for myself and that I had the ability to decide that direction for myself.


What do you hope your work communicates to the viewer?

In my work, I attempt to recall the Sublime. I hope to evoke the beauty and terror of nature, with the goal of remembering our forgotten role of stewards of the earth.

How do you recharge? Tell us about a few of your favorite activities outside of art making. 

Being in outdoors (hiking or just sitting) is a favorite activity of mine. I love to sleep outside, no matter the weather, because I want to wake up and remember how it feels to be in the hands of nature.


What are you currently working on and excited about? 

I am working towards two solo shows, which will open this autumn. For the last year, I have mostly been working on commission work, which is wonderful, and I challenge myself within the parameters outlined by my clients. However, I love the freedom of creating work based on my own impulses and am excited about these self-guided pieces.

The newest endeavor in my work is creating wire drawings, on the wall, and on panel. One of my shows will feature an installation piece in wire, while the other will showcase a handful of large wire drawings on panel.

Lastly, I have been working towards making my own paints. I have collected soils, which I will grind, sieve, and mix into oil paints. These paints will begin finding their way into my finished pieces by the end of the year.

David Wightman

David Wightman (born 1980 in Stockport, Greater Manchester) is an English painter known for his abstract and landscape acrylic paintings using collaged wallpaper. He studied Fine Art at Middlesex University (2001) and gained an MA in Painting from the Royal College of Art, London (2003).

David Wightman’s solo exhibitions include EMPIRE, Long & Ryle, London (2016), New paintings + Akris collaboration, Akris, 30 Old Bond Street, London (2014), Redux, 10 Gresham Street and Halcyon Gallery (2014), Hero, commission for House Arts Festival (2013), Paramour, Halcyon Gallery, London (2012), Homage to Loreleia, Berwick Gymnasium Gallery, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland (2011), Secret Name, Sumarria Lunn, London (2010), Behemoth and Other New Paintings, Cornerhouse, Manchester (2009), and Aspirations, William Angel Gallery, London (2008).

In 2010, David Wightman was awarded the Berwick Gymnasium Arts Fellowship - a six-month residency in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland funded by Arts Council England and English Heritage. In 2013, he was selected by the curator of House Arts Festival, Mariele Neudecker, to make a site-specific painting for a disused pavilion on Brighton’s seafront. The commission was funded by Arts Council England. Most recently Wightman has collaborated with the fashion label Akris for their Fall / Winter 2014/15 collection. Wightman's work has featured in Harper's Bazaar, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Financial Times, and Money Week.

He lives and works in London and is represented by Long & Ryle.