10 June 2010

Marc R. Hanson

Recently, landscape artist Marc R. Hanson did a redux, reposting a series of plein aire paintings he did back in April of 2009. His goal was to paint four pieces a day for a month. That’s right - four a day! After viewing this series and the rest of his work, I wish I was there, driving around the Minnesota countryside with him. I would want to see how he does it. How he captures those rich hues and the secrets of the light, how he picks his compositions and, and, and... well, just about everything. How he did it while standing on the side of a road or roaming onto a farm, being greeted by its canine denizens, and how he can also take that into his studio (not the dogs, the experience). Mr. Hanson’s interpretation of light in the landscape is particularly pleasing. Landscape artists, in a sense, chase light. Especially while painting en plein aire, time works against them, so they must capture that light and make it work for them. Mr. Hanson seems to have the knack, not only on the side of Midwest road, but in his studio – the ability to capture nature’s light at an exact moment. So much goes into a good landscape painting: composition, color selection and interpretation, values, etc. But, if an artist doesn’t interpret the light in just the right manner, the painting won’t sing. How an artist interprets light helps define them. By the way, I will probably blab on about light in painting over and over again in this column and that’s just the way it is, you will just have to suffer with it. We all see the world through our own mental prism and the light defines our view. Mr. Hanson paints in many different sizes, but the plein aire series from 2009 were all 5” x 7”. His blog is entitled “Painting My Way Through Life” and the address is: www.marchanson.blogspot.com. Please take a moment and check it out. There is something about Mr. Hanson’s work that makes you feel you are there with him. Sometimes, even happy to be sweating it out in Florida or freezing your toes off in Minnesota – it would all be worth it.