What is a SOULFUL landscape?


Laura Gaffke, "Fanciful Day" acrylic, 6 x 6 inches © the artist 2011

Soulful Landscapes…What does that mean exactly? Coming from a traditional landscape background I very much appreciate the technical detail and effort that goes into a realistic rendering of something. But what stirs my senses and gets me to stop and look a little longer at a piece of art is when I can feel the soul of the artist in the work. Sometimes it is with the artists use of color, the texture, composition, or the way it is abstracted and thought about. More often than not it is a spiritual connection I cannot describe. The artist has bared something of themselves that allows me to connect on deeper level.

I get SO excited when this happens, like finding the art of Lynne Drexler while visiting Monhegan Island.

Lynne Drexler, Untitled, 1960oil on canvas 22 x 26 inches
Lynne Drexler, Untitled, 1960oil on canvas30 x 36 inches

I just fell in love with her work and have been researching her, along with many other artists for my new class, Soulful Landscapes. Preparing for this class has allowed me to delve deeper into Contemporary Landscape painting and explore artists I may never have thought of. These artists have enlivened me with their innovation and the thought they reveal in their work. I have found I am seduced by many of the artist’s use of color. I am passionate about color. What a surprise, right? Taking the time to look closely and learn from other artists is a necessary part of growing in both my teaching and within my own work. I might see a color combination I like or learn something about what the artist was trying to say by spending time with them. It makes me take a critical look at my own work and see where my ideas are taking me.

Right now I am very much in a summertime mode and have been thinking about the colors of summer. It really is my favorite time of year! What can be better than living on the shoreline, boating, having weekend guests, painting outdoors, gardening, farmer’s markets, long walks at the beach, meaningful conversations around campfires, hot zinnias, swimming, Jimmy Buffett, “boat drinks” and good friends to share it with?

Laura Gaffke, "Succulent Summer", 6 x 6 inches mixed media © the artist 2011

If you are interested in my Soulful Landscape class please let me know. You will learn about Contemporary Landscape painters as a catalyst to finding your own unique voice as an artist, whether that be representational, abstract or a mix of both! This class starts TOMORROW and I can hardly wait! Details can be found on my website.

What are your favorite summertime activities? Would love to hear from you!

love, Laura

p.s. Our NEWSLETTER comes out this week and is packed with great information about the creativity and how nature can be used to influence your artwork. Sign up in the sidebar on the right.


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