kristen@kristenoneillart.com

Influence: Neil Welliver

In the days before I knew I was a landscape painter I encountered Neil Welliver’s work. It is difficult to say to what exact degree his work influenced me, but my interaction with his large landscapes of Maine was the first time that I really thought about landscapes possible role in post-modern art. Now, one of my life goals is to explore what landscape painting can mean and to challenge the traditional concept of landscape painting and how we see landscape in our own lives. Neil Welliver is most famous for his landscape paintings of Maine. This, predictably, is the work that I am most connected to of his and the work I stumbled upon when it came to the Cabrillo College Gallery in 2000. It is always an amazing difference between seeing a work through media verses your own eyes. There’s a presence and a sense of color that just doesn’t exist the same way. With Welliver’s large format paintings there’s also a confrontation that happens while face to face with one. Welliver himself spoke of the aggression. But really, my interest in painting lies in the fact of the painting. And I think that’s why sometimes people find the big paintings uncomfortable. Because they, in fact, perceive the space, sense it, and at the same time are repelled by the aggression of the painting, of the pigment, of the fact of the picture, its size. And it’s the same in the small ones. It’s absolutely the same in the small paintings, it’s just that it is less aggressive, easier to digest there. People who object to my...

Moving to a new landscape

Well! I have been packing for weeks now. Actually, unpacking my from last move and repacking. Which just feels silly, but… bugs in the storage unit. Yuck. The last thing I will pack will be my studio (and the girl’s toys!). I am so excited that I have a new studio at my new house! I’m sure you’ll see photos after I move in and get all comfy. It will be so much better than my 6′ x 6′ corner of my room that I have been using for almost three years now! But a new challenge awaits. I am a landscape artist. I found this out originally when I moved from mountains covered in Coastal Redwoods to downtown Chicago for college. After moving there I started painting trees, and, well, I haven’t stopped in the subsequent decade. I moved to the midwest for a few years and it was about a year before I felt connected enough to paint. It was a very frustrating first year and mainly I ended up painting from photos and sketches of California while sitting in Iowa. (See my Heartland Series for the work I did make of the midwest.) This time we are moving to Southern Oregon. Hopefully our last long-distance move!! While visiting Southern Oregon this weekend I was very excited to see how fast I emotionally felt connected to the natural surroundings. Of course it helps it is stunning. We visited some waterfalls and hiking through a beautiful forest. It will take a bit before Southern Oregon feels like home, but I look forward in getting to know the area better...