Landscape vs. Portrait
By Mason Gehring
March 12th, 2012
What does it mean to be weaving a landscape and portrait together? With landscapes, we are seeing space in time that is a composite of objects near and far. Traditional nature scape, cityscape, or surreal unnatural space we are a witness to a snapshot of a moment and allowed to be a voyeur.
A portrait is an invitation to get to know someone or something. It is a conversation between the painting and the viewer. You can learn a lot or very little but the exchange is more intimate and includes the viewer in participating in the moment.
From my time working with my mentor, Babs Reingold, we have brainstormed about how to push my work into new places. Mixing a landscape and a portrait is what we came up with so that it can give depth to my portraits and a new way for me to work.
So much of my portrait work is very emotional and more about inner mental and emotional landscapes so it seemed only natural to combine these two aspects of painting.
The painting below is my first attempt in combining the two ideas. It is not finished but, so far the experience has been very liberating. It’s so new, I kind of don’t have to think but, just keep working. I can simplify areas where I would maybe obsess about how to make it look a certain way because it’s not important anymore. There’s too much going on for me to focus on these little things. Let me tell you, that’s a relief.
Work in progress – landscape and portrait study
Sponge Study, Acrylic on canvas, 20″x16″ (original landscape image before placement of portrait)
Breathe Me, digital recreation of my painting and portrait reference for new work
Honeymoon Island shoreline, landscape inspiration
For more information please go to my website – MasonGehring.com
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