Riverscapes, agricultural landscape, and local industrial scenes

Featured artist David Sear

Horizon by David Sear, wax crayon, acrylic on linen, 2 x 6
Artist’s Statement , June 1, 2005

Most of my artistic output over the past fifteen years has involved landscape. Three primary areas of study have developed: riverscapes, agricultural landscape, and local industrial scenes. While the imagery grows out of my desire to express a regional dialect, explorations of harmony between the natural and man-made worlds are at the heart of what I’m trying to achieve.

I think of my audience as wide ranging from the college educated to someone who may have little visual arts background. The landscape is a perfect vehicle for providing accessibility. Once “hooked,” the layering of meaning and process is there for discovery.

Landscape also speaks to our tendency to equate the natural world to a higher power. I use light, color, harmonic ratios, and numerical groupings (3’s and 7’s in particular) that further allows balance in exploring this idea.

I incorporate the Golden Section quite frequently in my compositions. The Golden Section is a mathematical ratio usually ascribed to the ancient Greeks who used it to define their pursuit of the Perfect Ideal. I find the harmonic proportions that relate to nature to be quite compelling. I prefer to use the rectangle, flip it on itself, and use its ratios to align elements in my compositions.

Most of my agricultural landscapes involve juxtapositions between the natural (sky, tree stands) and man-made (agricultural fields, farm structures) worlds. In studying this balance, I also compare the “century farm” to the small industrial complex that is the center of the farm today.

The riverscapes focus on the power of natural elements. I like to think of my approach as infusing them with an almost super natural property. While river imagery in general is steeped in metaphoric depth, my most personal relationship is specifically with the Mississippi River from the area where I was raised.

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