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Painting the Grand Canyon and Washington State

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In October 2003 Roelof and his Californian artist friend Tom Soltesz went to paint the Grand Canyon, USA, for four days. They both produced about ten small canvases. Roelof also painted from life near San Francisco, just to loosen up before attempting the Grand Canyon

Roelof painting the Twin Peaks with his artist friend Laura. This beautiful part of Washington is about 50 kilometres east of Seattle along the Snoqualamie River in the Mt Baker National Park. October 2003


During my recent painting vacation in the United States I tried to visit as many art galleries as I could in Seattle, San Francisco and New York. I was delighted to see the work of some very good Abstract, Expressionist and American and Russian Impressionist painters. Through these few artists I realized more fully that painting is a language that should be developed by the artist.

The art of American Wolf Kahn impressed me the most. Kahn brings abstraction and representational aspects of painting together. Most of his paintings are extremely simple, but bold and evocative. Kahn believes a painting should have three things, contrast, drama, austerity. The last few years I am striving to simplify my paintings. The simpler the work, the better. I have noticed that when my paintings becomes too descriptive, having too much detail about what's actually out there, then there's nothing else going on in the painting and the viewer loses interest

By the time I arrived at the Grand Canyon I was better prepared for the challenge that was awaiting me. When travelling I mainly work on small panels and I had little trouble capturing the essense of the vast and awesome landscape that lay stretched out before me. Painting for me is all about capturing the effect of sunlight and the juxtaposition of dark and light shapes

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