September 25, 2011
At my annual art retreat at Clear Lake National Park (left) in 2010, I began to explore ideas for my next body of work. I am interested in the concept of stemnings maleri or moodpainting, exemplified by the nordic midsummer night landscapes depicted by many Scandinavian painters during the 1880s-90s, such as the Fleskum Group. Kitty Kielland, Eilif Peterssen and Gerhard Munthe, explored the notion of mood and imbued their midsummer landscapes with a diffused blue tonality, which I discuss in my Master’s of Art History thesis, “The Fleskum Group, Ny Romantikk and the Emergence of Nationalism in Norwegian Art,” Queen’s University, 1990. Furthermore, there have been several exhibitions of these works during the past two decades, with the most recent being Nature’s Mirror Nordic landscape painting from 1840-1910
Below are a few works inspired by Clear Lake.
I have also been exploring the concept of “stemning” in terms of the prairie landscape and have been collecting “evocative” photographs that create a similar feeling mood for me as the mood paintings. I plan to simplify these vast forms — be it water or grasslands– and capture their “stillness” or “mood” into mood paintings of my own, when I continue this project during my sabbatical Nov./11 -April/12.