Landscape Painting - Oil, Pastel & Mixed Media

Christe Scheele is one of the artists featured in this year's The Luminous Landscape (see our Exhibitions & Events page), which runs through January, 2017.

Christie Scheele uses the interface between the actual landscape and the artist-created landscape as her source for endless interpretation. The world provides both visual joy and a wealth of information, but the artist gets to--and must--choose how to use it... How to distill the landscape into a powerful new reality? How to paint a cow, different from any other cow? How to reduce detail so that the viewer feels that the impact of the color/shape/surface is huge, but doesn't feel that anything is missing?

As a well-established modern landscape painter with a background in contemporary art, Scheele reflects her own time. Instead of idealizing the landscape for the sake of sentiment or narrative, she idealizes the images that she paints for the formal purposes of enhancing the interlocking shapes that create the composition; their softened edges; and, the color that carries modulations of surface detail within the shapes. She believe that these abstract elements can elicit joy (and provoke deeper responses) in their own right, which is a modern concept. (Continued below...)

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Drawing on the lineage of the abstract minimalists and color field painters from the mid-20th century (rather than on traditional studio or plein air landscape painters) she prefers to reduce a scene to its essentials - to record what is important without distraction or visual clutter; thus, to enable the viewer to experience an "expansive, chest-opening, breath-deep kind of meditative awe" in front of the landscape. Her version of minimalism is about shape and atmospherics: to paint not just the light, but the air itself, and to show how these elements affect the edges and colors - and level of abstraction - of the scenes depicted.

In her words, "The single most distinctive aspect to what I do as a landscape painter lies in my ability to reduce a scene to its essentials. This gives the viewer what is important, without the distraction, or visual clutter, of too much detail. Both by providing this overview and by using soft, scumbled edges, these paintings can quiet a viewer's mind and evoke a more direct response.

My version of minimalism is about shape and atmospherics. I paint not just the light, but the air itself, and how these affect the edges and colors of the scenes depicted. As a non-regional landscape painter, I use images from all over the world, the many places I have been. With the right atmospherics, anything and everything can reflect a powerful beauty - from smokestack at sunset or headlights on a road to a moody thunderstorm at sea.

Nearly everything I paint could exist in nature, yet most often it does not. Some of my pieces are very much about a sense of place and weather, while others speak more to formal or conceptual art making issues. I am often thinking about painterly concerns such as line, color, shape, and surface, which, following the ideas set forth by Kandinsky in "Concerning the Spiritual in Art", have direct emotional power of their own. There is also a process of continually evaluating and editing the image - what is essential? What is superfluous? The painting as a whole is what this is all about, rather than precisely and exactly capturing a given landscape.

All of my work has a sense of being suspended between two breaths. Often, that feeling is palpable during the process of creation. Time is slowed, perhaps even halts for a moment, allowing us to see the world in all of its fullness."

Christie Scheele is represented by numerous galleries throughout the United States, including 15 years with Albert Shahinian Fine Art, and is known for her atmospheric, sometimes minimalist landscapes. She bridges both abstraction and contemporary representation to produce work of exceptional emotional depth and insight.

ASFA is also regional "home base" for the artist and the gallery always has on hand a large and diverse selection of her oils, pastels and mixed-media paintings. An appended bio and photos of new work on view can be found on our "Exhibitions & Events" page. Her current exhibit continues through September.