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Norwegian Musings and Polish Thoughts

Landscapes and Cityscapes

Hidden Lake -- Oil on Canvas: 18x36

Years ago, when I was a young art student at Central Washington University, I was enthusiastically prodded in the direction of Cityscapes, an odd direction for me since I am so much of a country man that I have mud permanently embedded in my workboots.

But being impressionable and eager to please, I threw myself wholeheartedly into garrish, impressionistic renderings of life in the metropolis, with the crowning glory that so excited one of my professors being a 6-foot by 7-foot purple monstrosity of pulsating and vibrating purple, depicting all the gritty of the city.

I hung it on the wall of our small apartment, right over the sofa. My new bride said nothing to dissuade this, and we spent hours in the painting's presence, reading textbooks and writing reports and doing whatever else college students do to get the piece of paper in the end.

One day, my bride mentioned that she felt overwhelmed by the magnitude and overwhelmingly kinetic energy of this imposing piece of art, and that, everytime she looked at it (which wasn't difficult in a small apartment), she felt depressed. So did I, but being immersed in an environment that smiled on pulsating noise and frowned on introspective thought, I didn't know what to answer. I did, however, remove the painting.

Years later, now that I have worked through the opinions and thoughts of others and come to a point of unquestioning acceptance that I can know my own mind and follow its leadings, I remember that painting with a shudder. At the same time, I feel a profound sense of gratitude that I have moved beyond my professors' limited expectations to the horizon of my own.

Cityscapes are fine, for those who like them. As for me (and my bride of 27 years, who ecstatically hung a 3x4 foot oil of a meadow in our living room), I prefer landscapes that profile the land itself, probing its intricacies and unabashedly celebrating its serentiy and timelessness.

Original Art by Steve Henderson of Steve Henderson Fine Art

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