Douglas Martenson

In the past, landscape paintings have served to express a connection with the Divine or the Sublime and to expose the viewer to exotic locales. Even then, the painter reserved the right to exaggerate and editorialize on the content depending on his religious belief or point of view. Now that convenient travel makes such scenes accessible to almost everyone and the click of the camera records our visual experiences, the purpose of painting the landscape has changed. The artist is faced with the challenge of trying to force us to take a second look; to slow us down from the speed of contemporary life and allow us a moment to pause and reflect on the landscape as a proposition for refreshment, escape, and discovery. My paintings are not grandiose; I am not philosophizing on the role of nature in our lives. Instead, I am addressing the fact that visual engagement with one’s surroundings is valuable and restorative. My work invokes the visual truth of perception, capturing not just the quality of light or the tonal harmonies of a particular scene but also its mood.