Some landscapes are charged with an invisible vital energy that can seem to leave a physical impression. I am interested in portraying the numinous qualities I ‘feel’ in a landscape that are often taken for granted. Certain landscape views can be ‘stunning’ and literally ‘hit’ or ‘absorb’ the viewer in an emotional and sometimes physical way. There seems to be a positive vitality in the quality of these places. Is it possible that if the body and mind have the ability to alter qualities of the landscape in which one lives, so does a landscape have the ability to alter the state of one’s body and mind? 1.
It is the emotional impact and ability to ‘alter’ or ‘shift’ one’s perspective that I seek to portray in my paintings, offering the viewer a deeper appreciation for the power of place. I focus on conveying the qualities inherent within a landscape that make the heart open, inviting the viewer to find an inner peace. I see one of the functions of these paintings as a contemplative icon—a place for the viewer to rest and restore through viewing the imagery—where the painting functions like a visual refreshment, or a focus for reflection.
Often the works are started from sketches and color studies on site and finished in the studio. Also, these landscape works are preserving views that are rapidly changing—often before our eyes. Views are fragile and can quickly be transformed with new development, cell towers or ‘improvements.’ In this respect, my work functions much like documentary photography—an unintentional consequence of the speed of life—and a personal statement of record.
1.. Regarding Sacred Landscapes and the Everyday Corollary by Dennis A. Winters.
A long-time resident of Maine, Jude Valentine completed her BFA at the Maine College of Art and received an MFA in visual art from Vermont College of Fine Art.