Virginia Belser

Artist Statement

In my paintings I am trying to capture the essence of the atmosphere… to tell the story of the prevailing mood of the place I’m painting. And, depending upon the conditions such as light, clouds, wind, time of year, and time of day, the same location can be painted many, many times with very different results.

In my work I see two main challenges:

The first is for me to figuratively step out of the way and let the painting emerge. I’ve found that when I approach a painting with a preconceived notion of what the final product will look like, all I get is frustrated. It’s as though the painting simply needs to be released and the process will occur much more naturally without my intellectual interference. I often find a few hours later that I’ve entered a zone, a mental space of true engagement when most outside awareness falls away.

The other challenge with painting landscapes is that of trying to describe a vast amount of space and depth in the confines of a relatively small two-dimensional space. This irony has engaged me since my college days. How is it possible for a very physically small amount of paint or pastel to convey to the viewer a sense of distance and space?

In my mind, a successful landscape painting effectively merges the description of space while simultaneously conveying the emotions and atmosphere of the location at that moment. I hope the viewers appreciate my attempts to negotiate this intersection.