From Pastoral to the Sublime, Impressionists to Surrealists, landscapes have captured our imaginations and transported us to new places for hundreds of years.
Artists in China were making shan shui landscape ink paintings in the 6th Century, but it wasn’t until the 16th Century in the West that landscape was considered an independent art form. Yes, there had been paintings of landscapes before then, but the landscape was considered an elaborate background for the real subject matter (usually something religious or a narrative depiction of the story of a Classical hero).
Here are a handful of our favourite artists creating landscapes for today.
Anna Valdez (@missannavaldez)
‘Studio Subjects with Island Landscape’ – Anna Valdez, 2022
Anna Valdez’ work straddles the categories of landscape and still life, creating entire worlds before our eyes. We love the the intensity of detail that goes into Valdez’ pieces, which are like a visual feast.
Cecilia Reeve (@ceciliareeve)
‘Luminescent’ – Cecilia Reeve, 2021
Cecilia Reeve creates wonderful portraits and landscapes but perhaps her most mesmerising talent is how she depicts the effects of water. We adore her watery scenes which glimmer and entice.
Freya Douglas Morris (@freyadouglasmorris)
‘New Day’ – Freya Douglas Morris, 2022
Freya Douglas Morris’ watercolour landscapes burst with colour like a time-warped memory. Familiar and otherworldly at the same time, her landscapes are both soothing and unsettling.
Antonia Showering (@antoniashowering)
‘Best of Both Worlds’ – Antonia Showering, 2021
You really get a sense of nature being alive in Antonia Showering’s work, in which human-like shapes are mirrored in the landscape and the scenery is lush with colour and texture. The almost translucent quality of her paint gives these scenes an ethereal feel.
Claudia Keep (@claudiakeep)
‘November 2nd, 3:59pm’ – Claudia Keep, 2021
Claudia Keep masterfully immortalises flashes of light in her work, and we love how the tentacled ray of sunshine bursts through the trees in this autumnal landscape. Keep’s depictions of light dancing on the surface of water is also particularly dreamy.
Madeleine Bialke (@mbialkey)
‘Psychopomp’ – Madelein Bialke, 2022
We love Madeleine Bialke’s intensely-coloured landscapes which often look like something from another planet. The long cattail-like plants which frequent her work are at once familiar and alien; the softly curved edges of her clouds, bushes, and trees appear welcoming but untrustworthy.
Emma Webster (@emma_webstah)
‘Four Seasons’ – Emma Webster, 2021
Emma Webster’s Sublime landscapes have the same power as the mega-landscapes of the art historical past, and her scenes sprawling beyond the horizon makes you feel like you are embarking on an odyssey. Webster masterfully pairs tones in her pieces to give each work vibrant flashes of colour.
Author: Verity Babbs