2019 05MAY NL HiRes-nocrop - Page 2

Fresh Takes on Landscapes
michaelking.ca | @michaelking.ca
kenfaulks.com | @kenfaulksvisualartist
Painting from life is my muse, particularly plein air. Plein air has spoiled me for so many years
that I have to be either painting outside, from a still life in front of me, from someone sitting for
me or just from a mirror looking at myself. I find it tedious and boring to paint from photos as
there is a lack of life due to the absence of shifting light. I'd rather clean a toilet than paint from
photos. Why? It's the change of light over time that I find breathes life into a scene or object.
Specifically, how the light shifts and glints differently as time passes or when you move your
head from side to side and see a beautiful shimmer. That is what makes painting exciting for me.
I initially started out as a freelance illustrator in ’84, and in ’88 I reconnected with a painter
friend of mine who had just started plein-airing. I started going out as well and have been doing
so ever since. The landscape is just there, and I’ve always found it interesting enough to stick
with. It’s easily accessible, varied, and every bit as challenging as any other from-life subject.
I’ve always been interested in painting other subjects and have done so – abstraction, the
figure, and the portrait, for example – but one doesn’t have to hire a model to paint a landscape.

Many locations are devoid of artistic life and
interest during midday, but get the right light
and excitement abounds.

I figure a painting style is kind of like handwriting… we’re all using the same 26 letters, yet
each person's handwriting is different and unique in style. One develops a mature style of
handwriting through years of doing. One’s painting style is basically like that. I guess if one’s
authentic in developing 'self', then maybe 'self' is what sets one apart from the next.
The biggest challenge in painting a landscape? Sometimes the weather. Sometimes just
opening the paint box.
I love that all-of-a-sudden change in light that makes the scene or object become more than it
is. When this shift of light gets added to your work, it shows. I am not advocating one chases
the light – that will kill you every time – but seeing and adding that one, “damn, that's nice!”
shift of light makes all the difference.
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