Patricia Stegman
Ocean Series Ponds and Gardens Western Landscapes Works on Paper Exhibits Artist statement contact
Artist Statement

For several years I have been working from landscape; but it is not simply description which is my ambition in taking landscape as my motif. I am interested in what I consider to be genuine abstraction; meaning, not non-objective painting which is done with no reference to the visual world, but an abstraction OF something. Therefore, when I work from landscape; my painting has two parts: first, I paint directly on site, on paper, with pastel or watercolor. A major component of this work is the excitement that comes from the direct confrontation of nature; and its various sensual aspects - the light, the weather, the season, the time of day... I then return to the studio and there work on series of much larger works, in oil on canvas, based on the works done on site.

Now, in the studio, something quite different is happening: in front of the landscape, there is the excitement of the direct confrontation of nature; but in the studio, the painting itself asserts its primacy, and the ideas taken from the paintings made on site begin to be overpowered by the painting in progress. The demands of the painting itself, and the consideration of what is happening on that surface, become paramount.

I usually work in series, doing several versions of the same landscape. Each successive work may move further away from the original "in situ" drawing/painting from which it was made, until the primary attributes of the work are not only the original sense of light, weather, season and time of day; but the abstract relationship between plane and color which evolve as I work.

The beginning of each painting is always exciting; the expanse of snowy canvas; gloriously tempting! ...and the first flurry of strokes... the harder part comes later; when each brushstroke must be put down in relation to all the brushstrokes which have already taken their place in the interwoven tangle. And, eventually, the eternal artists' question: when is the painting "finished"... or rather, to put it more positively... when is it complete?For me; it is when I decide that I have succeeded in expressing what I have experienced in the presence of the subject of the painting.