A Lonely Place
Medium:Oil on canvas
Landscape image of a small bridge and tall power lines cutting through an area with shallow water, tall yellow grass and winter-grey, barren trees. Sky is bright blue with white clouds.
For local Grand Rapids artist Kristine Vander Velde, beginning to think about a new painting starts with taking photographs of a landscape. With her camera she collects as many shots as possible, later sifting through them to see what strikes her as most significant. She will then rearrange and alter her landscapes, elevating certain elements to create a specific feeling or mood she felt while being in that particular surrounding. Lately, she has found herself highlighting not only natural aspects of the landscape, but the man-made aspects as well. Regarding her work Vander Velde states, “Nature has always been my sanctuary, a place to seek solitude. I was fooling myself. Drawn to the strong light and long shadows of late day and bent or broken trees showed that my paintings were about anxiety, loneliness and death. Human made objects have also been emerging in my paintings. Electric towers and poles rise above trees and houses. Their wires cut the sky and create a rhythm of movement. As an artist, I am curious about how these elements can create emotional impact. The odd shape of a broken tree and heavy clouds create mystery and an eerie echo of desolation. The human structures are a flow of geometric patterns that meld with the natural landscape.”