– Bob Bahr reporting, Editor PleinAir Today –
Brad Clark’s recent paintings of a vineyard near his California home have the bracing appeal of a print, with the addition of the subtle color modulation possible in an oil painting. What is his thinking in creating these pieces?
Lead Image: One of Brad Clark’s paintings of vineyards in California
Mostly, he wants to pull viewers in and make them wish to walk into the painting. “I want something that will engage the viewer, which is for me what painting is all about,” Clark says. “If you see a painting that pulls you in and makes you feel like you are there, and provokes an emotion, you tend to linger on it. With some masters, you could just spend hours looking at their painting. I want to pull the viewer in. I want to communicate the perspective of being in the vines, and the shadows and curvature of the earth. It certainly pulls me in and makes me think about what is beyond. What would I find if I walked down the vines?”
He is sharing the feeling he gets from the scene. “I can feel the grade as it slopes downward and then back up the hill and around,” says Clark. “It attracted me, so I tried to accomplish a composition that gave a sense of being therein, in a place with dimension and depth.”
Why the simple, engaging colors? “Color choices are dictated by subject matter,” says Clark. “Depending on the time of year and the light, vines will take on different colors. In the summertime, vines are pretty green, so I stuck with that in these recent ones. I attempted to distinguish the various shades of green and the way they change with the light. And then against the many greens, the soil has a lot of different tones.”