There are so many things about Landscape Study 10, that I find appealing. To begin, its an archetypal Canadian scene. Its the kind of subject that the Group of Seven painted that led Canada to a level of artistic maturity.
Mandy writes her own painter's license. She gains a delightful sense of freedom by incorporating her abstract style into a landscape painting in a northern setting.. But the freedom isn't in her license alone, its in the core of the subject. When I study this work, I find it easy to imagine her isolating a single frame in a long, looping roll of film. Her clouds, roll across the upper quadrant of the canvas like waves on an endless sea.
Landscape Study 10, is the kind of painting where I find myself searching for definitions. It hangs somewhere between abstraction and impressionism. Notice the carefully patterned application of paint. Her brush strokes either stop or flow and in the end there's not a hint of small brush quest for perfection.
Its an intentionally minimalistic work with less being more. Mandy's palette is simplified and its no surprise that its a small 5"x 7" painting. Simplicity and lack of detail compliment each other to create a sense of psychological liberation. And, there are components of spiritual liberation found in its timelessness and the sense of it presenting a snapshot from an unending universe..
The search for definitions leads to inevitable comparisons. Its easy to see echoes of Emily Carr, Tom Thomson, and even Barker Fairley at work.Taking it further, it also seems to parallel Haida block style art.
In the end, there are so many little things which work together to make this a beautiful painting.
It's a beautiful critique. I try to distill the essence of a scene into as little as possible, and I love your reference to Haida work. That is the epitome of an abstract motif of the landscape which is something I definitely strive for.
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