Drawing 1, Part 3; Research

Landscape Mind Map

For the past few weeks I have been researching landscape artists to create a mind map. I researched a mixture of contemporary and historic artists, and placed them chronologically on the mind map:

Landscape Mind map

I then drew categories as follows:

Abstract, Expressionist, Impressionist, Seascapes, weather/seasons, Contemporary, Oils, Watercolour, Post Impressionist and Trees.

I drew lines to match the categories to the artists, using different coloured pencils to differentiate the links.

As you can see, each artist has multiple connections.

It was fascinating to see, as time has progressed, how various artists have represented landscapes. Each artist has his unique approach, some more revolutionary than his/her predecessors.

Turner, for example, although not an impressionist as such, created, in his later days, very expressive landscapes which were almost bordering on expressionism. This in comparison to Rosa Bonheur and Constable, who were more realist, despite painting in round about the same era.

We then had the impressionists and post impressionists, such as Monet, and Cezanne. I would categorise Monet’s landscapes as also being quite romantic, whereas Cezanne’s bold use of colour and brush strokes were more akin to Van Gogh. Cezanne’s work was a precursor to the cubist movement, with its flat planes of colour and geometric contours.

Van Gogh, of course, was very expressive and bold in his use of media and colours. His work was identified by its bold brushwork and impasto handling of the paint.

On the mind map, we then move towards an expressionist; Joan Eardley, with her dramatic and expressive use of paints in her landscapes and wild seascapes of her beloved Catterline on the Scottish coast. Joan incorporated natural materials such as grasses and sand in her paintings.

There are the even more abstract expressionists… Helen Frankenthaler; John Virtue, with his dramatic, monochromatic, abstract landscapes and seascapes; Nicholas Herbert with his atmospheric mixed media piece, and finally, an artist I have really come to enjoy…Rachel Arif, with her moody, atmospheric depiction of landscapes and trees.

Helen Frankenthaler

Another contemporary artist whose creations are very atmospheric is Gary Cook, who uses mixed media to depict trees and countryside.


There are other artists I haven’t mentioned, but these are the ones who had the biggest impact on me.

There were quite a few of the artists who liked to create work with atmosphere, some observing the changing seasons. Constable, for example, would observe the landscape in different weather conditions and seasons, and take sketches. David Hockney would observe the seasons and work plein air, capturing the countryside around East Yorkshire, in the different seasons, although his paintings seem to look optimistic. Vija Celmins would capture details of the landscape, such as the surface of the waves, and produce photorealistic pencil drawings.

It was an interesting exercise, and I have learnt a lot about the artists and their methods. I am sure I will be able to find more links between individual artists.

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