When I look at a Curtis Hanson painting I’m immediately transported to a warm summer day in the lush landscape of New England or, equally as frequently, to the rice fields of Thailand. Hanson devotes himself to meditation and through this practice he has learned to observe the world around him with an astute eye and an open mind.
“As one whom has given my whole life to the practice of painting, at its heart has been that painting is an object of awareness of what it means to be alive. Through direct observation of nature both in the external and the internal world it has and continues to be a way of knowing and understanding what this life is.”
~Curt Hanson (from his blog August 18, 2010)
Hanson studied with Charles Palmer and Stan Taft at Fort Wright College in Washington State. After graduation he moved to New York City where he was influenced by the work of the Barbizon School paintings and George Inness. The Barbizon School was a movement beginning in France in the mid-19th century following John Constable’s lead portraying nature as the focal point of paintings rather than the backdrop for portraits or historical scenes. Hanson has wholly adopted this attitude towards art. Outdoor landscapes and scenes of the natural world dominate his canvases.
“Salt Marsh” is indicative of Hanson’s reflective painting style. His work is easily recognizable for its natural palette of green, yellow and blue based hues. He often selects calm and meditative landscapes such as this New England scene. The sky glows with glazes of pink and yellow underlay beneath the blue haze of a foggy day. The clear water mirrors crisp reflections of the trees dressing the horizon line. Hanson understands exactly how to capture the viewer’s imagination and help bring them to a place of quiet contemplation. Each canvas that he paints bathes its audience in his message of meditation.
More original oil paintings by Curtis Hanson are on view at The Christina Gallery. Come visit us in Edgartown, MA to see the full collection in person or visit us online here.