Artist Statement

statementimageArt is about redeeming the mundane and ordinary – transforming into the sacred, sometimes universal, so we can study and unfold – gain joy, power and direction.

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Alan Leon

I will always be passionate about making form and combining colors. I feel I am doing my greatest good when involved in these activities. The visual and tactile sense of dragging a brush over canvas filled with luscious color is a simple yet courageous daily act for me. It is a way to dialog with myself; to see what is inside and to see how to bring the world in. When I work I feel like I am engaging the root meaning of the word art – to join – to fit disparate elements together- to include.

Cezanne talked of art as a priesthood demanding that the pure in heart belong to it ENTIRELY. Hundertwasser, an early mentor of mine, talked of seeing how brown was the farmer’s earth and how green the plants and knew he had to become a painter.

I feel similarly inspired that painting is a window for spiritual growth, an infinite teacher and a prime source to know the sheer delight of process and resultant.

My central life issue/theme over the past 25 years has been to create art directly sparked from the landscape as a way of giving greater voice to the immense beauty and meaning of the surface of the earth. I have traveled widely and delight in landscape inspiring & micro-affecting my work.

Landscape has several connotations:
• The idea of the genius of place as a set of unique topographical & vegitational elements
• Landscape as food, joy and sustenance
• Landscape as stored memory, energy and inherent importance
• Landscape as piles of cosmic dust that are elevated and depressed with the tides, planets and earth processes
• Landscape as an expression of the vitality of existence
• Landscape as a representation of an organic growth system, color subtlety and excitement
• Landscape images as a way to draw attention to conversation and destruction of habitat issues
• Landscape as beauty and source (i.e. the taut, muscularity of close-cropped, green grass folding hills)

What excites me about focusing on composing segments of the earth’s surface (landscape painting) is that any image created is a meditation on place and the factors that have caused it. I want the viewer to see the magic and possibility of imagined and representational landscapes and be able to reframe the landscape and think about it from multiple perspectives.

The immediacy and freshness of watercolor, my primary medium, serves to help document and record in an almost journalistic fashion.
There is also a reverence similar to the Aborigine idea of the landscape would “uncreate” itself if left unpainted by humans.

Panoramic format is used as an analog to our laterally positioned eyes. Much of my work is

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 done on the spot, plein-air to convey a bit of the perceived truth of that particular moment. I follow in the tradition of artist-explorers like Rubens, Church, Homer, Turner, Freidrich, Dali and Gauguin.