plein air landscape painting
Painting From Life vs. From Photos

This landscape painting by Tracy Helgeson caught my eye. This work is something of a new departure in Tracy’s work, I think. She often works on the border between abstraction and reality, but in this painting there is a cross-over, albeit a subtle one. The result is almost unsettling, but I like it. A question for her is, does she want to go further with this? There is also a psychological element to this landscape painting, as I see it, which captures my attention.

Tracy’s blog raises interesting questions about what it means to be an artist today. In the past, artists liked to cloak themselves and their work in mystery. Tracy is open about her work (good, bad, unfinished) and her difficulties in the process of creating and selling. There is a refreshing and direct quality to her writing style that makes mysterious 20th century artists seem a bit comic in comparison. Is Tracy a good example of what 21th century artists will be doing, or should she hide her unfinished work and cultivate a more refined public image?