Oil | Pastel
My work has always been driven by three visual imperatives: the inherent abstraction within nature, pattern, and unified light.
A painting can reach a viewer in different parts of their mind. One part responds to things we can name like houses, trees, clouds, and the narrative itself. Another part responds to aesthetics such as color, shape, or movement. This is the part of the mind I want to reach. I consider a picture most successful when the viewer is struck by these aesthetics before they recognize the actual subject.
Color harmony is a core instinct for me. The landscape, with its atmosphere and unified light, is an ideal subject with which to pursue this interest. If I cannot make all the colors in the painting feel as if they are bound together through a unifying color of light, then I will not consider the painting entirely successful. In my work, this cohesiveness often is often achieved with a very limited palette. Each of my paintings also has a distinct color chord, which is meant to capture a particular color of light or time of day.
In my current work, the Azure and Asphalt and Rooftops series, I bring my interest in unified light and pattern to the urban landscape. These works explore the abstract patterns formed by reflected light on the streets and rooftops at sunset. In these works I strike a delicate balance between simplification and detail: I have to include enough visual cues to make it clear to the viewer that it is an urban landscape, but few enough that it doesn’t distract from my primary interest, which are the abstract patterns and the light.
Colour & Composition
Tools & Materials
How To Self Critique
Bio & CV
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AM I AN ASPIRING ARTIST?
As an aspiring artist, you have been creating on the side, as a hobby, and now you're ready to take it to the next level!
YOU'RE INTERESTED IN:
- technique - color and composition
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About The Artist
Mitchell Albala is a highly respected painter, workshop instructor, and author. His semi-abstract and atmospheric landscapes have been exhibited nationally and are represented in corporate and private collections. He is the author of two books, Landscape Painting: Essential Concepts and Techniques for Plein Air and Studio Practice (Watson-Guptill, 2009), which has been the best selling landscape painting book in the nation for 10 years; and The Landscape Painter’s Workbook: Essential Studies in Shape, Composition, and Color (Rockport Publishers, 2021).
In addition to leading plein air workshops in Italy, Mitchell also teaches workshops throughout the Pacific Northwest. He has lectured on Impressionism and landscape painting at the Seattle Art Museum and has written for International Artist and Artists & Illustrators magazines. He also hosts a popular painting blog, which holds a top 20 spot on Feedspot.com’s “Top 90 Painting Blogs for Artists.” Explore the blog and see more of his work at mitchalbala.com.
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