Published: September 19, 2000
Shown in Potter & Slack Exhibit
MARBLEDALE, CONN. – An exhibition featuring the work of Curtis W. Hanson will be shown at Potter & Slack Fine Art from September 23 through November 17.
Hanson is committed to preserving the landscape of New England as an artist – not through environmental causes. With a fluent brush he translates his deep appreciation for nature into oil paintings that embrace the infinite varieties of the land’s color, moods, textures, light and atmosphere.
The works of George Inness, the painters of the Western mountains, and Barbizon School inspired him, and he determined to study the originals rather than book images; he moved to New York City and immersed himself in copying his favorites at the Metropolitan and other museums.
Deciding that he needed more training, Hanson went to Boston to study with R.H. Gammell, who confirmed the young artist’s decision by remaking that while he was obviously talented, he obviously didn’t know how to draw. Three years of rigorous training in academic drawing and compositional studies followed.
Hanson chose Litchfield, Conn., as his home in 1979, because of its beautiful and varied countryside, and because it is well located between New York and Boston. His paintings of the next several years might be regarded as impressionistic in that they attempt to make an exact optic record of nature. As he grew sure of his technique and style, he concentrated more on capturing the varied moods of the land and his feeling about it. As he says, “Nature now allows me to take liberties.”
Paintings of the fields and farms of Litchfield County and the Old Lyme area of Connecticut, as well as the rocky coast of Maine, are Hanson’s specialty, and he expects never to exhaust their possibilities, even though he is very prolific. Having chosen a scene to paint, he makes pencil or oil sketches out-of-doors in direct contact with nature. He may finish the work there or in his studio, painting for the most part “alla prima” – that is directly, without a detailed underdrawing. His original choice of position determines most of the compositional structure of the paintings, and he does relatively little manipulation of the landscape’s elements.
The views he chooses are more or less the same type of landscape: intimate, calm (except for the surf along the Maine coast), and atmospheric. Perhaps 40 or 50 paintings have depicted the mountainous ridge opposite his home. These are shaped by the change of seasons, light and foliage, and by his decisions about near or distance focus and looser or more precise brushstroke.
The gallery is on Route 202, and is open Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm. For information, 860/868-3245.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm