“The pursuit of classical painting has been a passion all my life,” says landscape painter Ken Salaz. “It is a great challenge, a beautiful pursuit, and a rewarding gift to myself and those around me. No serious pursuit of the craft and artistry of painting can leave a person indifferent to the mysteries and wonderment of the world around us and within us.
“In an age where the ideas of having a noble pursuit are almost vanishing, I feel it is imperative to the world today and humanity that the creation of artwork that strives towards harmony, truth, and beauty be brought into existence without apology. To obtain this, I approach each canvas with the heart of a poet, the mind of a philosopher, the hands of a surgeon, and the vision of an eagle.
“The paintings are created to evoke in the viewer the questions of who we are, why we are here, and how we can live for the betterment of humanity.
“In order to create landscapes that aren’t simply copies of nature, but rather the poetic expressions of fleeting moments, I have delved deeply into the studies of philosophy, religion, optics, anatomy, color, and the great poets, such as Homer and Rumi. I deeply believe it is the function of masterful artwork to be a vehicle that elevates the viewer and all of humanity to a state of transcendent certainty that beauty is eternal and ever-present.
“These paintings are a mirror reflection of our joys, sorrows, and triumphs as human beings, and they strive to evoke the finest in the viewer. I hope these works are as feeding to your mind, heart and soul as they have been to mine during my participation in their creation. May they inspire you to seek your own noble pursuit.”
The Eternal Now – St. Mary Lake
“This painting was done from exhaustive studies of St. Mary Lake in Montana near the Canadian border. The lake and surrounding landscape have a dramatic, theatrical feel to them. The location has a mixture of feeling like subtle poetry is eternally mixing emotionally with raw power. The moment captured in the painting is the last moment before the sun passes out of our vision. The burning power of the sun left a permanent impression on my eyes and it spoke of something deeper, more eternal. In some fashion this sunset is happening each evening at this location, yet it always seems to be happening at the present moment. It was my intent to paint a moment that reached beyond time. This sun was painted so it is eternally about to set, yet never does — always remains in view. It is occurring in the eternal now.”
Transcendence – Niagara Falls
“Niagara Falls is an iconic location in North America. The sweeping and somewhat violent power of the water rushing over the edge of the cliff is hypnotizing, enthralling, and beautiful. While doing my studies of this piece, I realized that the waterfall was always in the presence of a few other items that were equally amazing — the rising mist, the rainbow, and the light from the sun. I wanted to create a painting that brought all the “theatrical” elements of the falls into focus. I didn’t want the painting to be just about the water. While doing this, I realized the amazing connection between these elements. The heavy, forceful, dark water is pouring over the edge and is returning as a subtle mist, rising like puffs of angels’ breaths. The mist is further transformed by the light shining through it, causing the rainbow to appear. Somehow, this transformation of the elements from water to mist to rainbow was a reflection of the idea of transcendence in our own psychology — where something that was once heavy is changed to something light, and illuminated to show a new beauty.”
Additional Landscape Oil Paintings by Ken Salaz:
Ken Salaz is also the author of “Landscapes in Oil: A Contemporary Guide to Realistic Painting in the Classical Tradition,” available on Amazon here:
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I got Ken Salaz’s new book, and it’s incredible. I’ve always been a fan of the Hudson River School painters. I’m glad to see there’s a new appreciation of their work by Salaz and other contemporary landscape masters.
Thank you so much Jack! I appreciate that you go the book and are appreciating it.
I love that Ken Salaz is influenced by the Hudson River School. I have added the book on my wish list. I look forward to receiving it. Thomas Cole, the founding father of the school came from the same place in England where I come from. He loved the English landscape and was influenced by John Constable, John Turner and other European masters.