ROGER DALE BROWN in 2008
ROGER DALE BROWN
Farm at Herns Mill Rd
Roger believes, as the historical master artists such as John Carlson and Edgar Payne, that "plein air" painting is an essential element in being a great artist. He spends countless hours studying and painting on location, to continue to perfect seeing important nuances of a scene, a day, or an object, which are necessary in creating a great painting. Roger works hard to balance the emotion of a scene, with the knowledge of painting, in every painting he paints.
Roger's oil paintings have been displayed in galleries throughout the United States and have won many awards which include: First Place in the Barnes and Farms National Juried Art Show, Museum Purchase Award and third place at the Easton Plein Air Competition, Best of Show at the Central South National Juried Show, as well as the Gold Medal Award from the Hudson Valley Art Association. His work has also been accepted in the Oil Painters of America National Juried Exhibition, and Salon International. Roger has been published by: International Artist Magazine, American Artist Magazine, American Art Collector Magazine, and the Artist Magazine. His works are owned by private collectors across the country and include many well-known celebrities and major corporations.
After the storm
Today Roger is not only one of the most notable artists in the genre of plein-air paintings; he encourages others to step onto his vapor trail. He has become the go-to teacher in this region for the genre; any starry-eyed dreamer who hopes to become a painter in the Impressionist vein has taken classes with him. By going into the backcountry to hike, by traveling all over the country in his camper, it seems Brown has captured every rugged mountain, golden field, calm harbor, and snowy forest—and he has captured them in the ever-changing sunlight with loose, energetic strokes.
Still Harbor Sunning
Twilight Last Glow
Images from thesylvangallery.com
Roger Dale Brown visited the coast of Maine and painted his impressions of it. The results are gathered in an exhibition titled, appropriately enough, "Maine Impressions." This detail from Brown's painting "Sentries" shows Brown's purposeful use of value and color. Brown reports that the light yellow mark by the goose's beak was an invention. "I created the area by adding a light spot below the darkness of the goose's head," he says. "This created a stronger contrast in that area. This, along with a sharper edge and the strong shadow, is enough to make the viewer stop. This portion of the painting was placed there on purpose. I place objects, colors, or value in certain areas of my paintings with intent -- not being literal to the scene but being creative and evoking the mood and story of the moment. I want the viewer to go to certain spots in my painting -- it's like taking the viewer on a guided tour throughout your creation. You enter the painting in a certain area and there are stopping points the viewer comes to and hangs out for a while. These are tension areas or subordinate focal points in the painting. They are not strong enough to compete with the focal point, but are strong enough to pull your eye around the painting."
Images from wallsgallery.com
Roger finds himself mesmerized by the charm, history, and natural beauty of Maine. He said, It has an old soul. Artists are naturally drawn to it. It’s more spiritual.That spiritual, artistic quality is essential to Brown’s style and general approach to painting. He paints the places that speak to him, the ones that conjure some emotion. And he does so by painting from life amongst the elements that inspires him whenever possible.
To capture the beauty Roger sees in Maine, he employs a delicate mix of Impressionism and Realism. Each scene calls for a different technique. Brushstrokes can range from loose to tight, and color can be built up through thin layers to thick impasto— whatever is needed to conjure the feeling Brown himself felt that day. The result is work that feels real, like you’re there standing amongst the sand, sea and and rocks. You can almost smell the saltwater and feel the warmth of the sun.
"Maine is an artist’s dream,” says Gary R. Haynes, gallery founder and long-time friend of Brown’s. “Artists have come here for generations, but Roger’s looking at it from a new angle. He’s aware of the history of place, but he doesn’t let that distract from his vision. He wants to share the essence of the place in a fresh way and he does that beautifully.”
Painting in the Plein Air style by definition puts the artist in places that are not normally near their studio. That creates extra challenges and difficulties in satisfactorily recreating what you saw on location on the canvas. Roger Dale Brown, after some humorous trial and error, has finally arrived at a workable, even comfortable solution. He pulls his studio behind a burly diesel pick-up in the form of a 33’ travel trailer. He and his wife, Beverly, head out annually for 6 to 7 months - one trip in 2013 will keep them on the road for 4 months - to locations of particular beauty around the US. Their abhorrence of motels, the difficulty of schlepping all their gear and luggage in and out, and wet canvases in motel rooms pushed them into the rolling studio world. But, what a journey that has been. The first attempt at this was a 21’ RV. Seemed like a reasonable, economical choice until they took that first trip to Yellowstone. Way too small and under equipped. So, up they jumped to a 34’ RV, but that required they pull a car behind it in order to drop off canvases at in-town galleries. But the car was too small to hold the large canvases. Finally, they landed on the truck/trailer combo. However, more fun was in store for the first trip with the new rig. With the awning left extended one night and the trailer parked on a slight incline, down came the rain, flowing down the awning and right into the interior for an unwanted indoor waterfall feature. The storm and its clouds did have a silver lining - since gutting the interior was a must, the Browns redesigned the space to better suit living and working needs. Out went the dining table and large sofa to be replaced by a smaller sofa and two drawer units converted into a table with rollers, on which the couple takes their meals. That made room for each to have their comfy work space for easel, canvas, palette, and brushes. Life on the road now is much sweeter and a lot more productive. (jerryparkphotography.com)