Winter Study, (C) 2008 John Mac Kah

Artist’s Statement

I paint because there are places in the natural world that move me.  To be mindful of the place, the air, the light and the surfaces of wood,  linen, oils, varnish, pigments, the brushes —  all natural materials – creates a bridge to the work and the work to place.

In the end, that world is ephemeral: the reflected and angled light, the dust at that time of day, evidence of what went before. And it takes time, sometimes days of immersion in building layers that mirror the moment. I like to let the painting be an experience in itself, speaking for the natural world, a captured remnant of observation and memory.


“Nineteenth-century painters went out into the wilderness to bring back reports about a land we did not know; painters now report a land we risk forgetting…Acts of salvage in desperate times…”

Richard Wilbur, Introduction.  A Sense of Place: The Artist and the American Land by Alan Gussow, 1972.