c.h.a.r.c.o.a.l.. l.a.n.d.s.c.a.p.e.s.. .-.

Charcoal in Landscape
Recent drawings by Michael Moore
Landscape drawing satisfies a love of solitary activity and the lure of remote places which still remain at the end of dirt roads in the American west. It is an exercise in standing still and paying attention, a stationary hike in which the movement of my inner tourist is replaced by the movement of nature itself - the flow of water and sky, visitation by wildlife and weather, the progression of light and shadow - a journey that is revelatory and cumulative, or seems so. To bring an easel and a box of art supplies into landscape allows a deepening experience of what sensory material initially presents itself. The things we see, i.e. the visual relationships and the meanings we attach to them, are not simply waiting in meadows for us to come upon them. We are complicit in the apparent discovery of beauty. The activity of drawing engages the attention and focuses the mind, wakes up the eyes and finds doorways into places that are not found on hiking maps.

The work here is a representational response to the natural world as filtered through my particular brain. For the sake of the exercise I assume that the relationships I intend to include in the picture exist objectively. This entails a certain responsibility to what is in front of me, a general injunction to analyze rather than to romanticize or to go off on interpretive tangents. Not to say that artists can never successfully venture down those paths, for they clearly can. For myself, I lack a calling and an aptitude for unmediated self expression, being of the belief that we are always expressing ourselves no matter what we do. So I remain "in landscape," tethered, you could say, to an objectivity in which I only partially believe. I proceed with a dual mandate to carefully explore my subject matter and to create a picture which embodies a rational dialog between its parts.

Recent exhibitions:

The Drawing Studio, Tucson, AZ, September 2008
The Holter Art Museum, Helena, MT, August 2007