Ann Vandervelde is a talented painter from Cleveland, Ohio whose work instantly captivated me with its broad, textural strokes and crisp, vibrant colors.
Many of her paintings also represent landscapes in highly abstracted forms (as evidenced by two of the three paintings below) allowing them to be appreciated on more than one level: that of abstract paintings, of course, and also as landscapes.
Winter’s Breath is a perfect example of that duality in action.
Take a moment. What do you see in the image?
My own mind immediately translates the cold blue area into water and the far off white into a field of snow. I then conjure up a line of wintry trees to explain the smudged blue line on the horizon.
The foreground is so abstracted that I hesitate to put my own thoughts into words—after all, I’m sure you will find something different. But whatever it is jutting upward in the foreground (and whatever is floating in the water) these objects are placed precisely to create depth and focus for the entire painting.
In this next piece, entitled Bridges, Ann Vandervelde has taken a simple concept, and probably a location or two, and melded imagery together to create a bridge-like experience in paint.
By combining crossing geometric forms (and again using the blue to represent water), the bridge-ishness of this painting still comes through, while never directly depicting a specific bridge at all.
Whether this remains an abstract landscape, or just an abstract, I’ll let you decide.
Now, not all of Ann’s paintings are taken from landscapes, just a good number of them. The painting below is called Ancient Symbols, and from my perspective is much more of a non-representational piece than either of the others shown above.
Notice, however, that these abstract forms have still been planned out and engineered to give space and depth to the painting. Taking a simple, classic approach, Ann placed warm colors against cool colors; letting one advance, while the other recedes.
This kind of depth in a non-representational painting is great way to add interest for viewers—and the details and textures in this piece are absolutely stunning as well.
If you’re interested in seeing more of Ann’s work, please take a moment and visit her portfolio website at AnnVandervelde.com. There are a lot more paintings there which I’m sure you’d enjoy.
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