Originally hailing from Scotland, oil painter Denis Hopkins has traveled the world—from England to Canada and the United States, and then to France—looking for inspiring landscapes and rich country backdrops.
Denis began focusing on landscape painting in earnest after his retirement, seeking out instructors like Ted Seth Jacobs of the Loire Valley studio in France, and the late Frank Mason in the Stowe region of Vermont.
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And, with every trip he took, he captured scenes like the ones below. . .
Entitled Mountain Village – Spain, at first it seems that there’s nothing in this painting but gorgeous hillside and misty sky as far as the eye can see. It’s an idyllic wilderness, touched only by sunlight spilling over the lush expanse of greenery, illuminating distant knolls, each with their own uniquely beautiful displays of color.
And then, far to the right, zigzagged pathways lead us further into the remote terrain, slowly unlocking the hidden secrets of the Spanish countryside. . .
Mankind’s mark on the wild earth is a motif that Denis seems to find rather often in his travels. In Irvine Brdge – Elora, a manmade bridge stretches (surprisingly harmoniously) across a naturalistic woodland scene. Those who pass over this hidden utopia may not even realize that there is a serene world of nature waiting just underneath them.
The permanent, strict nature of the bridge contrasts nicely with the babbling brook and rush of wind that surely swirls beneath it. And manmade or not, the bridge shares a similar white hue and rough, solid texture with the rocks lining the water below, linking them forever to one another.
Last of all, Impending Storm – Wesport, N.S. forgoes the tranquility that Denis’ paintings normally possess for the merciless, impending fury of nature.
Gritty green-blue hues engulf the canvas, offering a grim, wind-blown quality to the scene that reminds me of those powerful thunderstorms you see just before a tornado strikes. In the wind, the boat rocks wildly like a plastic toy capsizing in a wave-filled bathtub, while overhead, black, rain-drenched clouds offer an eerie outlook on its immediate future.
For more of Denis’ landscapes, as well as a chance to view his figure paintings and still lifes, please visit his website at www.denishopkins.ca.
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