Natalie Norrell: Lightly Impressionistic Landscape Paintings

By Cassie Rief in Featured Artists > Oil Paintings

Natalie Norrell is a western artist who enjoys working in an impressionistic style that also hints at realism.

“It’s a versatile and endlessly challenging style which implies detail,” she says. “I encourage the viewer to ‘finish’ areas of the artwork in their own unique way.”

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Natalie’s work as an art therapist is what drives her to create in that manner, and her goal is to make it possible for each viewer to have a personal experience with her paintings. In fact, when viewed at a distance, her brushwork and use of palette knives create textural variety that entices viewers to get a closer look.

Fall Glories, seen below, is an excellent example. Ochre, burnt sienna and stunning shades of violet dance with one another on the canvas, accentuating the loveliness of fall when nature reveals stunning shades of color not seen in other seasons.

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Three aspen trees stand tall and proud, displaying their foliage brightly against the dark shadows created by dense brush underfoot. Natalie uses an impasto style to thickly apply paint to the canvas here—you can especially see this in the short, spontaneous sweeps that make up the leaves on each tree—and it gives a wonderful texture and fullness to the foliage.

In her next painting, even the approaching nightfall can’t stop the magic happening at Handkerchief Lake, where muted mossy green hues reveal lush fronds growing upward in the boggy atmosphere.

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Light, which streams gently into the scene, sets soft reflections onto the calm water. Even more impressive, the gossamer green hue that Natalie uses to highlight tall stalks of grass give the painting an outward radiance. Far in the distance and almost obscured in lilac-hued shadows, distant mountains add an unexpected punch of color as well.

Like great waves found in the ocean, Natalie’s last painting below sweeps me up into its steep hill before depositing me safely into a forested wonderland.

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Each tree is so unique—some are ample and round, others, tall and asymmetric, but all contain shadow, detail and highlights that make them pop from the canvas. This is where Natalie’s approach to realism shines. . . add in the sharp grade of a faint, fuzzy cliff, wonderfully fluffy clouds and that antipasto style used to create the jagged mountain, and you’ve got yourself a lovely painting.

Honorable mention also goes to Bear Dreams and Socked In, two very intriguing paintings that can only be found in Natlalie’s online portfolio. To view them—and the rest of her work—visit her website today.

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