Like nostalgic snapshots of an artist’s cross-country road trip, J.S. Brown’s silent, evocative landscapes offer an iconic look at the small towns, stunning skies, and blue highways that span our nation.
Each of his painting gives the viewer an intensely personal experience—no people, no animals, no distractions—just empty towns and wide open landscapes that seem too large to comprehend.
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Picacho Avenue, Las Cruces, New Mexico (seen below) is the perfect example.
Clean morning sunlight streams across the road, casting long blue shadows from telephone poles and cold buildings. But there are no cars or RV’s driving down the highway, no people standing at the motel doors—just drifting white clouds over a town that inexplicably slumbers.
This painting feels chill and spacious, with bright touches of color placed throughout to draw the eye and give a sense of vast space, from fire hydrant to motel sign, to far-off pink and purple hills that rise jagged against the pale blue sky.
In Snow on High Desert, the same color scheme dominates, yet the land itself is empty, without town or dwelling, as far as the eye can see.
You can imagine the artist himself stepping out from his car, the only person for miles, as he paints a huge bowl-like sky with golden clouds, and long blue shadows stretching across the melting snow towards red-orange hills.
Moving seamlessly from snow to summer’s heat, we come to the artist’s third and last painting for today: Eastbound on Glass Road, Mesilla, New Mexico.
Tightly-stretched power lines cut through the empty sky, anchored tenuously to the earth by man-made trees. And even in this early hour, warm sunlight spills across the empty fields signaling a burning summer day ahead.
To see more of J.S. Brown’s paintings, as well as a collection of his prints and drawings, please visit his website today.