Take just one look at Ray Burnell’s stunning landscapes and you might start to feel a gusting wind sweeping across the canvas. . . stare for a bit longer, and you’d be forgiven if you imagined his colorful, cloud-draped skies almost seeming to glow of their own accord.
What’s his secret?
Ray heads out one day a week during the spring and summer, finds a good location for his easel, and paints en plein air, capturing the living heart of the land in his brushstrokes. The results, as you see below, are incredible.
Personally, I love the extreme shift in perspective between close foreground objects (and textures) and far off hillsides seen in Ray’s work. The contrast gives greater depth to his landscapes, making them feel millions of miles deep and wide.
In the painting below, he accomplishes much the same purpose by painting large, dark buildings in front of a glowing sky filled with thousands of birds swirling in intricate, dizzying patterns over the water.
As a landscape painter, Ray’s colors are well-suited to his subject matter—typically, they are jewel-like earth tones with strong white highlights that pull you deeper into his shifting, atmospheric compositions.
All three of today’s featured paintings can be found in the “latest work” section of Ray’s website. Interestingly, most of them are still without titles.
I know in time they’ll probably be gifted with a name referencing their location or Ray’s experience in painting them—but for now it simply adds to that perfect, transitory feeling of an ever-changing landscape.
If you have a minute today, I encourage you to visit his website and see the rest of his gorgeous paintings of West Wales.
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