In the moment. In the landscape.
Artist Statement By Dennis McGonagle
My paintings describe great distances. I take advantage of the panoramic view that a lofty perch provides,
painting landscapes that contrast near and far, warm and cool, as well as the human-made and natural worlds.
I paint my own Southern California neighborhood, hidden suburban treasures, downtown skylines and intriguing
locations around the world. Working outdoors, my plein aire paintings have a strong sense of time and place,
derived from direct observation of the environment.
I start work on a painting at a specific time of day, paint
for about two hours and then return the next day at the same time. That way, the light quality and atmosphere
are consistent during each painting session. I begin by rapidly applying thin washes of acrylic color over the
entire surface of the canvas using broad house painting brushes. With each return visit I apply successive layers
of transparent and opaque paint to the canvas, using smaller and smaller brushes, resulting in a lustrous, jewel-like
surface quality. Each subsequent painting session becomes a new chapter in the painting, bringing with it new story
elements and details. This process imbues a subtle narrative quality to the finished work of art. I conduct a full range
of colors, tones and textures in expressionistic brushwork to recreate the experience of living in the moment, in the landscape.