Metaphysics of Landscape Paintings by Timothy McDowell
Timothy McDowell’s paintings reference the historic idiom of landscape painting, but the way in which the artist incorporates varied pictorial elements in his compositions are unmistakably contemporary. Meticulously rendered botanical images such as chrysanthemums, cacti, and conifer branches hover weightlessly over transparent layers of colors that evoke an ambiguous atmospheric terrain. Other elements often woven into McDowell’s compositions include ornamental patterns extracted from Tibetan paintings and French tapestries.
Many of McDowell’s works are created in encaustic, a medium in which ground earth pigments are suspended in heated beeswax, producing surfaces with heightened luminosity and texture. The paintings reflect a spiritual affinity with nature and underscore the artist’s belief that through our individual sense of place we have an “awareness that is cataloged through our eyes, then re-conjured and romanticized by our minds.”
Timothy McDowell is Professor of Art at Connecticut College.