A great deal has been written about why humans are so moved by the site of landscape. In my recent immersion into landscape painting I have looked more seriously at the potential reasons for this. I have begun reading such authors as Jay Appleton, who wrote The Experience of Landscape. Appleton is known for the “prospect- refuge theory” which describes an evolutionary response to landscape. Prospect defines our desire to perceive large expanses. Refuge refers to our need for security and comfort. I am just beginning to read the text more completely, but I have to say that my initial response to this theory is that it is too simplistic.
This is a recent sketchbook drawing, in preparation for a painting. I am combining an appreciation of landscape with a decisive approach to color and form. There is a relationship to art that I think can inform our appreciation of landscape beyond pure evolutionary concerns, but without descending into mysticism.