The Artwork of

William Lathrop

My exploration of painting is a sensuous expression of interacting with what I see - a celebration of sight. Too often we see the world through utilitarian eyes - eyes trained to negotiate our travel or perform our tasks. For me, vision is every bit as sensuous as touch and taste.

For subject, I am primarily inspired by the natural world. I find myself drawn to settings that offer a feeling of intimacy within a grander landscape and strive to find an emotional connection with the viewer through evoking memories of wilder places. Water, big boulders strewn about, interesting trees - this is what I love to paint. And I hope to bring attention to the landscape east of the Mississippi as many great painters have done with the west.

Color is the dominant component of my painting and two philosophies guide my use of color. First, I want to be true to the color of the subject. Artistically, I am trying to recreate the experience of seeing and I find it is impossible to do so without being faithful to the colors of nature. When color relationships are accurate, harmony is a natural result. Second, using the metaphor that color is the flavor of painting, I use color like a chef reduces a stock to make a sauce. The chef simmers the stock, reducing excess liquid to concentrate the flavors.

My work is somewhat evocative of the American Impressionists (including Robinson); those painters of the late 19th century who studied in France with Monet (and others). They returned to America and synthesized the new French style of painting with the more classically inspired American traditions (Luminism and the Hudson River movement). The result was a painterly approach, capturing the stately American landscape yet retaining the abstract properties of the paint surface. My contemporary influences include Wayne Thiebaud, Richard Schmid, Kathryn Stats and Brian Rutenberg. Historically, the works of John Singer Sargent, Joaquin Sorolla, Edgar Payne, Thomas Moran and T.C. Steele draw my attention.

I have traveled and painted the landscape of the Blue Ridge Mountains, New Mexico, Florida as well the Great Lakes region. I have been awarded residencies through the National Park Service and those experiences have been pivotal in my artistic development.

All Materials Copyright © William Lathrop, 2007
Last Modified on April 22, 2007