Landscapes Leave Realism Behind | WGLT

Landscapes Leave Realism Behind

Dec 7, 2016

Dick Folse ventures into imaginary worlds when he sets out to paint a landscape.  His latest works are currently on display in the show Abstracted Landscapes at the McLean County Arts Center in Bloomington. 

"We live in Illinois and landscape is all around us," explained Folse, who has been an artist for 30 years.  He works days at Illinois Wesleyan University as the Director of Grants and Foundation Relations. "But this is a more modernistic interpretation of that.  I'm very interested in color, color interactions, and shapes.  I work out of my head, so they are inspired by places that I've been, here in Illinois, and I've just spent this past summer in Japan, which is a whole different topography, which lends itself to some very interesting visual interpretation."

Claire Hedden is the curator at the McLean County Arts Center, which has had many a landscape grace its walls over the years.  "Dick's work fits in because it sticks out," she said. "I thinks the work really stands out in the color selection and how he works those colors together and off of each other to create space. And I think that the abstraction lends itself to your eyes  and your mind moving around in different directions in the work.  You get to daydream a bit in the work that I don't think you have to opportunity to do in realistic work."

Folse doesn't just dab a brush against canvas -- he uses aerosol paint, as well. "Part of the interest in developing a painting is seeing where it goes.  So setting up a situation where there's an accident that can happen, there are unknowns that occur and then you can respond to those unknowns.  So I do some aerosol spray paint, and I use masking to mask off shapes, and then I respond to those shapes, or I have done collage with newsprint and use that newsprint and that structure as something to respond to."