It was a cross country drive to the west coast with friends when I was just 22 that gave me my first taste of Wyoming. I’ve had a particular fascination with the Bighorn Mountains ever since camping in the Bighorn National Forest on that trip. The sights and sounds of the experience have stayed with me. On the morning that we drove back down the steep traverse to find the highway, we encountered a rather large herd of deer in a field. I was mesmerized by the sheer number of them. We stopped and watched as they ran right past our car, which seemed to take a good five minutes. The views of the mountains, especially in those early morning hours, stayed with me too. Of all the states that I drove through, Wyoming stayed with me and I vowed to return.
Coming to Sheridan to paint with other New England artists in 2018 was an uplifting experience. Thirty-eight years had passed since my first visit. The two weeks of exploring and painting were heaven, but it was not even close to enough time to take it all in and experience it fully with paint pushed around on canvas. I painted numerous small 11×14 pieces, four of which I have included in this exhibition. They are honest and heart-felt, new impressions of a place that I had longed to get back to for a long time. I think the gut response that happens on canvas when you first encounter a motif is as important to an artist as breathing. That kind of experience allows for a more honest experience back in the studio.
The attraction to Wyoming continues to be its mountains, the vastness of its ever reaching landscape and its endless skies. It’s so completely different from my familiar New England subject matter of boats in a harbor or of waves crashing against a rock bound shore. But I also see similarities in how these different motifs inspire me. The play of light that is constantly changing the patterns of light and dark on a Wyoming mountain reminds me of the same effect that happens with the tidal changes along the New England shore. That dance of light keeps a painter mesmerized and forever searching for that one effect, that one moment in time, that begs to be intensely felt and forever captured upon the canvas. It would be easy to just stand there in awe and watch breathlessly, pondering the vastness of all that I am witnessing and to contemplate my very meaning of existence.
Thank you to the Brinton Museum for making this exhibition happen. I vow to return to again experience all that this area has to offer a painter.
David Lussier is an award-winning contemporary impressionist and nationally recognized plein air painter and workshop instructor. He is a painter in the purest sense of the word. In his poetic and intimate oil landscapes he strives to capture the essence and sense of place of his subject matter. His use of bold broad brushwork brings the surfaces to life and begs the viewer to return for a second look. David is known for his sophisticated color sense, poetic brushwork, and his ability to convey emotion in a painting. His ‘Less Is More’ approach to painting has garnered him numerous accolades throughout his long career in plein air painting.
David has been immersed in the Plein Air scene since 2001. His first ever introduction to plein air events was at the prestigious Laguna Beach Invitational held at the Laguna Art Museum in Laguna Beach CA. Every year since then, he has competed extensively throughout the United States in a variety of top plein air invitational and juried events, winning awards in almost every venue, including numerous Best of Show and First Place awards. His most recent awards include Second Place at the Wayne Plein Air Festival, Second Place at Plein Air Richmond and the award for Best Working Harbor at Cape Ann Plein Air.
David’s early training was in classical realism at Paier College of Art in Hamden CT. He started his career as a commercially trained illustrator but quickly realized that his passion was in the fine arts. It was when he started painting the landscape plein air that he realized that he had found his true calling. He has been painting professionally now for more than twenty-five years, has garnered more than 75 prizes for his work, and is in numerous private and corporate collections throughout the United States. His work has been featured 6 times in professional art publications, and he holds professional memberships with some of the finest art associations and groups in the country. David is also an official U.S. Open artist for the United States Golf Association. Four of his paintings hang in the permanent collection of the USGA Museum in Far Hills New Jersey.