Mesmerizing Log

watercolor on panel, 34 inches by 48 inches

DAN MONDLOCH

St. Cloud, MN
danmondloch.com

I’m a third generation painter of landscapes in watercolor. I relish the seduction of representational painting, but sometimes feel the need to create something more interpretive and abstract. I am attracted to beauty, unique places, and what feel like important experiences or images. I paint all kinds of subjects, but typically paint natural settings and specific places that I take photos of. Overall I think a lot about the relationship between society and the natural world, the ways we experience nature, and what we get from it, but I also find myself interpreting each subject for its own meaning.

My process starts by either taking photographs or by painting directly from life, on location. Working directly from nature is a special, gratifying experience, but I find broader meaning in the studio work based on photos. Some paintings are loosely based off photos while others are very similar to them. I want to believe that the way the brush applies paint to describe something can somehow reveal its true nature or maybe my understanding of it. For me, areas of abstraction and animated brushstrokes energize the surface and give purpose to the paint. I find these areas to be the most inventive, interpretive, and personal. Using an airbrush and tape I mechanically create flat colors, smooth gradations, and sharp lines. They reference photography and attempt to transplant our increasingly synthetic world back to where it originates from.

These are my methods to include ideas related to these subjects that are more than what the original source provides; more than what meets the eye. I feel honored and obligated to carry on the tradition of representational watercolor painting, and seek its relevance in contemporary life.