Fred Easker

Gallery Affiliations: Corner House Gallery, Groveland Gallery,Tory Folliard Gallery, Hudon River Gallery, Madoran Gallery

Region: Midwest

Until recently, most of my paintings since 1990 were based on the rural landscape within an hour drive from my home. A gently rolling former prairie, I am attracted to its melodious, abstract and subtle beauty which despite man's intervention evokes a subdued and understated energy. It is an area to which I remain connected because it is where I grew up. I worked to develop a personal response to this familiar environment, endeavoring to make something extraordinary from what is so familiar and from what some say is a banal world.

Over the last few years, I have increasingly spent more time in Northeast Iowa, a less subtle landscape with larger geological features and large areas untouched by the smoothing action of glacial drift and bordered by the Mississippi River. Few would find it banal. It is an area to which I am becoming more attached; I've recently purchased property within a half block of that great river. So I am bringing a prairie vision to a strikingly different landscape, trying not to appear the tourist.

Perhaps it is the larger sense of space that attracted me there for space has always been of great importance in my landscape paintings. To enhance it, I sometimes stretch the the paintings horizontally beyond practical limits. However, I want the observer to be drawn into that traditionally depicted space by attention to detail, as well as by the intimate and painterly manner in which the images are created, so as to discover and experience the visual delights which are illusive to the more casual observer. While the paintings depict specific places, they often become meditations on observed qualities that speak to me on a personal level.

The paintings are much less photographic than they appear when reproduced at a reduced size and have a non-photographic, palpable sense of space. I has been my experience that this work evokes a spiritual response from many viewers, a response beyond the appreciation of the perceived technical skill of the painter or their personal familiarity with the subject matter. I believe that the art object, no matter its physical appearance, is a metaphor for the artist. On my canvases are images of the Iowa countryside. More importantly for me my paintings represent me in the world. They are my story. I endeavor to tell an honest one.