Excerpted from Art Journey America: Landscapes.
Aaron Schuerr has the good fortune of painting almost every day, in the studio or in the field, trying to understand and distill the amazing variety of beautiful landscapes in his corner of Montana. “I’m a fan of painting familiar places again and again, so as to get beyond the iconic subjects and into something more personal,” he says.
What inspired this painting?
I was on what I call a “dirtbag painting adventure” in Grand Teton National Park, basically sleeping in my van, cooking on a camp stove and painting from dawn to dusk. It had been quite a winter, and although it was May, the snow was still waist-deep in places. I was painting in a place that is normally crawling with tourists, but I had it all to myself.
How do you plan your compositions?
On location I start with a thumbnail sketch before embarking on a plein air painting. Back in the studio I do a full-sized charcoal drawing, often making significant changes to the composition. Once I’m satisfied, I either grid out the drawing (if I’m working larger than the drawing) or make a transfer with tracing paper and charcoal.
Featured in January 2012.