Outdoor Palette

Craig Mooney, Valley Sunset, 48" x 48", oil on canvas, 2008

Craig Mooney is a master of atmospheric perspective. He manipulates his oil paints to reflect the effect that weather, atmosphere, and shifting light have on the appearance of a place. Mooney paints with a facility that is fresh and exciting. Through his deft use of value, hue, and saturation, he is able to convince us of receding distance and to play with what Leonardo da Vinci called “the perspective of disappearance.”

There is very little site-specific detail in Valley Sunset, and as Mooney explains, this is not a specific locale; it is more an expression of how a dramatic sky interplays with the landscape in  our region. This is a place born of memory, experience, and a love of the Northeast. Though his landscapes may not be found on a map, they are familiar and tenaciously rooted in the New England experience. We look at Valley Sunset and are reminded of Lake Champlain pushing north, of the Kennebec River snaking through farmland, or of the Connecticut River Valley flanked by fertile croplands.

It is important to Mooney that when people look at his work, they are able to find their own experience of place. Valley Sunset is one moment as the sun breaks through the clouds and lights up a valley. We all know this moment to be beautiful and fleeting.

Craig Mooney is represented by galleries nationwide. Regionally his work can be seen at West Branch Gallery in Stowe, Vermont, Jules Place in Boston, Massachusetts, and Gallery North Star in Grafton, Masachusetts. He will have shows this summer at the Field Gallery in West Tisbury, Massachusetts and Maine Art in Kennebunkport, Maine. Craig can be reached through his website.


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