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Field Notes

Covering the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest

February 7, 2013 at 2:20 PM

In Praise of Beauty: Alden Mason 1919-2013

Perhaps you saw my obituary of Alden Mason in The Seattle Times today.

Exploring the world of his art made me appreciate his sense of beauty, steeped in the shapes and colors of our Northwest landscape, yet presented in an utterly fresh way:

Mason_LandscapeTotem_web.jpg

“Landscape Totem”

Alden Mason

1999, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 50 inches.

Courtesy Foster/White Gallery

This painting is at Foster/White gallery in Pioneer Square, which represented Mr. Mason since 2002. For many more images of his art work, take a look at their website.

Director Phen Huang knew Mason well and had this to say of his connection to nature and how it is expressed in the painting Landscape Totem and in his approach to painting:

“He was very sentimental about growing up in the Skagit Valley. I think those are the Cascades in the background. The landscapes were rare at this point in his painting career. His compositions tend to tell a story but this is more depiction of a place dear to his heart. Of course, he has hinted at the native history of the region too with the totem motif and connection to the land. The flat perspective and bell jar shaped outline make for a precious containment.”

For more on this luminary of the Northwest art world who brought a whole new look to landscapes see the fascinating biography by former Seattle Times art critic Sheila Farr posted on HistoryLink.

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