Megan Lightell


The focus on landscape in my work began after a period of study in New York, surrounded by the urban built environment, far removed from the farmland and forests in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains of my youth.  When I returned to the rural environment, I related in a new way to the comfort, mystery, and silence embodied in the landscape.  I was drawn to the hills, rivers, and valleys and discovered through painting them that there were particular places that invited me to look closely, to be present, to listen and observe.

Through this series of paintings in the years since, I have learned to witness not just a physical location, but also the deeper connection formed by spending time alone in a natural space. In the process of making a piece, I alternate time spent on location gathering reference, with time spent in the studio, working from field notes and memory. Rather than painting solely from observation outdoors, working in the studio allows me to recall the resonance of a place, distilling the elements to their essence.