Robert Raczka

landscape & garden paintings, gouache on paper, 2017 - present

After a long career as a photographer of landscapes--natural, human made, and human-altered--in January of 2017 I added another dimension to my art making by beginning to paint from source photographs that I had shot for that purpose. Most of these photographs are shot on a cellphone and are not of sufficient quality to exhibit, nor would I want to exhibit them as they are incomplete, leaving room for the subjective aspects of my painting process.

These paintings reflect my abiding fascination with nature and the nature-culture hybrids of garden design. All are paintings of human-altered landscapes. Many are of the garden that I tend, and I feel that my closeness to and love of that garden and other landscapes comes through.

My subject matter is always real. Even as I put my subjective spin on it, I am expressing an attachment to what exists. My dominant subject is nature and landscape, which I find to be infinitely varied, richly textured and detailed, and endlessly satisfying. In making a painting, I can distill or supplement nature but I find that my imagination never exceeds the wonder of nature in its variety and cycles. There is in that an aspect of environmentalism and an attempt to come to terms with the vast extent of human-altered lndscapes in the Anthropocene era. Those things are on my mind and if my paintings lead the viewer to contemplate them, I welcome that.

 

2017

I. Close to home

 

Magnolia, Belgian block, lawn and bushes, 2017, gouache on paper, 12 x 9 inches

 

 

Cherry tree on a rainy day, early spring, 2017, gouache on paper, 12 x 9 inches

 

 

Late snow, early spring, 2017, gouache on paper, 9 x 12 inches

 

 

Northern flicker resting on a magnolia, 2017, gouache on paper, 12 x 9 inches

 

 

Landscaping, 2017, gouache on paper, 12 x 9 inches

 

 

Rainy day, 2017, gouache on paper, 12 x 9 inches

 

 

Cherry tree and Belgian block, 2017, gouache on paper, 12 x 9 inches

 

 

Flower garden, 2017, gouache on paper, 12 x 9 inches

 

 

Poplar and clearing fog, 2017, gouache on paper, 12 x 9 inches

 

 

II. Walled garden

 

Walled garden with boxwood, rhododendron and hemlock, 2017, gouache on paper, 12 x 9 inches

 

 

Walled garden, early spring, 2017, gouache on paper, 12 x 9 inches

 

 

Walled garden with flowering magnolia, 2017, gouache on paper, 9 x 12 inches

 

 

Walled garden with flowering magnolia at dusk, 2017, gouache on paper, 12 x 9 inches

 

 

III. Parks & gardens

 

Late winter, late afternoon, Mellon Park, 2017, gouache on paper, 12 x 9 inches

 

 

Stand of trees at sunset, Boyce Park, 2017, gouache on paper, 12 x 9 inches

 

 

IV. Travels

 

Gathering storm, Hawaii Island, 2017, gouache on paper, 9 x 12 inches

 

 

Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, 2017, gouache on paper, 12 x 9 inches

 

 

Trout Creek Canyon, 2017, gouache on paper, 9 x 12 inches

 

 

2018

I. Close to home

 

 

Early autumn I, 2018, gouache on paper, 12 x 9 inches

 

 

Early autumn II, 2018, gouache on paper, 12 x 9 inches

 

 

Landscape with hanging spruce branches, 2018, gouache on paper, 9 x 12 inches

 

 

Yard with a dusting of snow, 2018, gouache on paper, 12 x 9 inches

 

 

Indoor garden, 2018, gouache on paper, 12 x 9 inches

 

 

After a snowfall, 2018, gouache on paper, 12 x 9 inches

 

 

Late autumn landscape with hemlocks and viburnum, 2018, gouache on paper, 12 x 9 inches

 

 

II. Parks & gardens

 

Tropical garden I, 2018, gouache on paper, 12 x 9 inches

 

 

Tropical garden II, 2018, gouache on paper, 12 x 9 inches

 

 

Catalpa, autumn, Mellon Park, 2018, gouache on paper, 12 x 9 inches

 

 

Thicket, Frick Park, 2018, gouache on paper, 12 x 9 inches

 

 

Canopy, Schenley Park, 2018, gouache on paper, 12 x 9 inches

 

 

Landscape, Mellon Park, 2017, gouache on paper, 12 x 9 inches

 

 

III. Travels

 

Clouds viewed from an airplane, 2018, gouache on paper, 12 x 9 inches

 

 

Dusk, Dana Point, San Diego, 2018, gouache on paper, 12 x 9 inches

 

 

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