Graham Gercken’s Dreamscape
As a self-taught artist, Graham Gercken utilizes impressionist style in his oil paintings and cites Sir Arthur Streeton and Heidelberg as his major inspirations. After living in China for years and learning ink wash painting techniques, he returned to New South Whales, where he continues to create his landscape paintings. Gercken captures the vibrant beauty and color of the natural world in his striking, almost haunting land and seascapes, especially the ever-popular Blue Mountains near his hometown. His gallery includes a variety of natural landscapes and seasons, depicting the acrid desserts of Australia and Southwest America, the jagged cliffs and canyons of the Blue Mountains, glistening coastal beaches, and warm autumn leaved trees.
The piece featured above, titled Misty Woodland, is one of many stunning natural landscapes captured by Gercken’s vivacious brush strokes. The misty, out-of-focus background gives a dreamlike quality to the piece, echoing the cool blue tones of the bark in the foreground while contrasting the bright red and orange leaves of the autumn foliage. The whole scene seems to exist as a dreamscape, conveying a timeless quality while somehow simultaneously placing itself in the early hours of the morning, as if out of a fantastical dream. Curled on the misty bank, the viewer immediately feels as if they’ve just barely been roused from sleep – enough to remain confused by the reality or surrealism that exists outside of their cozy tent. However the hints of orange in the hazy sky leave the experiential moment ambiguous, forcing the viewer to question their perception in yet another way: perhaps it’s not morning at all, but sunset?
How does nature affect our perception of reality?