Contemporary Landscape Painters

Although landscape painting was widely considered to be a lowly genre in the mid-18th century, it soon rose and became one of the most popular and broadly practised forms of painting.

At the same time as playing on the imagination it managed to depict some of the world’s most stunning natural landscapes, this genre of art did rise to higher esteem, as did many of its advocators.

Proof of how critically acclaimed landscape paintings became can be found in an exhibition of the best this genre of art has spawned, which recently took place at the Royal Academy in London, titled ‘Constable, Turner, Gainsborough and the Making of the Landscape’.

Since its rise to global esteem, landscape painting has never looked back, whetting a modern-day demand to fill the shoes of Constable, Turner and Gainsborough. Let’s take a look at three great contemporary landscape painters.

Chris Mcloughlin

Working from observation and inspired by his emotions and senses, Chris Mcloughlin’s contemporary landscapes, according to the Chris Mcloughlin’s website, “capture the conscious experience and awareness of a place.”

This highly regarded artist was born in Northern Ireland, going on to study animation at Manchester to fulfil his fascination with drawing and colours.

Maintaining his fascination with colour, much of Mcloughlin’s work utilises bold and expressive brushwork with an equally as bold use of colour. Similar to many landscape painters both old and new, many of Chris Mcloughlin’s subjects are focused on places that he knows well, such as the sweeping valleys and high mountain tops of Northern Ireland and the dramatic and exhilarating scenes of the North West’s stunning coastline.

Mari French

Few contemporary landscape painters manage to recreate scenes of natural rapture as proficiently as Mari French. This contemporary British landscape artist lives and works in Norfolk in the UK, producing highly sought-after abstract paintings of coastland and flowers.

Advocating the similar accord of many great landscape artists both of forgone and contemporary years, Mari French asserts the importance light and atmosphere plays and the building up of complex layers to add, in the words of the artist herself, to the “visual intensity experienced by the viewer.”

Nicholas Oberling

Whilst Great Britain is very much associated with nurturing the underlying talents of landscapists, America has certainly played its part in producing many a talented landscape artist. For example, the Hudson River School was an American art movement in the mid-19th century, which was embodied by a group of landscape artists whose creative vision was unduly influenced by romanticism.

America has fostered many contemporary landscape painters and none more so than Nicholas Oberling.

This well-established and highly regarded contemporary American landscape painter creates inspiring landscape paintings ranging from coastal scenes, to glaciers and mountains. This rousing landscape artist has had his work widely exhibited throughout America, including having a permanent collection housed at the Hockaday Museum of Art.

Similar to most landscape painters who are inspired by their surroundings, Nicholas Oberling has been an artist in residence at the Glacier National Park and the Helena National Forest, locations of intense natural beauty in America, thus providing a source of stimulation in American contemporary landscape painting.


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