Bonner David Galleries is excited to showcase new works by renown landscape artist Romona Youngquist. From the time Youngquist was a child, she knew she was meant to be an artist. Romona spent her days exploring the woods and gazing up in awe at the storms that often filled the Eastern Oklahoma sky. She developed an early appreciation for the beauty and contrasts in nature, and though self-taught, she feels it’s only fair to cite nature as her real teacher.
Romona describes her paintings as a formula between color and value relationships. She believes that her understanding of these relationships comes from a life of studying nature and the environment. Youngquist’s paintings are inspired by understated landscapes, as she enjoys painting scenery that she finds elegant but commonplace at the same time. For Youngquist, finding interesting things to paint is a long process, as they have to be just right to catch her eye. Her use of vivid colors against soft neutral backdrops emphasizes the breathtaking effects that nature offers, which are often overlooked.
"High Water" by Romona Youngquist
“I can come upon an ordinary scene I’ve seen a zillion times and there is a special light that hits this scene….and I stop in my tracks” ~Romona Youngquist
Youngquist’s latest work reflects what is most near and dear to her, with more rural scenery inspired by the picturesque countryside near her home. These paintings add drama and tension to her famous peaceful scenes. Youngquist’s latest works are reminiscent of her paintings from previous collections, but with greater emphasis on sunlight and shadows during the changing seasons.
In anticipation of her upcoming show we talked with Romona about her career, her life, and what inspires her most. Here is what she shared with us:
Bonner David: What is your reason for only painting landscapes in a 25 mile radius from your home?
Youngquist: I believe in painting mostly what you know. For me, that is the landscape that I see everyday. I need to have an emotional attachment to what I paint, and I love the place where I live. I am very lucky to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. It’s scenic in a quiet, rural way. Some areas are like stepping back in time, but then you see all the beautiful vineyards. We really have it all here in Oregon. One of my favorite painters, Russell Chatham, does the same thing, and I think it’s really helped him create his own genre of landscape painting.
Bonner David: Was there a particular moment as a child when you knew that you were destined to be a painter?
Youngquist: At age 4, when my preschool teacher, bless her heart, loved a chicken I drew and showed it to the entire class. At that moment she said I was “an artist.” But more importantly was the feeling of pure joy while creating art that all started with that chicken.
Bonner David: What is your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
Youngquist: Have a cup of coffee and curl up with a good book surrounded by all my animals.
Bonner David: Do you have any other creative talents?
Youngquist: I have a beautiful garden that I love to tend, I bake like crazy, and I read way too much. But I really love to sing. My friend Sandy and I often go to a karaoke spot. My favorite songs to sing are Cowboy Junkies’ “Sweet Jane”, Mazzy Star’s “Fade into You,” and Portishead’s “Sour Times”–obscure songs nobody knows. But the real show stealer is when my husband has had a little too much to drink and does Kung Fu Fighting- with all the moves!
Bonner David: If you were not a painter, what would you be?
Youngquist: A Food Network Star…seriously…I auditioned in Portland last year. I fear the reason I didn’t make it was the answer to “What is your favorite food memory?” My answer was, “fried squirrel dinner when I was a kid.”
"Country Sunflowers" by Romona Youngquist
Youngquist is featured in this month’s issue of American Art Collector (Read the full article- RomonaYoungquist-American Art Coll. Feb 2010).
Romona’s breathtaking work will be on display at her upcoming show “Through the Seasons” at Bonner David Galleries (Map and Hours) February 25, 2010 through March 10, 2010. There will be a special artist reception on February 25, 2010 from 6:00 to 9:00pm. We hope you have a chance to come discover her stunning paintings and meet her in person.