Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Set Free by Nature and Art: The Landscapes and Abstractions of Don Alden

Don Alden, Winter 3, oil on canvas, 30" x 40"

Don Alden is looking for peace in his paintings, and he shares this. Serenity, whether in his abstractions or his landscapes. There is no conflict there. One is simply on the inside, the other on the outside.

Don Alden, The River, oil on canvas, 24" x 30"

One is a place where he looks inward, the other outward. What could make more sense than that? Why wouldn't we all be doing that? Balance. Completion. Indeed, Don Alden's paintings are about being whole. Holistic.

Don Alden, Winter Shadows, oil on canvas, 30" x 40"

Don Alden is a graphic designer by training and by trade, but in his heart he is a painter. Painting is where he goes to get away, to be himself, to be by himself, to heal, to commune, with nature, with the universe. He can look harder and deeper. He can ask questions and even get answers. He can find sanctuary, he can find light, he can find peace.

Don Alden, Silver Lake, oil on canvas, 24" x 30"

Landscape painting came naturally to him when he started painting. His home backed up onto conservation fields, as pretty an expanse of nature as you could ever dream of. It spoke to him. It called him. As an athlete he spent so much time running and cycling and training as a guest in this halcyon paradise.

Don Alden, Old Sudbury Farm , oil on canvas, 39" x 40"

As a visual person, honoring that paradise was a no brainer. It was a simple act of gratitude, adoration, homage. Humility. Humbled by the magnificence of it all. That he could be a part of it. That every day he woke up and it was just there, waiting, alive, full of energy, beauty, power, mystery and majesty. It showed him something new everyday, taught him something new. He got to feel it, love it, and know it.

Don Alden, Red Blue Red, oil on canvas, 20" x 20"

Abstraction was something else all together. Strange. He didn't know the first thing about it. About its history, its development, its pioneers, its standard bearers, its heroes. He barely knew where to start. Which foot to put forward. A landscape was right in front of you, and if you looked hard enough and long enough, it would guide you. It would show you the way. The rest was up to you. Abstraction had no such road signs. It was all up to him. He was completely in the dark.

Don Alden, Silver Linings, oil on canvas, 16" x 20"

But over the last twenty years Don Alden has kept at abstraction while painting and selling his landscapes. Those abstractions were a curiosity to his friends and clients. Don's quirky side. His personal side. A strange and curious but forgivable eccentricity. Don Alden is also a business man. His abstractions not only revealed an impractical side, they exposed it. What did they mean? What was he trying to accomplish.

Don Alden, Elevated, oil on canvas, 12" x 20"

By learning the language of abstraction he discovered its poetry, and who has time for that? In the business world this is nothing but a can of worms better left sealed tightly closed. You start contemplating abstraction, or poetry, and the next thing you know you're out of a job.

Don Alden, Fortitude, oil on canvas, 16" x 20"

Don Alden is no longer a stranger to the language of abstraction, or its poetry. It is there for him the way the landscape is. A place where he can find energy, beauty, power, mystery and majesty. A place where he can find peace.

Don Alden, Circling Swirl, oil on canvas, 40" x 30"

Addison Parks
Spring Hill

Don Alden, Blue Green Bliss, oil on canvas, 16" x 20"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great piece! Wow!

Rick Wise