Brian M. Hart, Painter

Growing up in the Finger Lakes region, I have always found the rolling hills, steep valleys, deep blue lakes and small cities compelling. As a high school student in the 1980s, I recall my friends and I packing up towels, Frisbees and radios for a trip to Emerson Park on Owasco Lake on many summer days.

Nearly 20 years later, I now have a home in Corning. Living in the opposite corner of the region, I find my interests have shifted from tanning oil to oil paint. I spend much of my time trying to capture the drama and beauty of the lakes, each with their unique landmarks.

My desire to catch Finger Lakes trout has lead me to discover magnificent views that have lead to some of my best compositions. Crisscrossing between Keuka, Seneca and Cayuga lakes each fall and spring has provided me with far more paintings than fish. As an artist working in the area, views of Taughannock Falls, Keuka Bluff and Cornell University at sunset have been very inspirational.

Further inspiration comes from living in close proximity to the Rockwell Museum of Western Art. The work of artists such as Thomas Moran, Albert Bierdstadt and Clyde Aspevig have been influential in my own work. At times, a painting may call for the painstaking detail of Bierdstadt or the powerful marks of Aspevig on others. If only painting was as easy as these masters make it appear.

This summer I chose to work exclusively on subject matter from the region and something unexpected happened. Rather than feeling satisfied in capturing my favorite views in oil, I was left with the feeling that there is much more to do. Every time I drive down a country road I seem to find a new stretch of shoreline or undiscovered waterfall that needs to be painted.

Brian is a well-respected artist who is gaining national recognition because of the work he has done for the national Arts for the Parks show, placing in the top 100 from thousands of entries. Brian is represented by the West End Gallery in Corning. He will be appearing in their Fall Exhibit starting September 19, along with two other artists, Barbara Coulter Baldwin and David Higgins. Visit the gallery at 12 West Market Street or call (607) 936-2011. You can also visit their website at www.westendgallery.net