Oil landscape gallery motivates and inspires

HThe windgate visual arts west building was abuzz this past Tuesday while Peter Pohle’s, “From Countryside to Courtyard” gallery opened.

His plein air paintings, a French term for “out in the open,” were inspired by landscapes in Berlin, Ireland and Arkansas.

Pohle has been painting since 1986 and started picking up plein air in 1995.

He said it is different than other styles because, “You go right to the source, you aren’t painting from a photographic resource. When you paint from a photograph a lot of information in terms of colors and values no longer visible.”

The style of painting became popular in the 19th century, because when oil paints began to be sold in tubes. This enabled painters to carry the paint and take the studio with them.

Pohle said the art of plein air is, “trying to capture light, and how light and colors interact in nature. The teacher I had used to say, nature is your best teacher. Plein air is popular, but it is a skill that is not necessarily very easy to pick up right away.”

“When you go out in the open, you have an uncontrolled environment. You have to adjust a lot as the landscape constantly changes,” Pohle said. “In a way, as a painter, you have to compensate and use warm and cool to give the impression of light and depth. It’s not just copying what you see, but the interpretation of what you think and feel in nature.”

He said once his easel was knocked over and it broke. Although he didn’t like this style of painting at first, he continued, even while simultaneously working for Hallmark.

“I love the process and the momentum of the painting. In a certain emotional state we respond differently to an environment, a sunset, the colors in the sky. It becomes and intuitive process.”

“I’ve noticed the fastest paintings appear to me, the most true in terms of emotional quality. Not rendering all the detail, but capturing the impression,” Pohle said.

Sarah Riding, a senior illustration major, said, “I do my very best to get as many classes with him as I can. He is kind hearted and overwhelmingly creative.”

“If I were to choose one thing I admire the most, it would be his versatility. Not only does he do some amazing oil paintings, but he also works really well with gouache, colored pencil, ink, and a variety of other fine art mediums,” Ridings added.

The gallery will remain open till May 5th.