Deborah Squier

What motivates my painting is a passionate love and respect for the natural order of things…the mystery of life in all its manifestations. Growing up in New England I was constantly immersed in nature. As the youngest of four children, I accompanied my father regularly on plein air painting outings. While he wrestled with the elements on canvas, I dove headfirst into them. Along the Eastern seaboard I roamed among the elements, searching tidal caves and climbing the well defined planes of granite masses that were deposited by retreating glaciers. I delighted in savoring the natural world and was taught that this “stuff” was what life filters through and is the foundation of life regenerating itself.

Thus began my love affair with the earth’s elements and I felt it in a personal and visceral way. I often wondered at the end of the day, spent from exhilaration, how anybody could ever capture the experience of the earth’s offerings. This physical connection to the landscape was my apprenticeship and the real ground for the painting experience which I would take up later. Somewhere between the direct experience and the unknowable mystery is the source of my inspiration.

I would refer to my style as a “post-impressionism” although the label is not so important as deepening my direct experience or as gaining knowledge of the landscape and the earth forces that are at play in any subject I paint. Nature is my most important Muse. I am her apprentice. I try to be present with all my senses.

The painting process itself, then requires a lifetime of learning….learning about the subject matter, learning about the materials we use, learning about the light illuminating the landscape we stand in and learning how atmosphere changes day to day. It is this ongoing quest and thirst for the moment at hand that dazzles and confounds; this is why I paint.