The Intimate Forest

A Celebration of the Beauty of Nature in Oil Paintings by Harlan


About these paintings


While not obvious all these paintings are signed. I've never been fond of artists' signatures that stick out like a neon sign. My signature is always placed to be part of the painting, to commune with Nature, to not distract from the beauty I try to capture with my brush.

I paint very well. While I am inclined to believe I am quite an excellent painter I am not referring to my artistic achievements in that statement. Rather I am referring to the technical side of oil painting. I took great pains to learn how an oil painting is "constructed" as a physical object. A great many artists experimented with various techniques to find those that produce a lasting painting. This knowledge was valued and passed down for many years until it reached the mid 1900 and suddenly it was more important to be doing something different and concerns about the permanence of the work were no longer deemed worthwhile. I reject that attitude.

I believe that issues of permanence are important and especially so if the artist believes their work will have lasting value and meaning to future generations. I also believe that when a patron invests in a work of art they should not have to have it restored, perhaps several times, within their own lifetime. Talent and imagination are no excuse for bad technique. There isn't one major painting from the last century that was produced with abhorrent disregard for permanence that could not have been painted with good technique. That they weren't causes me to disrespect the artists, their motivations and their work.

This is not Photo Realism. Trust me, it's not! I prefer to think of my style as "Sharp Focus Impressionism" a genre which technically does not exist save in my own mind. While I admire the skill that is necessary to do Photo Realism I find it barren of personality. I want to share with you the beauty I see in Nature with my impression of that beauty still attached.