Take a drive through the mountains, pay attention to the sky and you cannot help but think of the work of Tracy Felix. Felix's portrayal of light and clouds brings an unmistakable style to the landscapes he paints. Layer upon layer of oils are blended together to create incredible shadows and blocks between colors. Clouds are often formed in the shapes of marshmallows or cotton balls. Tiny details shape rivers and aspen trees. Brilliant whites create giant snowfields, lining the tops of some of Colorado's most iconic peaks. Felix's unique approach to the art of the landscape has carved quite the niche for the well-established artist.
Felix's work is highlighted in the collections of several of the most prestigious museums in Colorado. The Denver Art Museum, the Kirkland Museum, the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center and the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center are all wonderful locales to visit and see Felix's paintings.
Felix's work speaks not only to the beauty of the mountains he paints but also to the rich history of contemporary art in the west. Both the Hudson River School and the American Regionalist movement are ever present influences in his work. The Hudson River School, a mid-1800's art movement, is known for depicting the American landscape as a place where human beings and nature are able to peacefully coexist. Oftentimes the painters, headlined by Thomas Cole and Albert Bierstadt, would present an idealized portrayal of nature. Felix's stylized landscapes capture both perspectives. His whimsical approach provides a peaceful feeling to his work, while the animated style he paints with offers a very idealized view of the places he paints. The American Regionalist movement bridged the gap between realism and abstract expressionism in the 1930's. Given the fact that the peaks in Felix's work are often immediately recognizable, yet each piece as a whole is clearly not realistic, he walks this line perfectly. Marshmallow clouds don't really exist. However, in Felix's world, placing them floating high above Mount Powell, Mount Silverthorne or Mount of the Holy Cross makes perfect sense.
Felix says, "The landscape has been a favorite subject in art for thousands of years. Many artists have tried to capture the emotion they feel from nature and I, too, am exploring this long tradition with my paintings. I feel very much a part of nature and live in awe of it."
"I was born near the Sangre de Cristos Mountains in the San Luis Valley, Colorado and grew up under the looming summit of Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs. My whole life has been spent hiking and skiing in the mountains that I feel so much a part of. My paintings are all about expressing my love for the Western landscape. The mountain peaks, wild cloud forms, the expansive sky and incredible geology are all the ingredients I use to create a painting. I want the viewer to draw his or her own perceptions about my work from the paintings themselves. Everyone sees and feels something different in them, just as in nature."
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