Mary Opatz-Herges

Oil Painter from St. Cloud, MN

“One of my favorite quotes is from George Inness, the standard bearer for many landscape painters.  He was once asked, ‘What is it a painter tries to do?’ He answered, ‘Simply to reproduce in other minds the impression which a scene has made upon him. A work of art does not appeal to the moral sense. Its aim is not to instruct, not to edify, but to awaken an emotion.’ ”

To stir such an emotion in the viewer, I choose settings that are remote and enigmatic with little evidence of humanity and at times of day (twilight or dawn) when shadows are longest and color the richest.

Light is my most important ally. I use it to create places that are withdrawn, almost unknowable.  When the origin of light is screened from view it can make the whole scene secret, hidden and sheltered. When things cannot be clearly seen they can often best be felt. I beckon the viewer to come closer to explore in hopes of getting answers and explanations or as Inness would put it, ‘alluring the mind to regions unknown.’ ”