I began painting landscapes out of a longing to return to the comfort, mystery, and silence embodied in the land I knew as a child. I have alternately found myself living in urban and rural settings but regardless of my surroundings, I am compelled to paint land—either as a reflection of my environment or as a depiction of a memory.
It is always a meditation of sorts, recognition of the holiness inherent in the earth. I do not aspire to create paintings that directly represent or imitate my surroundings. I simply attempt to whisper faintly that sound I hear when I am in the right place.
After studying painting at New York’s School of Visual Arts, Megan Lightell returned to the rural imagery of her youth. Her work explores the complex, personal relationship humans have with land. In an increasingly fast-paced and technology-reliant culture, the simple, primal connection to land that sustains life is easily lost. Her imagery tends to lack manmade elements, allowing the viewer to experience a moment of reflection and solitude. She enjoys working with the slow, traditional materials of oil and canvas but approaches each image with a contemporary sensibility. Much of the focus of her life and work is on a connection to land, either in painting or in tending her family’s urban permaculture farm where they grow their own food year-round.
“Rather than painting solely from observation outdoors, working in the studio allows me to recall the resonance of a place, distilling the elements to their essence.”
~ Megan Lightell