“Light gives life.
And, within all things there is an underlying spiritual component.
Those two truths are the foundation of my art. I strive to capture the true essence of the place by seeing and feeling the divine in nature. By painting frequently on location, my relationship with nature is strengthened and I gain deeper insights. These field studies painted en plein air are about responding to the moment and capturing the natural harmonies of light and color. From these studies, I develop larger studio works which go beyond the spontaneity of the plein air pieces to elaborate on those deeper connections. Rather than painting a literal depiction, the paintings are emotional responses. Of greatest concern is capturing the spirit of the landscape.
To create a painting that feels like nature is different than a mere depiction of every detail. What I leave out of the painting is just as important – if not more so – than what I put in. It is like good jazz music or a good poem. I don’t try to tell you everything I know in each painting. I don’t care to paint every superfluous detail, every blade of grass, or every leaf on a tree. Through the expressive qualities of paint, I suggest rather than explain; leaving room for you, the viewer, to delight in discovery and to respond in a very personal manner.”
Keith Bond’s peaceful and contemplative oil paintings capture the spirit of the landscape. He prefers unscathed pristine scenes of nature, but also delights in ranching/farming scenes that show man living in harmony with nature. Through painterly application of the paint (an artsy term for visible, juicy brushstrokes), he captures the textures and essence of a location without getting bogged down in unnecessary detail.
If you frequent backcountry hiking trails, you may be lucky enough to stumble upon Keith painting en plein air (a fancy French term for “on location”). Feel free to say “Hi” and watch for a few minutes.
Next time you layover in Salt Lake City, plan enough time to take a tour of the Utah State Capitol Building. Within the Senate Chamber, you will have to crook your neck a bit to see 2 large murals that Keith painted. They span the concave transition space between the wall and ceiling (about 30 feet above the floor). The view of the murals is usually more interesting that what is happening on the Senate Floor.
Additional monumental scaled murals (as well as other paintings) by Keith adorn the walls of several Temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (From Guatemala to Canada). It is true that you need to be a member of the church to go inside and see them. But, any missionary can help you overcome that little hurdle. They are easy to spot – in pairs, wearing white shirts and ties, and riding bikes.
Although he majored in Marketing at Utah State University (Go Aggies!), Keith preferred going to his art classes (enough for a minor). And after a short stint working as an assistant gallery director at a fine art gallery in San Antonio, Texas he took the leap of faith to pursue art full time. That leap eventually landed him in Wellington, Colorado where he now lives with his wife and six (6!) children. And yes, he is able to get work done between piano lessons and soccer games.
View the finished piece: