On the face of it, featuring an artist such as Bryan Mark Taylor in our “In the Studio” slot seems a little incongruous. After all, the award-winning American painter, lecturer and inventor has made a name for himself traversing far-flung corners of the globe, capturing everything from Chinese fishing boats and Californian traffic to Indian markets and Cuban alleyways in his trademark blend of bold, saturated oils.
While Bryan might be more accustomed to jetting off with his paintbox and self-designed easel in hand (more of which later), he had to cancel a planned trip to New Zealand just as restrictions began and has instead enjoyed seeing out the lockdown at home in Alpine, Utah. It has allowed him to spend time with his wife and four kids, as well as put in the hours in his home studio. “I’ve actually had fewer distractions, so it has been a good time for me to focus on some larger and more complicated works,” he says.
He has still been able to venture out into the wilds, however, as his home city is located on the slopes of the Wasatch Range, part of the western edge of the Rocky Mountains. “Utah is a beautiful part of the world. It has five national parks and a diverse landscape so it’s giving me an opportunity to focus my efforts on subjects closer to home.”
That love of the great outdoors was instilled in Bryan from a young age. “As a kid, my early interest in landscapes grew because of my love of camping, hiking, and fly fishing with my dad,” he explains.
“Perhaps it’s the hunter-gatherer instinct and the desire to explore mountains, rivers, and deserts that cultivate a love of landscapes. I’m always excited to see what’s around the river bend or over the hill.”
Bryan has succeeded in keeping hold of that sense of child-like wonder and appetite for new experiences, which can be keenly felt in his oil paintings today.
What is most surprising, however, is that his choice of medium also dates back to childhood. While most of his peers were unwrapping bicycles or action figures, eight-year-old Bryan had asked his parents for an oil painting set for Christmas, which he used to channel his love of nature.
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