January 3 through April 30, 2019
A selection of landscapes from the brush of Bob Schmitt
Minnesota brush painter Bob Schmitt brings landscape paintings capturing iconic Minnesota scenes interpreted through his training in and practice of Chinese brush painting.
Included in this exhibit is his monumental 5-panel depiction of Minnehaha Falls in winter.
Words from the Artist:
painting the presence of place
“I have left off all devotions and prayers which are not required for me, and I occupy myself solely with keeping myself in God’s holy presence. I do this simply by keeping my attention on God and by being generally and lovingly aware of him. This could be called practicing the presence of God moment by moment, or to put it better, a silent, secret and nearly unbroken conversation of the soul with God.
“Sometimes this conversation gives me great contentment and inner joy. But it also often gives me outward joy that is so great, that in order to restrain it and keep from revealing it, I am forced into childish actions that appear more like madness than devotion.”
— The Practice of the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence
There are so many words and frameworks one can use to explain spiritual experience. For me being outside in almost any setting is a sacred experience. As an artist and a writer, I find myself pondering how is the spirit present here today. What can I feel of the divine in this particular place and time? I try to listen deeply not only with my ears, but also with my eyes and my heart. And attempt to etch that onto my soul. My art is the tangible evidence of that experience.
— Bob Schmitt
the artist’s process
I am often asked if I create these paintings on site,
sitting by the falls or the lakes.
I do not.
They are not created on site.
They are paintings from my memory of these places.
They are not photographic in the sense
that you could actually go and find these exact locations
as I present them.
My goal is to capture the essence of place as it lives in my memory
and hopefully to touch that place where it lives in your memory.
If I am successful, they may evoke a sensation that feels more real
than if they were photographic representations.
— Bob Schmitt
Brush painter Bob Schmitt is a Quaker and a student and teacher of Chinese calligraphy and painting who lives and paints a stone’s throw from Minnehaha Falls. He began brush painting as a 12-year-old watching public television and has studied weekly with a Chinese painting master for over 20 years.