Paradise, Paved: An Oil Painter’s Exploration of the Suburbs

Most landscape painters, including myself, focus primarily on bucolic nature, cityscapes, and scenes with nostalgic appeal. But what about all the views in between — the freeways, drainage ponds, subdivisions, franchises, strip malls, and office parks that make up most of our day-to-day experience?

There is a long-standing tradition of painters documenting the everyday scenes around them. In that spirit, over the last ten years, I’ve devoted time to painting Everywhere, USA: the suburbs.

More than once while painting this series, I’ve been asked Why would you want to paint that?

Plein air painting is all about sunlight. And the sun doesn’t just shimmer through trees and glint off waves on a lake. It also makes car bumpers gleam and plastic water slides glow. If beauty is not inherent in the built up, car clogged environment we’ve created, can I nevertheless employ my skills with light, color, and design to create an engaging painting of that landscape? Let me know what you think.

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“Anderson’s latest series marries the eye of a landscape artist to parking lots and strip malls in dignified idylls of concrete, glass, and the muted tones of the suburbs during the hours of long shadows.”

—Quinton Skinner, Minnesota Monthly

Suburbs Minnesota State Arts BoardMinnesota Legacy Amendment
Scott Lloyd Anderson is a fiscal year 2012 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is funded, in part, by the Minnesota State Legislature from the State's arts and cultural heritage fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.