Shannon Estlund
In my landscape paintings I use overlapping and contradictory information in order to incorporate multiple meanings, inviting the viewer to become an active participant in interpreting the work. Many of my paintings feature potential destinations in the far distance, inviting the viewer into the deep illusionistic space while simultaneously resisting entry with passages of paint that sit on the surface of the canvas or panel. The enamel paint that I use has a fluidity that allows me to work spontaneously, and it mixes and drips in ways that make the paint appear animate.

My work investigates the relationship between the individual and place. My subject matter focuses on unidealized natural spaces that lie outside of typical commercial use. Though they are beautiful in their way, the sites can also be uncomfortable or dangerous, and are not normally a destination for anyone. They tend to be overlooked areas near dirt roads and houses but outside of everyday human use. What these spaces have to offer is an aesthetic experience that allows one to exist in the moment, and a potential for exploration and adventure. They are spaces that are both real and imaginary, that are complex and difficult to move through, and function both as instances of actual sensory experience and metaphors for decisive moments in everyday life. I see my work as both a metaphorical “call to adventure,” and a means of subverting the more obvious value structures of capitalism, mass culture, and mechanized society by proposing the possibility of alternatives.