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Starry Palouse

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  • The story behind "Starry Palouse"

     

    I painted this piece a few years ago as a senior in my undergraduate years at Washington State University. I wasn’t an art major, so every week I had to make sure to set aside time for doing art. This particular piece came out of a prompt to create a Palouse-inspired mural that never came to fruition. I painted this in my living room, so the scene wasn’t painted looking at any real scenes or photographs. Instead, I remembered the Starry Night-inspired WSU landscape which local artist Avi Datta created and which WSU released as a screen-saver a couple of years ago. Using Datta’s take on the classic Van Gogh piece, I created my own Starry Palouse from images I’ve logged away in my head. I’ve traveled to and from Pullman, across Washington state quite a few times, so the images from my head were quite vivid! I love road-tripping in the Palouse at night. You can see the stars for miles, silhouetted trees piercing the rolling hills reflecting the moon, and scattered houses with warm yellow-lit windows. I think Van Gogh would have appreciated the Palouse, too.
     
    This piece was originally done in acrylic paint in my artist’s sketchbook. It’s a bit of an outlier in terms of my larger body of work. Though I consider myself an (acrylic) painter, I usually paint on canvas, and not usually in such a loose style. But sometimes I just need a free, quick, and colorful release of creative expression.