David Rothermel succumbed to the Southwest’s magnetic pull in 1987 after tackling a pivotal and dramatic landscape, “Silent Crescendo.” “With that painting,” he says, “I knew I’d arrived at my own voice, and it happened so easily, it came out like butter.”
That decisive, 7-by-5-foot oil would go on to become the poster that celebrated New Mexico’s 75th anniversary of statehood. And for Rothermel, having tackled some major personal conflicts and thus temporarily abandoned his fine art career to paint billboards, the creative floodgates were reopened.
Today, the onetime student of minimalist Brice Marden paints in stages, mainly in studio, with mixed media. In my feature article (October, 2010 issue of the Artist's Magazine), he demonstrates his use of fluid watermedia, textures derived from pastels, and vivid color to produce landscapes that strike a balance between the intense and serene. Magical!