© Five Crows, Natick Center / September 2012
Larry Grob

What is place? What is it about one place that can speak to our relationship with the entire world around us?

For me, it has to do with a kind of duality that is so well expressed through art. When I render a landscape, it says something about that particular location. It may convey stillness, inviting reflection. Or drama, showing the play of sun and clouds and changing weather. Or a clash of irresistible natural forces, as sea meets coast.

At the same time, though, that landscape says something about places all across this thin skin that surrounds our planet. The natural places we see are mere archetypes for the places we don't. A nd what they reveal to us locally can inspire connection to things and places well beyond our own horizon.

I like to think that artists see life through a particular lens. Mine helps me capture places that speak--sometimes with a shout, sometimes a whisper--about things we must better understand and consciously work to preserve. In my art, I hope to convey a sense of place that will help us be more thoughtful and approach our surroundings with a lighter hand.

I draw from a number of influences: graphic design, plein air painting, cartography, ecology, and nature spirituality. I work with dry pastels, my preferred medium. Pastels are immediate, direct, and easy to move around with in whatever outdoor place I find myself. Perhaps above all, they let me explore that area between too much detail and just enough.

The rich color and tactile quality of these delicate sticks let me build, layer by layer, the impression of what I see before me. It never ceases to amaze me what we can really see...if we just stop to look.