1996 – Margaret Leonard and Phil Poirier

Margaret Leonard

Crooked Tree on Monhegan, 10" x 14"

Phil Poirier

"Wild River Idyll," Acrylic on board 24 " x 30 "

“I suppose I have always felt that if an artist has to talk about his work, he’s not doing his job. That said… 

In the past I have somewhat jokingly referred to my work as neo-luminism. Recently I have been revisting that term. I would like to make it stick.

Luminism in the 19th century had at its core the idea of the landscape imbued with light; the spiritual. It often made an attempt to place man within the landscpe, sometimes in a self conscious and ham-fisted way (for example, with a couple tiny figures sitting in the corner of a a spectacular scene, smoking a pipe). It’s as if by placing the people there, the artist was reassuring the viewer that, yes, it’s wild, but we have things under control…see, here are some PEOPLE! In calling up the term neo-luminism I am acknowledging my debt to my predecessors of the 19th century; acknowledging the draw of the spirit on man within the landscape. But I ask for the presence of man to be implicit with the presence of the viewer.We have gone to all the wild places, and have “tamed” them. Our judeo-christian heritage, with its insistence on our placement at the top of the ladder of evolution has allowed us to think ourselves as separate from nature. I suggest that we are in the process of growing up in terms of our relationship with our environment. We have come to a new sense of our connectedness. That connectedness is directly related to our ability to outgrow this notion of “separateness” from nature.

Much of my work eschews spectacular scenery. It doesn’t make constant reference to man and his works. It is about finding the spiritual in the distillation of simple, unspectacular scenes. Put simply: what you see and feel here is what you get. And if what you get is a yearning for a deeper connection with nature and spirit, then you share with me the thing that keeps me painting.”