“Mountains to Coast represents a collection of my favorite subjects to paint. I have found the mountains of Tennessee, the coastal areas of Maine and the Carolinas and American historical sites inspirational. My work reflects the cultural, spiritual and natural environments of these areas. These paintings span more than ten years of reflecting on what I have seen and want to communicate to the viewer,“states Tennessee watercolorist Denton Ridge in reference to his exhibit at the Customs House Museum.
Denton Ridge attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and is an associate member of the Tennessee Watercolor Society, the American Watercolor Society, and the Association of Visual Arts of Chattanooga. He has worked with water media for more than twenty years, experimenting with both dry and wet rush techniques. His method of drybrush is to splay out the hairs of the brush with little water and apply more color to control the details in the painting. The method is done over watercolor washes that closely resemble the color values desired.
Ridge’s work is heavily influenced by that of Andrew Wyeth and Winslow Homer. Like Wyeth, Ridge’s suite of landscapes does not have any figures shown, but a presence of life can often be perceived. Denton loves traditional and natural subjects; consequently he applies a great deal of earth tones in order to recreate the rugged shores, rocks, and vast terrains of Maine and the southern coastal life. There are elements in the subject that have both light and shadow and areas of precise visual detail. After hours of sketching and painting, the final image often reflects a solitude, stillness, and sometimes mystery, along with an element of comfort and familiarity.