Landscape painting of Inglewood 9th Avenue Bridge Calgary

Exploring the Captivating World of Landscape Paintings: From Nature to Urban Vistas


Recently I challenged myself to create some urban landscape paintings for a group show called "Flip The Script" Reimagining Fort Calgary" at Fort Calgary. Many people asked why I would change from painting natural landscapes. Well, the answer was really in the theme. Reimaging Fort Calgary meant the invited artists would contribute to improving this historic landmark by participating in this significant group exhibition. The story of Fort Calgary would be expanded into an inclusive story of the past via the distinctive viewpoint of local artists. I wanted to tell the story of echoes of the past and present in the Fort Calgary area, and in doing so, I wanted to paint the serene historic-like scene of Fort Calgary or ghosts from Fort Calgary's past with the modern-day city centre in the background. This made me contemplate what classifies as a landscape painting? Does it need to just be a natural scene?

Landscape paintings have been a source of fascination and inspiration for art enthusiasts and casual observers alike throughout history. These masterpieces capture the beauty and essence of our surroundings, inviting us to immerse ourselves in the world the artist envisioned. Whether depicting serene natural landscapes or bustling urban scenes, landscape paintings provide a window into the artist's soul and world. In this blog post, we will journey through different types of landscape paintings, from the tranquility of natural vistas to the dynamic energy of urban landscapes.

  1. Natural Landscapes:

a) The Tranquil Beauty of Forests and Woodlands: In paintings like "The Forest Stream" by Pierre-Auguste Renoir or "The Hay Wain" by John Constable, we find ourselves enveloped by the calmness and serenity of nature. These artists use lush greens, dappled sunlight, and meticulously crafted details to transport us to the heart of enchanting woodlands, where time seems to stand still.

b) The Majestic Splendor of Mountainscapes: Artists like Albert Bierstadt and Caspar David Friedrich have immortalized the grandeur of mountains in their paintings. The towering peaks, snowy crests, and cascading waterfalls in works like "The Rocky Mountains, Lander's Peak" and "Wanderer above the Sea of Fog" evoke a sense of awe and wonder, reminding us of the raw power of nature.

c) The Peaceful Serenity of Seascapes: Seascapes, such as those by J.M.W. Turner and Winslow Homer, capture the ebb and flow of the ocean with mesmerizing strokes. These paintings often evoke a sense of tranquillity, allowing us to escape into the vastness of the sea and contemplate its mysteries.

  1. Urban Landscapes:

a) The Hustle and Bustle of City Life: Urban landscape paintings, like "Nighthawks" by Edward Hopper and "Starry Night Over the Rhône" by Vincent van Gogh, portray the energy and vibrancy of city life. The interplay of lights and shadows, the kaleidoscope of colours, and the depiction of bustling streets draw us into the heart of urban centres, reflecting the dynamism and diversity of modern civilization.

b) The Historic Charm of Old Towns: Artists like Canaletto and Claude Monet have immortalized the historical charm of old towns and cityscapes. Through their paintings, we can appreciate the intricate architecture, narrow alleyways, and bustling markets that have stood the test of time.

c) The Industrial Landscape: During the industrial revolution, artists like J.M.W. Turner depicted the changing urban landscape, capturing the juxtaposition of nature and machinery. These paintings often comment on industrialization's impact on the environment and society.


Landscape paintings uniquely transport us to different worlds, whether it's the tranquility of a secluded forest, the majesty of towering mountains, the vastness of the sea, or the lively energy of a bustling city. Through the skilful use of colour, light, and composition, artists have created timeless works that resonate with our souls and stir our imagination.

Whether you prefer a farm or woodland setting's soothing embrace or urban vistas' dynamic charm, landscape paintings aren't always of natural scenes. There is a range of landscape paintings to create, and these many forms offer a glimpse into the diverse beauty of our world and the creativity of the human spirit. So the next time you encounter a landscape painting, take a moment to appreciate the story it tells and the emotions it evokes, for it is a testament to the power of art to capture the essence of our shared human experience.

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