Art Form & Inspiration
What a joy it is to be an artist! Drawing from many years of hiking western lands, of experiencing beauty both lush and stark, I am humbled by the opportunity also to experience the landscape through the tip of a brush and the stroke of a pencil. The process celebrates my Creator and provides an opportunity to advocate for the preservation of His creation in its pristine, natural state.
It is a special privilege to engage this process in watercolors on wilderness trails, where I am enveloped by nature in all its solitude and changing beauty. That immersive experience of place carries me back to the studio, where I work on larger pieces based primarily on the field paintings and the deep imprint of my emotional memories of the land.
Larry Hughes is a Memphis-based artist working primarily in watercolor, drawing media, and oil. With deep roots in Arizona and California, his primary artistic interests turn to western wilderness areas, particularly the Grand Canyon, the Sonoran Desert, the Guadalupe Mountains of west Texas, and northern New Mexico, where he works en plein air to support later studio work.
Now transitioning from a ‘day job’ career in exploration geophysics to full-time art, Mr. Hughes couples his scientific experience with an aesthetic perspective to capture the essence of western lands—not just their appearance, but their heart and soul.
His current series include the diverse landscapes of Guadalupe Mountains National Park, “rimscapes” of ecology right at the edge of the Grand Canyon and the problematic imprint of man on the land in the oilfield ghost town of Penwell, Texas.
His paintings have won awards and hang in multiple collections. He has been selected for Artist-in-Residence tenures at two national parks in 2014 and 2015.