My work explores the relationship between humans and our environment – man-made and natural – by combining landscape painting with architectural elements and text. I am particularly interested in the interface between urban, rural, and wild in this era of rapid environmental change.

My newest work investigates construction in Seattle’s arboretum during SR520 bridge replacement and removal of the giant, never-used “Bridges to Nowhere.” Visually, few places show more disconcerting contrasts between the humming hush of dense green growth, and massive infrastructure development. Conceptually, these images juxtapose a wetland only 16 feet above sea level against highways and all that they imply: carbon emissions, climate change, habitat erosion, and eventual ocean rise.

I am influenced by the technical virtuosity and transcendent luminosity of romantics such as the Hudson River School painters. But my landscapes necessarily reflect contemporary interventions in the natural world, as seen by a contemporary eye.

Tamara Stephas
2015