Artist M. Graham Godfrey presents a collection of international landscapes that capture the spirit of the rural countryside. See more of his work by visiting his website.
After 50 years of growth and change, I am more aligned with my artistic vision than ever before.
I create oil paintings that take the viewer on a journey through colors, shapes, and light. It’s an experience they can enjoy again and again—a pleasurable escape from a complicated world.
My process is a result of observation and introspection. I lean toward the rural environment because of the humanity and deep-founded emotions that common life evokes in us all. I favor earth tones and like to use a limited palette which creates harmony and adds richness to my work.
My oils express the essence of life… Simplicity. Peace.
Early influences were the French impressionists and one Dutch artist by the name of Vincent Van Gogh. It wasn’t just the light and colors of the art, but the souls of the artists themselves captured on canvas.
As a young artist, I moved to the sunny tropics of Hawaii. By night, I waited tables for a posh resort. By day, I traveled all ‘round the Big Island with my French easel. It was a prolific period of seascapes, mountain vistas, rainforests, kama’aina (locals) and private commissions.
The ultimate artist’s life…for a while.
After several years, it hit me that I didn’t want to be 40 years old and still waiting tables. I moved back to the mainland and earned a degree in illustration from California College of the Arts. Decades of a commercial art career followed, supporting my true love of oil painting.
Or so I thought…
The lion’s share of my artistic focus had necessarily shifted from oils to commercial projects. Painting, sadly, became more of a hobby. But the real challenge was separating the two. Illustration by nature is detail intensive. Impressionism calls for a light, spontaneous touch, without much attention to detail.
More years passed before I realized I was artistically at odds with myself. Dissatisfaction with my paintings had become more frequent. I could feel something was missing.
I retired from commercial art and moved to Costa Rica… which was, in spirit, like returning to Hawaii. I hadn’t expected that. And I came to understand what had escaped me for so long—truth in, and dedication to, my artistic vision.
I revisited the works of those same French artists like Paul Cezanne and Georges Braque. I felt renewed appreciation at their courage to forge beyond impressionism and cross lines into cubism. It was the creative spark I’d been looking for. My impressionist style merged easily with cubism’s geometric shapes and sepia color schemes.
This fusion of styles allows me freedom to explore the beauty in the everyday. It’s fresh, open and true to my vision.
Costa Rica is an endless playground of the subject matter I love. The mountains, towns and villages, and local Ticos have rejuvenated me as an artist. I’m excited that ocean beaches, cliffsides, jungle scapes, fishermen and more are around the corner, waiting for me to paint them.
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