Hiking the Himalayas without Leaving My Chair

Fabric, color, light, beauty — Steve’s paintings capture the culture of life. Catching the Breeze, original oil painting sold; licensed open edition print at Great Big Canvas.

From Start Your Week with Steve, the free weekly e-mail newsletter of Steve Henderson Fine Art

Steve Says:

As my wife, Carolyn, will readily attest, I rarely give in to a cold. I prefer to work my way through it, but this last weekend, it being a holiday and all, I decided to do a lot of sitting which incorporated a mixture of reading with watching travel documentaries. 

Michael Palin’s Himalaya transported me, mentally, out of the chair and into Pakistan, India, Tibet, Kashmir, Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh — just typing the names re-whets my appetite for traveling to these countries. One of my first thoughts, outside of the actual exhilaration of walking these landscapes, is the desire to paint the beautiful, colorful people who so effortlessly incorporate textiles, texture, and fabric into their everyday life.

Take a look at Catching the Breeze, up above. Isn’t fabric amazing? It undulates gently in the wind, wrapping around its owner and dancing away within the space of a few seconds. There is a reason why I am drawn to creating figures in colorful clothing, surrounded by a landscape of light and reflection: it’s beautiful.

Many people have told me that they long to be the figure in the paintings themselves, and when they purchase the work and place it on their wall, they are. I have succeeded in transporting them to another place, a beautiful place, in much the same way that Palin squired me through the high mountains just this last weekend.

So many people have told Steve, “I am that person in the painting. You transport me there.” Ocean Breeze, original oil painting by Steve Henderson; licensed open edition art print at Great Big Canvas.

Carolyn and I have long dreamed of traveling to all of India, as well as its northern neighbors and the land of the Himalayas, for the express purpose of my painting the people in their sumptuous dress, set against their landscape. None of us know what the future brings, but if any of you know someone in the area who wants paintings like these done, and has the means or wherewithal to get us there, please give them my name.

I have no idea how it would all work out, but before you can fulfill a dream, you have to have the dream in the first place. So Part I is done.

Until then, I will continue to hike the area around me — much gentler than the Himalayas but wild in its own way — and paint the people and color who come into my life.

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