Local landscape artist folllowing in footsteps of the greats

This is an example of the artist's work.

An established U.S. landscape painter who left all to live and work in Costa Rica has a show starting Saturday at the Hidden Garden Art Gallery west of Liberia.

He is Joseph E. Kaknes, and the exhibition is titled “Passion as Color: Guanacaste 2011.”

Kaknes said he worked for 10 years alongside great landscape painters Robert C. Gruppe and James P. Kerr in the United States.

“Once I started to paint in Guanacaste, I realized that it would be best to cut my ties to the art industry in the States so I closed my gallery and the studio, moved to Islita, and threw myself into my work here with missionary zeal,” he said. “When an artist cuts his prior ties and goes to a foreign land with the sole purpose to push themselves and their paintings, they blossom. It happened to Van Gogh and to Gauguin and it is happening to me in Costa Rica. Here I am alone to press the limits of color and light while developing a passionate style of painting that is solely my own.

The artist picked 30 works that he says gives an overview of what he is trying to achieve.

“Much influenced by the bold brush strokes and expressive effects of the post-impressionists, Kaknes has nonetheless developed his own style, portraying sea- and landscapes from his native New England or his new home in Islita, Costa
Rica,” said fellow artist Victoria Longland.

The show opens at 10 a.m. Saturday at the gallery which is 5 kilometers west of Daniel Oduber airport.

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