Frederick D. Somers
About the Artist
Frederick D. Somers, PSA, IAPS-MC, Eminent Pastellist
“I seek to bring to others an experience of the beauty of light as it bathes creation and to point them to a pathway that reaches into eternity.”
Fred visits the lush countryside, canoeing the rivers, walking through big woods, in every season and all kinds of weather. “Working outside is a source of intimacy (with the subject). I do small studies, pencil sketches, color studies, photography. Frequently things done on location become studies for other paintings, but I do most finished work in the studio.” In much of Fred’s recent work, water is evident in one form or another. “I think of water as a metaphor. It’s what it is and what it reflects…Water is how heaven touches earth.”
“My paintings are done from 15 feet away. I decide from that distance what I want to look at and then I move closer. The painting has to be exciting both from a distance and up close. In my paintings, I want the artist’s mark to be evident…I feel that words are a first cause in the creative act, just as they were for God the Creator in Genesis. We often give words to what we need to do before we can do it. Once I was in a place I know well but had never painted. It has a waterfall and a high canopy of thick trees. The light came through and touched one part. I didn’t know how to paint it until I realized “I’ll paint the light.” In the deep woods I was unable to paint until I had the words.”
Fred Somers has been painting full-time since 1975 at his farm-home-studio near Northfield, MN. Others say “His oil and pastel paintings, known for their peaceful sensitivity, reflect themes from the land.” Whether in intimate views of grass, rocks and water with reflections of light and sky, or in spacious vistas of the countryside he seeks to share the hidden places of nature. He now also brings his love of life to sensitive commissioned portraits.
Fred’s pastel paintings of the Big Woods State Park near Northfield were chosen for the 1996 Minnesota State Park Permit design. He continues to inspire others through his painting workshops in the U.S. and abroad. Since his designation as American Swedish Artist of the Year in 1984 he has continued to exhibit and teach in Scandinavia.