Alden Mason has participated in the Northwest art scene for over half a century. At age 90, the prolific artist continues to create works of art in an ever-evolving style that reflects his active imagination. Mason, who grew up surrounded by the fertile landscape of the Skagit Valley, still paints with a fresh childlike wonder reminiscent of such youthful experiences as bird-watching.
Over the years, Mason has created a world of lyrical inventions. His soft-focus paintings move between abstraction and an iconic language of mark-making where primitive style figures and birds populate energetic picture planes. His imagery is distinct and unique, with playful and humorous gestures found in the current paintings.
Dedicated to change, improvisation and spontaneity in his mature years, Mason has incorporated the element of chance into several of his new pieces by drawing with his eyes closed. His latest paintings, created with watercolour and oil stick, move away from the fluid oil paintings from the 1970s which had brought him national attention. Mason was forced to abandon oil painting when the medium affected his health, but has recently revisited the technique using acrylics and varnishes. Burpee Revisited captures all the fluidity of his linear works without a firm distinction.
Mason received his BFA and MFA from the University of Washington and continued to teach at the University for 32 years. He is to be admired for his artistic dedication, willingness to reinvent himself, and his commitment to an authentic vision.