Traveling on foot, by raft or canoe, climbing mountains and weathering extreme climates, English artist Tony Foster creates watercolor diaries in the world’s great wildernesses. For more than 25 years, he has been painting large-scale works on what he calls “the edge of the world”. In this exhibition, Foster focuses his attention on two of the world’s most powerful subjects – Arizona’s Grand Canyon and Mount Everest in the Himalayas.
Foster has worked extensively at remote locations on the North and South Rims of the Grand Canyon, and at Mount Everest on the North Face, where hikers generally approach, and the even more remote East Face. He is believed to be the only artist to ever create paintings of Everest from the Nepal and Tibet sides of the mountain. The exhibition is the culmination of Foster’s travels to these breathtaking sites and includes 32 recent studies and monumental paintings.
Working in delicate watercolor, Foster blends the nineteenth-century traditions of British explorers, who made detailed notebook sketches of their travels, with a contemporary artist’s interest in working in a large-scale format. His largest watercolor paintings measure an astounding six feet wide, particularly impressive considering they were made on location. Appreciation for the difficulty of working on such a scale while on site, however, is secondary to the beauty of the paintings themselves.
Foster writes, “All of my work is based on the philosophy that our planet is a gloriously beautiful but fragile place, and that as an artist it is my role to deliver a testament to the fact that wild and pristine places still exist.”
Born in Lincolnshire, England in 1946, Foster is a Fellow of London’s Royal Geographical Society, where he has been the recipient of the Cherry Kearton Memorial Medal “for his artistic portrayal of the world’s wilderness,” and the subject of the documentary “The Man Who Painted Everest” (2006).
The exhibition is organized by Tony Foster, courtesy of the Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Support for this exhibition provided by Gerry and Bud Grout and Betty Lou Summers.
Left: Filming "The Man Who Painted Everest" at 13,400 feet (4084 M). Photograph © Kurt Ohms 2006. Right: Tony at work above Gokyo (17,500'), Photograph copyright © 2005 Mike Nathan.