By Tom Campbell
Finding inspiration in an Indiana landscape isn’t a challenge for artist Dan Annarino. Sometimes it’s as easy as getting in the car and finding the roads less traveled.
“There’s a lot to work with out there,” said Annarino, a graphic designer in Purdue’s Department of Agricultural Communication whose responsibilities include designing Purdue Agriculture Connections.
"Brickhead Conversations" is a campus collaboration between renowned artist James Tyler and Purdue scientist Bryan Pijanowski. The professor of landscape ecology contributed some of his 750,000 soundscapes to the sculpture project designed to both inspire and intrigue the observer.
“People say Indiana is nothing but flat space, but I’m always amazed by what I see when I drive the back roads of central Indiana,” Annarino said.
Annarino has lived in the West Lafayette, Ind., area most of his life and enjoys spending time driving through the countryside, looking for landscapes that catch his artistic eye. He received his master of arts degree from Purdue University and has been painting landscapes for more than 40 years. He exhibits his work in various competitions, galleries and museums throughout the Midwest and maintains a painting studio in downtown Lafayette.
“I’m particularly interested in the relationships between sheds, barns, fields, crops, trees, roads, waterways, hedgerows, the horizon and the sky. The composition of the rural landscape and man-made structures have a graphic quality to them; the juxtaposition of the linear, gridlike elements contrasting with the natural forms create an interesting mix,” Annarino said.
Annarino feels there is a quiet beauty and a sense of nostalgia about the changing agricultural landscape that offers nourishment for the senses and the spirit.
“In my paintings I attempt to tap into that spirit, translate it, and share it with others,” Annarino said.
Annarino works primarily in a traditional medium — oils on canvas — creating unconventional landscapes through his use of color, design and composition. Featured here is a selection of some of his work from recent years as well as a few of the photographs that inspired the artist. We thought you would enjoy seeing what Annarino does when he isn’t designing the pages of Connections.
A selection of Annarino's work is currently on display at the Lala Gallery & Studio,
609 Main St., Lafayette.