The Inspiration of Mountains

Painting what you love can be the easiest and hardest thing in the world. My paintings are more often than not inspired by great landscapes in far-flung corners of the world, or foreign species far from home. So it can often be hard to get true inspiration, that is not from a photo or a documentary. When the few chances do come along though, I do my best to embrace them.

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True inspiration or otherwise, one of my favourite things to paint are mountains. Mountains are a formidable and breathtaking sight worth capturing in a multitude of hues and brushstrokes. From ragged, snow-capped peaks to soft slopes and stunning rock formations, few places on earth feel so diverse to me. I spent a lot of time on my travels, before and after, wondering about what secrets mountains hold. I remember fondly looking back over my shoulder as the great sleeping giants melted into lilac-blues in the middle distance, the way the snow gripped the edges of almost vertical precipices.

Some of the beautiful and diverse Patagonian peaks

Mountains are my perfect canvas, made for producing thick brushstrokes and experimenting with different touches of the brush. Whether it’s windswept slopes of crumbling towers, few landscapes embrace me in the same way. If I want a holiday, it’s not a beach resort or a luxury city break, no. It’s mountains. Or, as Bilbo Baggins would fondly say: “Mountains, Gandalf, mountains. And somewhere where I can finish my book!

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The magnificent Torres themselves (middle right of the photo)

Historically, mountains are windows into the world. Many of them were thrust up by the unstoppable force of continents, others by deep fissures within the earth’s crust. The magnificent granite peaks of the Torres del Paine, though technically part of the Andes – the longest mountain chain on earth – were formed by a cataclysmic earthquake much later. In the park, whole hills and mountains appear to have been tipped sideways by these forces.

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It’s hard to capture the spirit of the mountain, I tried!

Mountains are, like any wrinkled palm, a map into our past, and a fond memory of the present.

Some of my own mountain memories. Here, there, and everywhere.

More Patagonia-Inspired Blogs:
Back to Patagonia
Photo Blog: Wildlife of Chile and Patagonia
Surviving Winter in Patagonia
Plein Air Painting in Patagonia
Cosmic Thoughts: Strange Worlds
Couples Travel: The Artist and the Writer
Art Diaries: Chilean Wildlife
Finding Darwin


If you like what you see, you can follow me on Facebook or Instagram (@chloewaterfieldart) to keep up with the latest in my studio. Hit the little ‘follow’ button on the bottom to subscribe to my blog. Thanks for reading! 🙂

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