The rugged land of Texas’ Big Bend region is legendary. Towering mountains, austere desert, canyons, and rivers converge in a place of beauty, loneliness, and adventure. Fort Worth artist Dennis Blagg began painting landscapes from the Big Bend twenty years ago. His breathtaking, near-photorealistic portraits of this remote mountain desert are as big as the landscape itself—some of the paintings are ten feet long and four feet wide.
Through his work, Blagg brings the viewer both the beauty and the hostility of West Texas. Blagg has a fascination with and love for his "ever-changing" subject. "The desert represents a landscape of broken promise,” Blagg explains, “yet it is a place of vast spiritual content . . . an emptiness waiting to be filled . . . the Big Bend offers many faces to be painted."
For A Desert Journal, Blagg has chosen fifty of his most powerful color paintings and twenty black-and-white drawings and has written brief comments for each, offering insight into both the art and the land it captures. Ron Tyler of the Texas State Historical Association has contributed an introductory essay on the Big Bend.
What Readers Are Saying:
“The pictures alone are reasons enough to buy the book, but a very interesting introduction by Ron Tyler is another excellent reason. . . . a book to be proud of and would be a wonderful addition to a Texan’s home. Get a copy and enjoy the beautiful paintings of Dennis Blagg.” --Mexia Daily News
“The most elegant of the new Big Bend books is Big Bend Landscapes by Dennis Blagg.” --Abilene Reporter News
“His photographic realism in Big Bend Landscapes captures the expected panoramic sweep and dramatic features of the region.” --Dallas Morning News
“Blagg’s paintings do for the Big Bend area what O’Keeffe’s did for northern New Mexico. In his art, he captures not only the image of the landscape but also the spirit of the place. Many of the paintings have a magical feeling. The drawings are also very powerful depictions of the area. They are all the work not only of a talented artists but one who loves and understands the subject matter. His work goes beyond the mastery of technique.” --Enchantment
“The diversity of the country, the effect of light, and the astonishing formations of rocks and clouds are very well portrayed. In the vast panoramic views, the details are astonishing. The short explanations which accompany each picture are interesting and add personal note. But the paintings speak for themselves. They convey a spirituality and a passion for nature. The artist is a worthy successor of such giants of American landscape painting as Cole, Durand, Church, Kensett, and Bierstadt.” --SIDA
“Through his work, he brings the viewer both the beauty and the forbidding nature of West Texas.” --Texas Aggie
“Big Bend Landscapes is a breathtaking, coffee-table artbook of oil on canvas landscapes so captivating, they seize and hold one’s attention as surely as the finest of photographs. A joy to simply page through at leisure, each individual painting is enhanced with a brief but informative commentary in this outstanding and memorable collection.” --Wisconsin Bookwatch
“Stunning art on the Big Bend. An excellent coffee table book, Big Bend Landscapes will make anyone’s list of ‘must have’ books about the Big Bend.” --Big Bend Quarterly
“Fans of the Big Bend and lovers of fine landscape painting will appreciate the powerful paintings and drawings collected in Big Bend Landscapes. Blagg manages to convey panoramas with near-photorealistic detail without sacrificing rich, emotional content.” --Texas Books in Review