The Art of Sandra Bowden
Sunset at Tower Road, oil on canvas, 11" x 14"

New Paintings by Rodney Troth

Please also see community events listed below:
  • Rodney Troth


"I love that moment when the sun dips behind a cloud low in the sunset or just when it goes below the horizon. The landscape lights up with a glow - a response. It's an inner light, tangible." -R.T.

On view July 28th – September 23rd at Signs of Life Gallery: over 60 works by Rodney Troth, a Baldwin City artist who captures the color and splendor of the Kansas landscape in both abstraction and realism.

About the ArtistAbout the Artist

Baldwin artist Rodney Troth captures the unique beauty of the Kansas landscape with both the emotive forms of abstraction and the detailed specificity of realism. Each area of visual expression reflects his passion for learning to see the natural world with both his heart and his mind.

This dynamic between freeform geometric shapes and faithful representations of the landscape first took root while Troth was studying architecture at the University of Kansas. He enrolled in a painting class taught by Robert Sudlow, one of Kansas’ most celebrated artists, and became enraptured while watching Sudlow paint the plains, prairies, and hills of Kansas, a fascination that inspired him to take Sudlow’s class for several years in a row. Although he eventually left KU his senior year, Troth continued studying with Sudlow while working in construction and as a purchasing manager for a local irrigation products company, often accompanying him out into the Flint Hills to paint side by side. Sudlow also encouraged Troth to read the Mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting, a classic manual of traditional Chinese brushwork that teaches artists to respond to what they see intuitively, as if having a conversation with the landscape.

It was also during this time that Troth discovered Abstract Expressionists like Robert Motherwell, Franz Kline, and Mark Rothko, and began experimenting with the creative possibilities of Abstract Expressionism, an art movement that emphasized automatic, gestural expressions. It is perhaps Rothko’s works that seem to surface the most in Troth’s strata paintings, which feature bands of color that seem to hum together with their bold hues and softly uneven edges.

Troth’s strata paintings and realistic landscapes aren't unrelated; often the bars of color in his abstract works mimic segments of land-and-sky horizons in his larger-than-life landscapes, which include oil-on-canvas works, watercolors, and chalk drawings. He finds the inspiration to create both types of work during his drives out into the Flint Hills or to areas south of Clinton Lake, where he stops and makes sketches of different spots, eventually settling in one place to plunge in and paint the natural beauty around him. “I let the day dictate the palette,” he says. Additionally, Troth enjoys visiting museums where he studies works by Old Masters; he has spent hours in front of the Monet paintings at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Troth’s adeptness in both abstraction and realism reflects his fascination with fully capturing the beauty of the Kansas landscape, where the passage of time, changing lights, and vivid colors create an endless source of inspiration.


Dear Old Kansas Show Card
Strata #68 , Wabu, Early Evening, oil on canvas, 48" x 58"

Upcoming Events

Troth will also participate in a question-and-answer session with gallery visitors in association with the Landscape and Light exhibition Friday 7:30 p.m. September 15 at the gallery.