Scott Thomas Balfe Hudson River School Landscape Painter

Scott Thomas Balfe was born February 1, 1958, in Cornwall, NY.  His work, shown in many galleries, has a following of collectors who purchase his paintings both for their intrinsic beauty and as investments in their future value as works of growing importance in the World of Art. He speaks about his process:

Interview With Scott Thomas Balfe:

I studied Church, Durand, Cropsey, Gifford, Bricher, as well as Cole.

For me 75% to 90% of a painting is the under-painting.   Because red and green are at opposite ends of the color wheel they compliment each other. And when I get close and have the painting just about orchestrated, I go in and add thin glazes to add a classic touch to the piece. There is something about glazing that finishes a piece.

It was the the same for many of the early painters, who used anything from coffee grounds to tobacco juice glazes to give warm tones. Today we have materials that simulate the warm tones. I like to keep my values close, and my colors clean. If you stain a canvas in red, then any time after you use red or green you have harmony, and you can get some beautiful subtle grays, in the same color keys, and you can slightly shift towards another color key.

I very rarely use blue as it is too cool for me. I go to the black family over a red tone, which, by the very nature of the color being surrounded by another, looks blue next to red. Sometimes I allow some of the undertones to come through the whole canvas from the sky to the landscape, giving unity throughout the piece so it hangs together as a whole; so that the land is not segmented from the sky and doesn’t look like the sky is in one key and the land in another.   I will even use greens — it is hard for the novice to think to use greens — in a sky. It is almost imperceptible, but it is there. A part of trying to create a whole is you have to paint it — the unity. The glaze creates the tonal unity.   It puts the entire painting under one veil, but it is not a means to an end. You can’t paint a bad painting and expect the glaze to fix all the problems.

What I would say about painting for me is that when I paint in the field, I try to create something that is partly what I see and partly what I would like to see, or where I would like to be, and for me in doing this I am creating my own handwriting in oil paint.”

Exhibits, Honors and Publications


St. Hulbert’s Giraldi, NJ

Waterfowl Festival, 1992-1999, Easton MD

Yankee Heritage Art and Nature Festival, Sutton, MA

Hudson River Wildlife Festival, 1995

Regional Featured Artist, Kingston, NY

Southern Maryland Wildlife Festival  1992-1995, Waldorf, MD

Southeastern Wildlife Exposition 1992-1996,  Charlestown, SC

Birds in Art 1998/Artists View 1993, Leigh Yawkey

Woodston Art Museum, Wausau, WI

Florida Art Exposition 1997, Orlando, FL

The Great Northern Catskill Bear Festival 1998, Tannersville, NY


Ridgewood Art Institute, First Grand National Jury Show, Council of American Artists Award, February 1995


Sotheby’s Olana, Home of Frederick Church, Hudson, NY

Guernsey’s Auction, New York City, NY


Kaatskill Life, NY, A Regional Journal, Spring 1995

Hudson Valley Magazine, NY, February 1994

Plein-air Painting, Summer, 2010