Visiting all 50 states of the U.S. is a goal for many people, but making the trip to each one isn't easy. However, even if traveling may be difficult, there are other ways to tour these places. Texas-based artist Emily Kenney celebrates the natural beauty of the United States by painting a landscape or seascape for each state.
The completed series, aptly entitled 50 States, depicts the scenery of California, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and more in Kenney's airy, impressionistic painting style. The artist was inspired to embark on this project after moving from Michigan to Texas in 2020. The limitations of the pandemic forced her to spend more time indoors, so she used her painting skills to travel to some of the most beautiful natural places across the United States. “I decided to create work that would bring the outdoors in, and document the beauty that can be found wherever you may live,” Kenney tells My Modern Met. This initial idea then blossomed into the 50 States series.
Since Kenney wasn't able to travel as much as she wanted to, she had to find other ways to sightsee. “I didn't set any specific requirements for choosing my state landscapes besides wanting to find the most beautiful, natural places (no cityscapes) that I could from each state,” Kenney continues. “I enjoy reading travel blogs, flipping through national park books, and I follow several photographers on social media whom I have asked permission to use their photos as painting references.”