Wandering Soul

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  Based out of Sedona, AZ  

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” ~John Muir


Lydia Gatzow is a contemporary impressionistic landscape oil painter and plein air colorist, born and raised on Lake Michigan in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. In high school she spent a summer abroad in the south of France studying art and after that moved to Pasadena, California. She graduated from Pratt Institute of Art & Design, Brooklyn, New York, in 2015 with a BFA in painting, minor in art history and ceramics and has exhibited her work in juried group shows across the USA. Her paintings are primarily completed outdoors on site, drawing direct inspiration from nature. These plein air studies also inform her studio work. She sees her paintings as expressions of the beautiful and sacred energies that surround us at all times. She has a background in organic farming in Sweden and Vermont and is passionate about wilderness conservation, meditation, and yoga. Lydia arrived in the southwest, where she now lives and paints, after traveling North America in her 1982 VW bus with her partner Charles, where she painted in over 10 national parks, heritage sites, and forests. She has studied extensively with renowned landscape painter Bill Cramer, whom she considers to be her primary mentor. She enjoys studying landscape and portraiture with Gretchen Lopez, and is currently enrolled in Scott Christensen’s signature online course, “Adventure of Painting.” She is forever a student of both established masters and of Mother Nature. Lydia is currently represented exclusively by Mountain Trails Galleries in Tlaquepaque, Sedona, Arizona.

Artist Statement

Cast out into the wilderness, I discover my true self, beneath a tapestry of stars, within the grooves of a thirsty desert wash, and looking up towards cliffs that were shaped long before I existed. 

Many of us come to the desert seeking or longing for something greater than ourselves. There is a spiritual quality to be discovered here that I am always pointing towards in my work. I paint primarily outdoors on site, where I am guided by intuition, the elements of nature, and a profound appreciation for the red rock wilderness.  In using alla prima oil painting techniques, usually on hard surfaces, I am able to capture my discoveries and the fleeting moments that light and weather co create in a unified, harmonious, and expressive way. Living full time in Sedona and painting here almost daily has allowed me to connect deeply to this sacred and ever evolving landscape. I am drawn to both classic and overlooked scenes across Arizona and the Southwest, offering my unique vision and love for the miracle of life through paint. I hope to create a window into the very soul of the desert, leading us back to the desert, the landscape, and the wilderness within.



2020-2023 Workshops with Artist Bill Cramer, Signature member of Oil Painters of America

2015 BFA, Major in Painting, Minor in Art History & Ceramics, Pratt Institute of Art & Design, Brooklyn, NY


2024- Associate member Oil Painters of America
2024- Mountain Trails Galleries at Tlaquepaque, Sedona, Arizona


2023 Best Red Rocks, awarded by Tim Newton, publisher of Western Art & Architecture Magazine, 19th Annual Sedona Plein Air Festival, Sedona Arts Center, Sedona, AZ

2023 Honorable Mention, Main Street Quick Paint, 19th Annual Sedona Plein Air Festival, Sedona Arts Center, Sedona, AZ

2023 Honorable Mention, 4th Annual Prescott Plein Air Festival, Yavapai College Art Gallery, Prescott, AZ

2018 2nd Place Quick Paint competition, En Plein Air Painting Festival, Vermont Institute of Natural Science, Quechee, VT
2012-2015 Pratt Presidential Merit Scholarship, Pratt Institute of Art & Design, Brooklyn, NY


2023 “Open Portfolio: Lydia Gatzow,” December Interview with Sedona Monthly Magazine, Sedona, AZ

2023 “Wyatt Gallery features Lydia Gatzow,” The Red Rock News, Sedona, AZ
2019 “Creativity, Intentional Living, & Slowing Down; An Interview with Artist Lydia Gatzow,” The Good Heart Life Blog, Worcester, VT
2018 “Rendering Nature,” The Vermont Standard, Quechee, VT
2018 “Artistic Impressions,” Summer campaign, World Of interiors magazine, conde naste publications, UK


2023- 19th Annual Juried Sedona Plein Air Festival, sedona Arts Center, Sedona , AZ

2023- 4th Annual Juried Prescott Plein Air Festival, Yavapai College Art Gallery, Prescott, AZ

2023- Juried Members Show, Sedona Arts Center, Sedona, AZ
2023- Arizona Plein Air Painters Salon, Scottsdale Artists’ School, AZ
2021- Scapes and Scope: Visions of the Land, Sea, and Urban Space, Huntington Beach Arts Center, Huntington Beach, CA
2019 Landscape; Urban and Rural, The Brick Lane Gallery, London, United Kingdom
2018 En Plein Air Painting Festival Exhibition, Vermont Institute of Natural Science, Quechee, VT
2018 Fresh Perspective, Vermont Emerging Artists Juried Show, Frog Hollow, Burlington, VT
2017 Dark Matter, The s.p.a.c.e. gallery, Burlington, VT
2016-2019 Show14-show32, The Front Gallery, Montpelier, VT
2015 Blind Spots: Thesis Painting Exhibition, East Hall Gallery,  Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
2012 Speculative Alchemy, Live Artists Studio, Milwaukee, WI
2011 Further Painting Show, Heimbold Arts Center, Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY