THE LATER YEARS: BANDS OF COLOR, 1960 - 1975
During the last quarter century of his life, following the Second World War, Buff enjoyed his work and family. Although serious and focused, Buff had a generous heart for those close to him. He spent many casual evenings enjoying food and conversation with family and friends, and many mornings and afternoons painting in his studio. So engrained would Buff become in his work that his grandson, who affectionately called him “Gaga”, oftentimes had to lure him out of his studio to take a break for lunch. Through hard work and discipline, Buff had achieved his childhood dream to paint full time.
Buff’s later paintings continued to genuinely convey nature’s grandeur, weight, and intensity. The magnificent blue sky juxtaposed with its complimentary color orange consistently fascinated him. At the same time, his work evolved. Buff eliminated details and instead painted with thicker brush strokes creating broad color bands and basic interlocking shapes. Buff’s later work brings to mind his early oil experiments where he explored various color and area arrangements. For Buff, a shape’s visual strength and a color’s emotional and intellectual energy took precedence over all other concerns.
Landscape painting has been my favorite thing practically all my life.
But I found out that the way that I saw the landscape, especially the Western
landscape that I was so much in love with, wasn't the way the public saw it.
I just couldn't get interested in the verbenas and the sunsets. I kept on painting
these magnificent forms that I saw and that I was interested in, and I tried to
get the magnificent blues that we saw on the desert, which wasn't so easy to
harmonize with the rest of the landscape. And especially the wild country in Utah.
-Conrad Buff (The Art and Life of Conrad Buff, pg 69)