Painted Tree Branches
Painted Branches: Gouache and Oil Pastel: 21″ x 13″

I started to look back for when my current work began to show at the Open Studio. Not that I can really ever pick a particular point in time since artwork is a spiraling process. Some parts come from one time, others from a different one. Of the work still in my studio, this piece is as close to the source as I can get.

Looking at Media

This piece is done in gouache which is an opaque watercolor. After this series I wanted more translucence and shifted to regular watercolor.

This is also where I started using a latex masque to create white lines to separate areas of the image. I started adding the oil pastel to get more energy in the marks than I was able to with the flat paint. I shifted to colored pencil when I went to regular watercolor because the oil pastel was too heavy.

Looking at Content

This was the start of my drawing trees without leaves. I was working on Maui, many of the trees I was looking at had leaves on them. I just kept stripping them off in my paintings. I was much more fascinated by the shapes of the branches. Whole trees were just too dense and complicated.

Themes Over Time

One of the things about being a mid-career artist is seeing themes move in and out of my work over time. Trees have had my attention in several media over at least fifteen years. It’s not just the shapes and patterns, it’s also all the metaphors of roots, trunks, and branches. They are endlessly fascinating.

What holds your attention?

Someday I have a dream of care-taking a huge tree. Doesn’t seem like I would actually own it if it had been living on the place I purchased for hundreds of years. In the meantime I will continue painting, photographing, and visiting them.

Is there anything that has captured you for many years?

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4 Comments

  1. Very cool painting especially for the felt sense of dynamism, movement, and dimension (other-worldliness).

  2. Very cool painting especially for the felt sense of dynamism, movement, and dimension (other-worldliness).

    • Thanks George. It has been interesting to pull this back out. I hope to get more of those qualities in my next batch of work as I move more fully into oil.


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