Friday, August 6, 2010

Among the Trees

Among the Trees
36 x 48 oil

Yesterday, Howard and I, with our two dogs, hiked up to one of our favorite spots in Bozeman called Grotto Falls. Along the way we passed the stately giants of the National Forest, the pines. Through the years I have fallen in love with trees. Each one has such a personality: some lean to the left with lower branches touching the ground; some are straight as an arrow and then twist at the top. They are as varied and individual as snowflakes.

I didn’t always see the trees in this way. In my early years as an artist, drawing and painting people and animals were always easier for me than landscapes. As a child artist, I created each pine tree exactly the same. My little left-brain had found a symbol for the mighty evergreens and I used it over and over. As I artistically matured in my observations, I then saw too much! I looked at the trees, bushes and grasses in the fields as way too much texture! I was over whelmed with how to capture their nature and all those thousands of leaves! I sought advice from instructors and books. Little by little, and painful at first, I learned to observe these dense plants as I would a head of hair. Simplify! Look for form! Leave the texture as accents. Now I love painting landscapes, especially trees!

His Old Olive Tree
10 x 8 Oil

Welcome Arms
10 x 12 oil