Blog #15 Branching Out

Finishing ‘Eramosa River’ in my studio with acrylics, it was started on location in Rockwood On.

One subject matter that I can’t get enough of painting is trees. I find them to be so very beautiful with their varied colours, bark textures and shapes. Alive or even dead trees stand stoically at shorelines, pathways and gardens bringing drama to an outdoor scene. Initially I wanted to represent them in a realistic manner in my paintings. I often used watercolours to carefully recreate their delicate branches and leaves keeping true to their colours. Though the results were successful I began to have an urge to be more creative with my approach.

‘Eramosa River, Rockwood On.’ Acrylic on Gallery wrapped canvas 20″x16″

What if I became more stylized in my thinking? What if I used more dynamic colours? What if I took my painting of trees to new heights? My ‘what ifs’ catapulted me to look at trees in a whole new way, actually a bunch of new ways! I started by painting trees on location in acrylics. Wow what an exciting experience.

‘Lake Muskoka Sunset’ Watercolour Matted and Framed 28″x22″

I also went through my reference photos looking for inspiration and came across images I took while hiking in Phoenix. Desert flora is amazing. Then going to local woods and conservation parks offered me trees that were wonderfully diverse so I got to sketching. I heard somewhere that creating art is 90% looking and 10% doing. I feel that’s true. You really do need to see and know your subject before you can depict it in any artistic fashion.

‘Saguaro Lake, Arizona’ Acrylic on Gallery wrapped canvas 20″x10″
‘Winter Woods’ Ink and Watercolour Matted 24″x30″
‘Into The Woods Hillside’ Watercolour Matted and Framed 14″x18″
‘Lake Huron View’ Watercolour Matted and Framed 14″x18″

So it began, I opened up my imagination as I opened up my paints. Trees could now be purple or blue if I chose, skies could be orange and yellow. I was more focused on impact and creativity and less on reproducing exact reality. I started played with bark textures on their trunks and what can be seen in the negative spaces between their branches. The surrounding landscape could be impressionistic bringing in more options for shapes and colours. You could say I was really branching out!

To see these and other available paintings please go to my watercolour and acrylic galleries on this website.