Updated: Oct 28
Exhibiting: Bill Hester Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM
About this oil: This was a very enjoyable subject to do and particularly on this larger scale. It began with a number of very long, vertical strokes, more than are necessary, with some eliminated later. It’s a bit physical covering a canvas of that size with these long strokes and even more so because at this early stage there is an impatient urge to quickly see what will happen!
Indicating a few leaves came next and mostly in dark colors. After a pause, that’s when I first got the idea of where this oil was going. Things looked pretty austere at that point, a concept that really appealed to me so I continued the oil in that fashion.
The trees were sketched in but the background was a complete unknown. There was no plan, and lacking any other idea, a number of different colors went in. It was as if I was happily following along with the trees and bringing interesting strokes of color into the mix.
There was a point when the red and golds became prominent in the leaves and from there a direction came forth. This painting is a design rather than a scene and compositionally, it is free to project the spirit of these trees with shape, texture and color. To continue the austerity and enhance the reds, I kept the leaves to a limited group of colors.
There was a point when the trees seemed to come alive, reaching beyond the top of the picture frame while barely attached to the colorful earth at the bottom. This grouping is as one, in sync as it moves upward and with the leaves gracefully moving together in the breeze to the right.
There was no rush to finish and I liked coming into the studio over the following weeks to just explore it and consider other ideas to make it better.
I was constantly carried along in this act of creation with these trees and happily, I was given permission to slip in between them and add whatever background colors I liked.