December 8, 2011

A word about painting trees....

This trip I seem to be painting a LOT of trees - I'm trying to find the "bones".  These are such complex forms that they have to be simplified - I don't have all day you know - and the basic structure has to hold together.  Studying the Gestalt of the thing is important.  If the structure (drawing) is wrong, the painting on top of it will not hold together.  It is like putting siding on a house that is framed out of square - it just doesn't work.

John Carlson (Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting) talked a lot about the nature of trees, how slow growing trees (like oaks)  have more crooks and curls, faster growing trees  (like this Eucalyptus tree) are taller and the limbs straighter, and how no tree  ever grows straight up and down.  I am finding all of this out - tree by tree by tree.  I am doing a meditation on trees.  And this place certainly has a lot to meditate on.

Happy painting, everyone.


  1. Great advice Gaye...wonderful painting.


  2. I love trees! I think they are as different and unique as individuals. Great painting!