"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" Francis Bacon 1561-1626

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Leaf of the Day: Two big trees, First Stages

I decided yesterday that I have not really made enough drawings or paintings which celebrate the trees at the Gardens. I have drawn the leaves and pods but seldom really addressed the grander aspects. For the bigger subject, I feel that a bigger canvas, well larger than a 9 inch square sketch book, is required, so with two spare 3ft x 2ft canvases, I spent the weekend planning two tree paintings.
I have gone back to look at my sketches and two particular trees stand out, the huge live oaks, particularly the one which overhangs the path to the White Garden and the solitary pine which grows near the South Woods Pavilion. The main preoccupation in the live oak sketches, which go back to last April, seems to be the twisting branches and with the little pine tree it was the silhouette, at one time set against a stormy sky. So, after much deliberation about possible colour, orientation and composition, I have decided on two very simple paintings which focus on the patterns of the branch structures, and looking up rather than looking down which is what I am normally doing.

Live Oak Sketches







The Live Oak near the path to the White Garden







Lone Pine Sketches







So today I am as far as this, below (not a brilliant snap), two canvases at the initial stages. I generally like this stage .. it always hold promise. The low flying aircraft with the paint drip in the first one will be a bird eventually ! The problem with posting work on the the blog is that there is no real sense of image size. The sketches look disproportionately huge and the big paintings very small but these below are 3ft x 2ft..

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