Saturday, January 24, 2009

Early Morning Tree

Oil on canvas
16 x 12

No mythology, mysticism or any other m-words today, just a picture of a tree. This time its early morning, the sun is just rising and the ground fog is burning off. That's actually one of my favorite times of day, if only it didn't come so early. Well, you can't have everything. I'm not really sure what to say about this painting. It's not earth shattering in composition, color, paint handling or anything else for that matter, but it does do what I wanted it to do. It gives that feeling of the early morning quite when the world is just waking up. At least I think it does. One comment I should make is that, on my screen at least, it's coming out a half step lighter and higher in chroma than in real life. The coloring is really pretty subtle. One of these days I'll figure out the differences between all these picture programs.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Lone Oak

Oil on Canvas
12 x 16

I used to think a tree was just a tree. Then I grew older and possibly wiser, and found that trees were much more. At one time I was real big into bonsai trees. I still am but not to the same extent. There's a distinctly romantic component to bonsai. One tree is supposed to represent all of nature. Ideally it will take you away to a place.

Many bonsai artists also begin to dig into some of the folklore regarding trees. Let's take a brief look at the oak. The oak was considered the cosmic storehouse of wisdom by the ancient Celts due to its growth and expanse, and was honored for its endurance and noble presence. The wearing of oak leaves was a symbol of honor in several cultures such as the Greeks and Romans and is even continued on today in military medals (oak leaf clusters in lieu of duplicate medals). Sometimes the name druid is traced back to the Celtic term for the oak, duir. The usual translation for duir is door though. According to lore the spiritual Celts would "access the ethereal planes of higher thought" (visions and such) by "opening the oak door." Further merit was given the oak as a consequence of it's apparent ability to attract lightning. Personally I'm not so sure I would consider this a plus especially if I were a tree, but then I'm not a druid. The oak is said to represent "all that is true, wholesome, stable and noble." So if you're having a rough day picture the oak and draw into its strength.

Not much about art today I'm afraid, but maybe this was interesting anyway. So what do you think of all this? Does this painting give you any of those feelings? Nobility and strength cutting through the mist maybe. If it doesn't I guess I screwed up or maybe sometimes a tree is just a tree.

If you're interested in the symbolism of trees and other assorted things you might want to drop by

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Oil on Panel
5.5 x 12

Let's get back to some of these little landscapes I mentioned a while back. I've tried to stay away from the pretty, calendar art landscapes in my work, but I find that the last three I've done are just that, two sunsets and now a sunrise. This is the flashiest of the bunch, and as such it almost makes me cringe. Well, if the Hudson River painters could do it, I guess I can too, at least I can try and see how well they are received.

I thought I had more to say about this, but I can't think of what it would be. So there you go, first post of the year.