I was in my Mom and Dad's house the other day. My Mom was showing me the new king sized bed they just bought. I was looking around the room and I noticed a really simple painting of a forest with a few birch trees in the foreground. It wasn't anything fancy but it was nice. I kept looking at it because it seemed very familiar to me but I couldn't remember why. Then, of course, it dawned on me. It was mine.
I am the kind of person who has nearly killed myself by driving off the road or into oncoming traffic because of a really cool tree or animal or cloud I see while I am driving. I love driving down windy roads to see barns falling down with vegetation growing through the roofs. I will pull over to the side of the road to take a photo of a gnarly tree standing alone in a field or a herd of cows grazing. Cloud watching is particularly dangerous as is watching Great Blue Herons fly lazily across the sky.
When I paint, I don't go in for details much with something like a bunch of trees. I figure people will see trees if the coloring resembles trees. I completely admire artists who can create with such amazing details everything about a tree. A birch tree has such amazing character in its otherwise plain and unremarkable bark, a simple light vs dark composition I like to play with. I often find an exercise in painting birch trees to be very calming and relaxing. On the other hand, there have been times when I have gotten very frustrated with my inability of painting one well. I suppose that can happen with almost anything.
This painting was a little 4x6 wooden block of the trees surrounding the Scarborough Marsh in the fall. I had taken a bunch of photos for a commission piece and this one caught my attention. The marsh gets wonderful colors in the fall. The grasses turn all sorts of rusty browns and golds and the leaves of the surrounding trees fascinate me. There was this one lone birch tree that stood out among all the rest...