Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Stinkin Tree Watercolor Studies

Early studies 1 & 2
About two months ago before the leaves arrived I spent alot of time
painting tree compositions.  So much so my two boys soon grew tired of the subject matter.  They called them "My Stinkin' Trees"  thus the name for this series of which I show a few here.

Wherever I looked I saw intriguing possibilities to study figure ground, the upward sweep of tree branches yearning for the sun's warmth.  Last year I spent a great deal of time sketching tiny pencil drawings in my Moleskin sketchbook which percolated for almost a year until one I needed to explore what I was walking by everyday and taking pictures of with my camera.  Call it an obsession or call it looking closely and learning to love what surrounds us.

Thus began a number of watercolor interpretations of natural and arranged scenes from the woods out behind our house to traveling on snow covered back roads in the hills around Montpelier.  I studied various color combinations with this work, along with gradations and various techniques involving intermingling of more sedimentary colors such as burnt sienna or prussian blue with transparent ones like cobalt blue for example.  Click on the individual images and zoom in to see what I mean.

Blue Yellow Study
Each image was a meditative experience for me providing a medium by which I could relax in the evening when the kids had gone to bed or on the weekend during calmer times.  There's nothing more joyful than participating in the interaction of water + color on paper and reveling in  how each image is it's own unique experience while resonating to over arching exploration of branches, figural space and implied shapes battling with abstraction.

The green blue study reads more abstractly as a series of lines or tree trunks cleared branches which were well overhead as these were larger more mature growth with more expansive trunks.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy these.  More will follow from this series soon!
Green blue study


Jack said...

Steve, these are really beautiful. I love how you've "distilled" the scenes down to only their most vital elements.

Stephen M. Frey, AIA - LEED AP said...

Jack, thanks for the kind comments. Its a joy to explore the subject matter as nature is a gift which keeps on giving. Check back in a couple of days for some others.

Best, Steve