Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Glory of the Mighty Green Oak

"Green Oak Glory" 12" x 12" original acrylic on stretched canvas.
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Just completed this week, the first in my new series of "leaf" paintings. You might remember last year's paintings, a tryptch (3 canvases; green, gold and red) painting series based on our national flag symbol - the stunning maple leaf. This year, I was inspired by the oak tree and it's leaves. What a magnificent creation the oak tree is! I happened upon this one gorgeous, huge oak tree and chose from it's shed leaves that carpeted the grass. I don't like to pick the leaves off the trees (as they need them for their survival) but once they shed them, than I pick the ones that inspire me to do so. That is why these paintings are a fall occurrence and not a spring or summer one. I don't want to benefit from harming the trees. I want to pay homage to them, celebrate them. Without them (trees) we'd all be done for, wouldn't we?

I use the leaves as both reference material AND as a form to be used to actually "print" on the canvas as well as using them as stencils. For this painting I used about 8 different forms of green and an iridescent green that makes the painting shimmer and shift as you walk around it, as well as cadmium yellow light, zinc white, and titanium white. I layer upon layer the prints, stencils, glazes. It's a time consuming process but the results are way worth it, wouldn't you say?

So here is this year's beginning homage - to the oak tree and it's caribou antler leaves. I always think of Bullwinkle when I see them (yes, I'm an ancient). There is another "green" oak painting just about finished and it will be the first in the series of three paintings (one green, one green to gold and the last will be a glowing ochre) to show the oak in all it's glorious stages of life.

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