Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Painting Trees

The Tree 9 x 12 soft pastels on Art Spectrum Colourfix
Miki Willa
I have been looking at the reference photograph for this painting for a long time. The photo is all about the wave with a very dark scrubby tree as an after-thought on the point. My husband did a great painting of the wave. I wanted to do the tree. I really love painting trees.
When I first started drawing trees, they were pathetic little things. The problem was, I was trying to draw them without really looking at them. I didn't stop to notice the variety of colors in the barks, or the way the limbs grew from the trunk. I vaguely knew that different varieties had different textures. Leaves still throw me, but I am working on them. The first time I really looked at a tree was over at Kailua Beach Park where the ironwood trees are so majestic. The trunks are reds, mauves, dusty lavenders and even brown. They have been there so long, there are wonderful mosses in a variety of greens, yellows, and oranges. The first one I painted didn't come close to doing it justice, but it taught me about seeing. I still have a long way to go, but I intend to keep paint trees until I can share what I see well.
This painting is of Waimea Bay on the island of Oahu.

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