Trees are phenomenal air cleaners, oxygenators, sources of fuel and building materials, and, if we place them strategically around our homes, they can keep us warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. We look to them for shade and, even as we age we can’t help but want to climb as high up as our courage will take us.
As useful and fun as these leafy creations are, trees top my list of treasures for the same reason the scriptures cite, because they bring ‘beauty and variety to the face of the earth’!
This love affair with trees helped me win the Congressional Art Award when I was 17 with a pastel titled Reflections.
And 34 years later it has only gathered steam. I am more enthralled with the vast array of sizes and shapes and textures and colors than I ever imagined in high school. Boredom… does that word really exist when we have so many trees to observe and paint?
Not only do we have 4 seasons of incredibly diverse color shifts, we have multiple times a day that transform shadows and shapes as we watch. Hues shift from lemon yellows and watermelon greens in the morning light, to pleasant purples and flames of red as the sun silently slips behind the hills.
When light filters gently through branches as I wander through memories, my heart turns to Montana and the forest that surrounded the log cabin we lived in when I was young. There is a stillness that seems to beckon to slow and quiet our pace, even if only for a moment. That is what I felt as I painted Sun Showers and Sunday Morning.
Other paintings recall fond family trips like travelling with my daughter, Danni, to Nashville, Indiana where we discovered a colorful cascade of orange, red and yellow fall foliage.
Colorado will always inspire new work because beauty is simply a glance away – we never need to search, we only need to look.
Then there are those moments when my imagination conjures its own hidden hideaway.
Next week we’ll switch gears a little and discuss flowers, and break down some simple steps to master painting them. Next week I’ll also be releasing the new month’s video for our Monthly Members. Want to have access to next week’s video, and the rest of our library? Feel free to check out the Monthly Membership by clicking below.
What deciduous dreams do you dare to paint for the world to see? Share with the community your favorite memories where trees seem to take center stage.