What are some of your favorite paintings of trees? Is there a type of tree that you love to paint over and over again? Aspen trees are one of my favorites because they twist and bend and look like they’re dancing. Most of all though I love to paint tree leaves and branches, especially rich warm fall colors.

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. And, even as we grow older, we can’t help but want to climb as high up as our courage will take us.

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As useful and fun as these leafy creations are, trees top my list of treasures for the same reason the scriptures cite – 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.

Reflections 17x12 inches is a pastel painting by Bill Inman that he finished during his junior year of high school. It also won the Congressional Art Award

Reflections 17×12 inches – pastel painting by Bill Inman that he finished during his junior year of high school

 

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 in the leaves of trees, but we can also watch throughout each day as the shifting light transforms the shadows and shapes of trees into dynamic designs. 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.

Who Left the Water Running 16x20 inches is an oil painting by Bill Inman of spring trees along a river

Who Left the Water Running 16×20 inches – oil painting by Bill Inman

 

Sunset Park by 18x24 inches is an oil painting by Bill Inman of colorful fall colors in a tree filled park

Sunset Park by 18×24 inches – oil painting by Bill Inman

 

When light filters gently through branches as I wander through childhood memories, my heart turns to Montana and the forest that surrounded the log cabin we lived in. There was a stillness in the surrounding woods that seemed to beckon visitors to slow and quiet their pace, even if only for a moment. That is what I felt as I painted Sun Showers and Sunday Morning.

Sun Showers 20x24 inches is an oil painting by Bill Inman of sunlight filtering through a peaceful forest of towering trees

Sun Showers 20×24 inches – oil painting by Bill Inman

 

Sunday Morning Stroll 12x16 inches is an oil painting by Bill Inman of a fall foliage forest

Sunday Morning Stroll 12×16 inches – oil painting by Bill Inman

 

Other paintings recall fond family trips like traveling with my daughter Danni to Nashville, Indiana where we discovered a colorful cascade of orange, red, and yellow fall foliage.

Early One Morning 24x30 inches is an oil painting by Bill Inman of fall trees lining a walking path

Early One Morning 24×30 inches – oil painting by Bill Inman

 

Lazy Hazy Day 16x12 inches is an oil painting by Bill Inman of a wonderful country road surrounded by multi-colored fall leaves

Lazy Hazy Day 16×12 inches – oil painting by Bill Inman

 

Seasoned Sentinel 16x12 inches is an oil painting by Bill Inman of a large tree full of beautiful fall foliage in Brown County

Seasoned Sentinel 16×12 inches – oil painting by Bill Inman

 

Chasing Shadows 20x24 inches – oil painting by Bill Inman

Chasing Shadows 20×24 inches – oil painting by Bill Inman

 

Colorado continues to inspire new tree paintings because beauty is simply a glance away – we never need to search, we need only to look.

Sentinels 24x36 inches is an oil painting by Bill Inman that shows aspen trees backlit with sunshine on a bright sunny day

Sentinels 24×36 inches – oil painting by Bill Inman. Many of these paintings sold through the wonderful Broadmoor Galleries

 

Sentinels 24x36 inches is an oil painting by Bill Inman showing aspen and Ponderosa Pine trees in a purple mountain valley

Sentinels 24×36 inches – oil painting by Bill Inman

 

Aspen Ridge 24x30 inches is an oil painting by Bill Inman showing aspen trees along a mountain ridge

Aspen Ridge 24×30 inches – oil painting by Bill Inman

 

Birdsong 18x24 inches is an oil painting by Bill Inman that shows aspen trees in a colorful landscape.

Birdsong 18×24 inches – oil painting by Bill Inman

 

Then there are those moments when my imagination conjures its own hidden hideaway.

Breakfast Is Ready 24x36 inches is an oil painting by Bill Inman of an idyllic home near a lake with trees and flowers

Breakfast Is Ready 24×36 inches – oil painting by Bill Inman

 

I hope these paintings of trees inspired you to paint your own tree masterpiece.

Here’s a blog post you’ll love that shows how to paint several different types of trees – How to Paint an Estes Park River and Trees in 9 Steps. That blog post was inspired by the full-length art instruction painting video in our Membership library. The video includes every brushstroke of the painting process and color mixing.

Would you like access to a library of more than 30 videos, weekly live hangouts, live art training sessions twice a month, a live (Zoom Room) Art Book Club discussion, and an incredible community of joyful painters like yourself? Feel free to check out the 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.