Thursday, November 13, 2014

NEW HAMPSHIRE SCENES: Painting (more) Trees with Oils

Windblown on Kearsage  oil    24x36  $700

Painting with Oils: More Trees

Since my "hiatus from blogging," what has changed? 
One major event is that I have switched into oils! Not exclusively. I have dabbled off and on in oils and had painted over "Windblown on Kearsage,"  never getting it the way I wanted. 
Remember my dream, to paint big trees? A 24 x 36 inch oil was bigger than I'd been working on in pastels, but I clearly needed to learn techniques that I was only guessing at. 

The fun of painting IS that there is always more to learn, more to experiment with, and, as important for an outdoor person, more ways to see what lies before us, 
historically (yes, art history covers more than written history! Think about it!), spiritually !
imaginatively ! 
and of course, 

Somwhere between layer three and four of Kearsarge, each layer being almost a complete paint over, I did decide to get really serious about learning and improving my oil techniques, concentrating on various "areas," such as brushwork, color mixing, values, atmosphere.
Brushwork (see below practice examples) and color mixing (a future post) improved Kearsarge considerably, but I expect, in fact I know, I have more to learn. 

Brushwork was the first area calling for practice. Shapes of trees are as varied as people, especially noticeable where trees edge a field or stand sentinel style along a ridge. Being almost winter when I took the photos for my two silhouette studies, leaves were gone from the deciduous trees and the "undercover" was definitely under cover, retired for the season. This line of pines had caught my attention one evening as the dusky sky accented their trunks and branches and a faint breeze caused them to bend and whisper at the hush of approaching dark. The perfect subject for tree study and brush strokes.
Whispering Pines  oil  26 x 18   sold
Most of "Whispering Pines" trees were painted separately for practice, or in smaller clumps and the painting became a labor of love which sold to a hiker who loved seeing the pines on the NH mountainsides, particularly Mount Washington, as much as I enjoyed seeing and painting them.

The second companion piece had to be different but still reflect New Hampshire Scenes. 
Ethnic Neighborhood oil 24X20   $250
Scouting for a different type of tree line, I realized my own yard had a tree line silhouette that reflected the types of trees found in the foothills and pond areas of the Whites, so my own "Lily," the great red pine I mention in "First Friends," became the star and matriarch of 
"Ethnic Neighborhood." 

 For other paintings of Lily and Friends, and NH woodlands go to my website

Contact me at with questions and comments.