Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Confessions of a Closet Tree Hugger...

October Moon (20x16)

Trees have always fascinated me; from when I climbed my first one as a kid, to when I fell out of one and sprained my shoulder a couple of years ago... their beauty, their majesty and the way painters have captured them throughout history. Examples that come to mind are the watercolours of Percy Grey, or the California Impressionists of the early twentieth century and the sarcastically labeled "Eucalyptus school" -- (Eastern art critics just never understood it)

Here on the Oregon coast, we have a variety of pine that takes such a beating from the hurricane winds that they often resemble the Cypress trees of the mid-California coast -- ragged and spindly, it's amazing how hearty they must be to survive the winters.

Every region of our country has it's own indigenous species of tree that is equated to it's landscape. I miss the Sycamore and Eucalyptus of California, but the Oaks we have here are gorgeous in the fall and the white trunks of the Birch and Aspens are an excellent subject when the light is right and makes them glow. Painting trees are a joy and a freedom from the riggers of figure work too -- you can add a limb to a tree to enhance a composition, but that somehow doesn't work as well with the human form...

Oh Well, Happy Thanksgiving everybody!


  1. "October Moon" is beautiful, Eric!

    I have felt that trees were the "figures" of the landscape, with character and personality, and almost always a comforting, welcome presence. And, unlike a tree, a human figure completely changes the dynamic of the painting, whether it was intended or not.

    When I see trees on the edge of roadcuts, with their roots exposed, I always find that interesting, and find myself admiring their tenacity to hang on in spite of the interruption.

  2. Tout comme vous je suis une passionnée des arbres.
    Lorsque je ne suis pas bien ou lorsque je me promène en forêt, il m'arrive de serrer le tronc d'un arbre. J'ai l'impression qu'il me ressource.
    Ceux de vos peintures sont magnifiques.
    Bises et joyeuses fêtes

  3. You're October Moon painting is just amazing. Even though the trees are different, it reminds me of backpacking in Tennessee. There were times we wouldn't make it to the campsite before dark, and it would seem the trees were coming to life. Lovely work. Can't wait to see more.

  4. Hey Eric,

    Thanks for the comment. I have been an admirer of your work for some time now. We need to do some painting or something, get all the local guys together...plein air or something.

    BTW, I like this piece, you added a lot of great character to it beyond the study!


  5. Thank you for sharing
    This Wonderful work with us
    Good creations