There is a new painting on the easel. I love the curvy strength and elegance of Arbutus trees and I have my favourites. For now, this Arbutus tree rests on a larger canvas in the middle of my Mayne Island home studio. The last evening’s sun is stretching across the valley outside the window as the weariness of having stood at the easel for the past few days catches up with me. It is a good feeling.
The work may require a brushstroke here and there but mostly it is as it will be. At least, this is how I feel at the moment.
There are certain details that I particularly enjoyed painting.
There was a quiet, loose and easy flow of moving paint from the palette to the canvas as I was leaving marks softly behind in their purest form. This is an unhurried painting with lots of movement and freedom. I don’t think I need to say that this raw intuitive approach is one of my favourite ways to paint.
Artist notes: The portrait Arbutus tree seems to be saying “see, here we are. Just follow the trail and enjoy.” And I shall, after a long pause knowing this favourite Arbutus right at the tip of the point won’t be with us for many more years.
I have studied this tree since 2018 in all the season and various times of day. Only now has it had its first portrait painted. Painting Arbutus trees remind me of painting figures. The painter wants an interesting angle and intriguing light to work with. There is a sense of getting the tree weighted accurately so appears both supple and elegant. Then there are those sensual curves that should almost make us blush and wish the tree had more clothes on… or maybe that we were viewing them in private space as our eyes caress their length and limbs. When I walk amongst them, there is usually one hand or the other running across a nearby smooth cool surface of their trunk. Arbutus trees are just like that.
Let’s put this painting in a digital room view to give us just a bit more distance and scale as we take a longer look.
The painting isn’t ready for release yet. However, inquires are always welcome. I will look at the painting out of the corner of my eye for the next few days. Then I will make some final decisions on whether it needs anything more. For now, the painting needs to separate from the painting process and be seen for its own merit. This is the benefit of the “resting” period.
Next, I am preparing another 20 x 24 inch canvas for a commission received while art collectors were travelling in the English Cotswolds. It is one of those extremely rare times that I will combine my own experience of being in England with a reference starting point from the art collectors. This painting will be part concrete reference, part memory and part imagination. We have agreed on the elements of the painting and the general imaginative composition. Now, I just need to work my magic and create the painting.
I hope you have enjoyed this latest painting adventure and I shall catch up with you again very soon.
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3 thoughts on “Arbutus Tree as a Figurative Painting”
She is a joyful, dancing, mature woman in the shape of the tree.
Yes, I think you are right. 🥰
Beautiful! I enjoy so much hearing about your process as you work, your joy filters through it, and your love for your subjects. Yes, it does seem like a portrait, how you’ve captured not only the body but the spirit of this lovely being.