Archive for February 9, 2010

Artists who paint trees series…. Judith Belzer

Check out this amazing painter of the tree. Judith Belzer. Visit her own website

When you first start to design placement of trees on your paper or canvas it can be intimidating, how about just working on one piece of the tree. Where a branch shoots out for instance. Or just the trunk. These paintings are simply stunning for their beauty and abstractedness at the same time. People often tell her they see different objects in the abstract patterns.

Lets talk about some of her pieces on her site, mainly the series that brought her to my attention. The Inner Life of Trees. Hopefully she will inspire you to try a larger than life painting of a tree.

Lets first look at Series #1  These four paintings are just amazing in their design. The patterns of the inside of the tree are easily recognizable, but abstract at the same time. Lets talk a second about coloring the trees. When you start out painting most people let the color run rampant. In order for you to maintain control of a color, GREY DOWN ALL COLORS AT FIRST. Soft greys are easiest to manipulate. Say you have a really brown tree trunk, rather than just using burnt sienna, how about adding some paynes grey or raw umber and white and dull down the color. Put in the shape you see, and use brown to attract the viewer to your focal point.

Notice the treatment of darks. If you work from photographs you might tend to make all the darks too dark. Learn from this artist, grey them first, darken them later. Also the fun organic growth shapes of trees are just great to look at.

Lets look at Series #2. I loved this piece and make sure and click on the smaller panels. Notice how to control the color by greying and also watch your edges. If you can soften an edge, do so. If you look at someone’s hand with both eyes, the face becomes blurry. The human eye can only see one thing at a time with sharp edges. The softer your edges, the more intersting your paintings and drawings will be. Look at the fun had here with the organic shapes.

And maybe you can try to paint a diptych or triptych, painting with 2 or more panels. Most that I have seen are oceanscapes or of bodies of water, this is the first artist I have seen that used trees for a subject, and used them really well.

The last painting I will talk about didn’t have a title, but its number 4 from the left and is a diptych measuring 20 by 136 inches. If memory serves me right, these paintings are of the insides of eucalyptus tree. How interesting indeed. I love the coloring involved here. When you finish a piece, especially a landscape piece, take it and try it against a different color. You can use posterboard or cardboard and look at how good your piece would look up against the color.  I love the way this artists controls here browns, they aren’t boring browns. Also the eye moves across the canvas very easily and the piece has great movement. I can easily picture it on my wall, and it would work in any colored room since the browns are so controlled.

Please take some time to do a painting of a tree. Do a blow up picture like this artist or try a flower blown up like Georgia Okeefe. Its easier to see shapes and you will learn to pull the shapes into what looks best as an artist. Be bold and take control and your paintings will increase dramatically. Learn to control your browns and exaggerate the abstract shapes you love the most.

Hope you are inspired to try something new, a new format, new subject matter such as the tree. Keep drawing and painting and if you need to look for inspiration, GO TO AN ART GALLERY.