“A tree against the sky possesses the same interest, the same character, the same expression as the figure of a human.”
Georges Henri Rouault*
Cedar by the tracks
My greatest influence in painting nature, landscapes and watercolors, Charles E. Burchfield, the great American watercolorist and landscape painter. I particularly enjoy his journal entries that can be found on the Burchfield Penney website under Charles E. Burchfield in his own words. I urge you to visit them there are wonderful insights into his process and life in general.
The goal for this painting seemed to be embodied by the quote from Rouault and finding it was quite serendipitous; as well as, fortuitous while I was working on the painting. With this painting I added some gouache to the mix for some opacity and a bit of a change in technique. After the painting had been brought almost to completion, I realized that the Cedar Tree was lost in the shuffle and there was too much competition so I knocked down some of the brighter colors and used a script liner to create a purple/black mix to outline the tree’s bristles to help with the definition.
Cedar by the tracks
9×12, watercolor, gouache and graphite
I remember how disappointed I was when I found out the Eastern Red Cedar wasn’t a Cedar at all but actually an aromatic Juniper. In the grand scheme of things the common names of plants doesn’t matter a lot but then it does momentarily shake up your perceptions when you find you have been wrong all along.
Thoughts on citations
I believe it is important to offer credit and give good citations to others because the writing, thoughts paintings, drawings and photographs are theirs and I just borrow them. It’s all to easy to just add a link to your source (I’m as guilty of that as anyone) without giving proper credit. It doesn’t have to be a formal citation like the one below, after all most of us aren’t academics but it doesn’t hurt either.
*Kevin Casto (February 15, 2012 ). Georges Rouault -Expressionist. [ONLINE] Available at: http://theohioexpressionist.wordpress.com/2012/02/15/georges-rouault-expressionist/. [Last Accessed October 18, 2014].
(Thanks to The Art of Quotation for leading me to the quote from the Rouault.)