31 July 2007

old fir tree

Arches CP 300gsm 16" x 12". 1 hour.

i cut the drawing in charcoal while standing on the deck of my studio, the watercolor block resting on the railing; then i fleshed it out with color.

i love this old tree, uphill from the studio on the property line. for a time a flock of ravens roosted there, but they have moved north to hang out around a horse corral. before that, they pecked at the insulation around the studio windows and doors: i'd left a bag of seeds on the deck, and they concluded the studio must be the grainery.

when we did some landscape drainage improvements a few years ago we found piles of old crockery, left from a whiskey still, piled under this tree.

the challenge was to keep track of the branches, maintain the proportions, suggest the foliage, and hope the tree looks like it is glad to be on the planet. i found it was refreshing to paint looking up, up at the top of the tree and the sky behind the tree, a break from my normal looking at pavement and table.

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