Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sycamore View

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So finally I get to write something about this!
In southern Dutchess County grows a very impressive Sycamore tree. It is probably 200 years old and 100 feet tall. The trunk is as big as a king size bed. It stands in the middle of a field, alone. I am struck by how well it has been maintained over all these years and surely several owners. They have cleaned around it and cut out the broken stuff. It has a couple of rope swings and even a knotted rope for climbing up into it.
It is also the view of my friend Dini. Her house was for sale and that I was able to include in the lower horizon. The painting now lives in the house with the new owners.
I had to produce this painting very fast as the property was changing hands. I did it in three days. It was total potential energy turned into kinetic expression.
When Picasso was asked how long it took to paint one of his works, he answered, "Twenty years and twenty minutes". It was very enjoyable to use all those years at my easel to produce what I saw, fast!
The scale was the big challenge. Without any objects to use as a point of reference, the tree looked big, but not "really big"! If you moved back too far, then the tree looked like a stalk of broccoli. I chose a canvas size 36" X 28". This gave me a square to fill with the tree and some extra to still have a "look up" view into the sky.

I am still working on my series of "Winter" paintings, admittedly it is hard when the daffodils have started to bloom and spring has begun.