15. Trees and more trees

The painting I'm currently working on has proven to be a real challenge. It includes of a hillside of fir trees that require individual attention to detail with minimal shadow areas due to the overhanging storm clouds. Normally, I enjoy rendering trees of all species, but a forest without strong directional light must use subtle changes in shades of green to differentiate one from another and suggest volume. It's turning out to be a labour of love. I'm sure the end result will be somewhat successful, but I'm anxious to complete this section and move into the foreground area that I've envisioned. I say this to point out the obvious, that not all artistic pursuits are truly pleasureable. There are many aspects of painting that come down to patience and the reliance on journeyman skills to work through the challenges we set for ourselves. I firmly believe that many abstract modernists choose that style of painting to escape the tedium of practicing their drawing skills and honing their painting knowledge. They are free to express themselves with bold strokes and colourful passages that may ( or often not ) represent any recognizable form. I would never criticize their approach, however many never learn fundamental Academy-based principles and will continue to churn out work that falls short of it's potential. It's worth mentioning  that Canadian artist Ted Harrison passed away last week. Although ( so far ) he has no work represented in the National Gallery, his images of life in the north have had far reaching popularity due in large part to his bright, fanciful colours. The simplicity of his compositions and the fun spirit of all his lifetime's work will leave a lasting legacy. Now, back to the trees, with over two hundred and counting. Until next time...