Can’t see the forest for the trees



I’m building the next layer onto the trees using a mixture of Titanium and Zinc white, rubbed in with my fingers and scumbled onto the canvas with a bristle brush, occasionally softening the marks with an old t-shirt. Although the whiteness of the trees makes them appear spectral and I like their appearance, it’s not what I’m after in the long run and the trees will drop back further from the rocks and the action of the piece after they’ve been glazed.

While I was walking back to the studio after lunch I stopped beside an old silver birch and was taken aback to see the large eyes that are formed on the trunks of these graceful trees. Each branch that grows creates a vesica piscis and stump when the branches drop away from the lower part of the tree, making the trees look as though there are eyes gazing from the bark. I definitely want to use this phenomenon in the painting, which will gain an additional layer of allegorical  meaning by its inclusion. I’ll start adding them once I’m finished with this layer and I’ve got the side branches placed. (I haven’t done them yet because I need to get the trunks complete first so the side branches don’t become a huge pain when I’m working the surface of the bark.)

About pearce

Michael Pearce is an artist, writer, and professor of art. He is the author of "Art in the Age of Emergence."
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