Winter Blues

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep…”

Inspired by Robert Frost’s famous poem, I set out to capture a few favorite trees and darkening skies. I loved playing with the complexity of branches and shapes using the simplest of colors. There’s something about these deep blues that brings out the mystery and beauty of this time of year.

Tips & Techniques– These pieces started with at least six failed attempts to paint trees at night. I began by doing numerous small “test” paintings of silhouetted trees against various skies, but none proved evocative or beautiful. I was ready to throw in the towel when I hit on trying negative painting techniques and finally saw something interesting evolve. So, my tip this week: before investing a lot of time in a big painting, try a few small samples to work out the kinks and test colors. It’s also worth remembering—and I am especially in need of this – sometimes it takes a few failures to get to success. Keep painting!

30 Comments on “Winter Blues

    • Thanks Jann– I don’t always do it, but when I’m going to invest in a “finished” piece (as opposed to a journal piece), I like to work out some of the design in advance.

  1. It shows that we just have to persevere, we’re not always going to get it right first time and small practice samples first can be invaluable. I think your final result is wonderful….

    • Thanks Evelyn! I think we all suffer from the “gotta get it right the first time” syndrome. I did a third in the series with an oak tree that was not very successful, but I want to do another with birches. I think they will lend themselves well to this technique.

  2. Thanks Jean, Still a beginner, I get stuck thinking my ‘art’ should work the first time I try…you are an excellent mentor, I really love your style and so appreciate your comments. Cheers!

  3. I love looking up through tree branches and marvel at their expanse so these really struck a chord with me. I especially love your palette — that touch of what looks like burnt sienna in the sky. Inspiring as always!

  4. One of my favorite poems… your trees are amazing!! I love the negative painting and how you layered your colors in the first photo. Thanks for the tip too! 💙

  5. I agree with Jill – That’s one of MY fave poems too! Love your trees, Jean and yes, I also need to remember the thing about doing a few small trials before a big painting – sage advice indeed! 🙂

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