Oil on Canvas
8" x 10"
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When I first passed by these two massive Oak trees on a hazy, softly lit morning, I was struck by their resemblance to giant hands reaching out of the ground. I tried to hint at that idea, particularly in the forward tree, by emphasizing the knobby, knuckle like joins and finger like branches.
I started this painting with a pencil sketch, then went to work on the Oaks. After I was satisfied with the trees I painted the negative spaces of sky between the branches. There's a push and pull about painting branches this way, and often smaller branches are repainted or even scratched out. The end effect is a complex weaving of positive and negative space. I kept the grasses in the foreground and distant tree line loosely painted, but tried to play up the contrast between the brightly lit fields in the background and the cooler, shaded greens up front.
This is another view from Oak Knoll Farms on Hwy 124 just outside of Beaumont, Texas. After spending a couple of hours on this painting yesterday I intended to come in this morning and do a little bit more to it, but when I came in and gave it a once over I decided to leave it be. I often think a painting needs a touch more work, and sometimes this gets the better of me. There's often a freshness to a spontaneous work that can't be duplicated and is easy to lose.