Sunday, June 5, 2011

Done with Apple Trees: Painting Chaos, En Plein Air


"Early Morning Apple" 16x20, oil

I spent a lot of time the last few days walking around with my camera, taking pictures of apple trees.  In addition to documenting one of the most spectacular springs ever, I was also on the hunt for pleasing compositions I could paint in the field.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my apple trees haven't seen a pruning hook in decades.  They are about as "wild" as can be.  Because their branches spin off in all directions, painting them becomes an exercise in design.  You almost yearn for something else in the painting besides the overly-organic explosion of bloom and branch.  Trina suggested, and I agree, that incorporating a building can make life easier for both painter and viewer.  Having in the design something man-made, something with right angles, adds a bit of stability to the chaos.

Above is what is most likely my final apple tree painting of the season.   (You'll see a dormer window peering over a hedge in the distance; that's my stabilizing factor.) The trees are now shedding their blossoms and the leaves are starting to take over.

5 comments:

alotter said...

whether it's the dormer or not, this painting hits a home run. Love it.

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Thanks, Aline!

Drusilla Montemayor said...

That is really pretty, agreed, home run!

rob ijbema said...

love it when you do your blossoms michael!

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Thanks, Dru and Rob!