"Apple Tree & Fir" 16x20, oil
After a few days of the first, tentative blossoms, the apple trees have finally burst into bloom. Yesterday's sun was just the push they needed. As I walked down the path that winds among them to find a painting spot, I couldn't help but feel blessed to be immersed in this landscape. When a painter works outdoors, he experiences the world with more than just his eyes - smell and sound come into play, too. The buzz of bees and the rose-like scent of the blooms magnified the moment.
"Apple Tree Dance" 18x24, oil
Painting unpruned apple trees in bloom is a good opportunity to practice your skill of design. Unlike pruned trees, and the tidy farmscapes that they inhabit, my trees are feral. They grow in all directions. Their blooms among the crazy branches make complicated patterns - or is it just complicated chaos? You'd go crazy trying to paint them the way they are, considering the limitations of plein air painting. Instead, you're best off finding the major branches and clumps of blossoms, and then ordering them to make a nice - but not tidy - design. You want to suggest wildness, not trace it literally. I find painting them first frustrating, and then when I understand that I am in control, ultimately freeing.
By the way, in case you missed it, I am offering five paintings I did for an article in The Artist's Magazine for sale as a group. Here's the post on it. My minimum price is $250, and I'm taking offers until noon Saturday. Best offer wins!