Thursday, June 2, 2011

More Apple Trees - and Make Me an Offer!

"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!


Cmichaudart said...

the dance is lovely, I feel the "feral-ness" of the trees and can smell the blossoms!

Bonnie Beard said...


These painting seem to be of my favorite subject: the reoccurring patterns rhythms and disarray in nature. They truly dance.


Michael Chesley Johnson, Artist / Writer said...

Thank you, Bonnie and Cindy!

Antony Bridge said...

I love the2nd painting so much, brilliant piece.

Michael Chesley Johnson, Artist / Writer said...

Thank you, Antony.