Cedar Lee September 25th, 2017
Here is the latest in my new series of realistic 4-foot square forest paintings. It is taking me approximately 4 weeks to complete each one.
“From the Forest Floor”
One of my goals is to create an image detailed enough to achieve realism, but still loose and playful enough to convey artistic creativity within the medium. I want to create not just a beautiful image of the forest, but also an image full of interesting colors, a variety of rough and smooth textures, both vague and sharp distinctions between forms.
This painting shows the experience of craning your neck to look straight up above your head.
The canopy of leaves directly overhead shelters us. These leaves closest to the ground can be seen in detail, their edges outlined in yellow sunshine.
Beyond them the foliage higher up in the sky is merely hinted at, fuzzy, out of focus, tree shapes of yellow and turquoise, partially washed out by the brightness of the sun.
The negative spaces where the light shines through look like countless little glinting jewels.
In the foreground, the texture of the redwood bark is shown in sharp light and shadow. The highlights are warm pink and the shadows in the crevices are deep magenta and purple.
At the crown of the giant sequoia tree, the branches are splayed out–close up, this makes a beautiful abstract pattern of shapes and colors. When you back up and look at the entire image, it says, “tree.”
The painting continues around the deep edges of the heavy wooden panel. In person, the quality of the materials and the texture of the painting add to its beauty. I’ve loved getting back into more large-scale pieces this year! The time put into it becomes worth it when I see the completed painting.
Giant redwood trees in particular work well on a large scale. Viewers are pulled into the scene like they are really there!
A painting of this scale can fill a large wall, totally transforming a living space.
I hope to complete two more of this size before the end of the year, while fitting in work on some smaller pieces as well.