Sunday, June 07, 2009

Painting for the love of trees

This was my childhood home and MY oak tree. Pop made many swings over the years and hung them from a rope or a chain from one of its sturdy branches. There was no need of a fancy swing set, not when I had a swing that took me high enough to kick a cluster of leaves way up in the tree itself.

I can’t imagine living where there are few trees, like in the western Oklahoma panhandle or the Great Plains, or the Australian Outback. Trees have always been a living presence in my life and here in northwestern Oregon you simply can’t get away from trees, from the smallest of the Japanese Maples to the towering redwoods in our old growth forests.  I've just started thinking about drawing and painting trees, which is really strange, now that I’m thinking about my lifelong love affair with trees of all kinds. I've climbed them, eaten their fruit, cleaned up the messes they drop in high winds or in season, pruned them, grow them (we own a tree nursery, Reimer Nursery LLC, where we grow exotic trees for the wholesale trade), and I've photographed lots of trees wherever I’ve traveled, including a few favorites in Australia, including a huge ghost gum.

Lots of painters have been enamored by trees; I certainly don’t have a unique infatuation with them, but I’ll bet I can come up with something that stands out.

What I intend to do is draw and journal about and paint trees until the trees I show you will tell you something about trees that’s different than what the next guy has to say. I think I can do that and have a jolly good time working figuring out this new-to-me path. Well now, I think I just stated a new goal!

Does anyone have any idea what this tree is, the one with red twigs and red berries? The photo was take in Oklahoma City in the fall and I've been trying to identify it ever since.

But wait... trees have leaves so I guess I need to include drawing the leaves. This photo is of an acer palmatum "Bloodgood" in my front yard.

1 comment:

  1. Your childhood story of tree swings reminds me of our old maple tree in our backyard and all the tire swings we enjoyed growing up. I can't wait to see your creative interpretation of trees & leaves.


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