This is the third week of a wonderful on-line class with Deborah Paris. The link to her classes is posted above. Deborah writes..”For landscape artists, trees are arguably the most important raw material of our craft and art. Their very individual character, their attitude as living beings within the landscape make them a source of endless fascination and challenge for the artist. Artists in the 19th century routinely sketched and painted studies of these sentinels of nature in order to understand their structure as well as their artistic bearing. These drawings and studies were then used to create larger studio works.
John Carlson, author of Carlson’s Guide to Landscape Painting (the bible of landscape painting) rightly tells us that the way to learn to paint trees is by “much drawing of trees”. Through drawing and observation, we will learn to paint not only their anatomy, but their line, character, and the emotions they can inspire.”
My personal experience is that it is challenging and also a joy. To sit outside all afternoon carefully observing either tree trunks or a group of trees has such a magical quality all it’s own. The materials that Deborah is giving her students are plentiful and extremely helpful. This is my first on-line class and I wondered how that would work. We have our own little community of “tree huggers” spread out over the US all oriented to the blog that Deborah set up for the class. We post our homework and comment on each other’s work. Deborah also comments as well as assigns weekly lessons. Personally I feel somewhat like a split personality.. part of my painting is moving very abstract and yet I am soooo happy doing observational drawing and painting. It is great to be outside looking so intently, I know one informs the other. I highly recommend working with Deborah. She has many other classes all oriented toward landscape painting. I learned so much in my classes at the University of Utah. Most of my teachers were realist painters. As students we spent a lot of time drawing and painting the figure. I am so thrilled to find a teacher who has that same reverence for the landscape.Deborah’s work is just stunning a sensitive tonalist interpretation. I am grateful to have found such a wonderful teacher.
I will post some of my “student” drawings and paintings.