At the beginning of February 2022, I wrote about beginning a new series of paintings entitled, Snowy Trees. These paintings were inspired by the trees I saw outside of my window in Ann Arbor and the snow nestled among their branches after a few Midwestern snowstorms. In the weeks since that post, I have continued to build this series and am currently working on the fifth painting. In this post, I share how I have continued to explore Snowy Trees and share my latest work!
The inspiration behind Snowy Trees I & II was simple: I was struck by the contrast between the crisp white snow nestled in the nooks and crannies of the dark, bare winter trees outside my window. I wanted to explore the shapes of the trees: straight and strong, elegant and twisting. On calm snowy days, the February sky was sometimes a steel blue colour; neither bright and sunny nor dark and cloudy, but something in between. This colour felt like a moment held, a sort of pause hanging in the air. It was heavy but comforting. I zoomed in on these elements when creating the first two paintings in my Snowy Trees series. I’m pleased to share that Snowy Trees I (sold) is now available as prints here. Here below are Snowy Trees I and Snowy Trees II.
Snowy Trees III looks quite different than the first two. The aesthetic of this painting is patterned. Instead of focusing in on a tree’s few branches, Snowy Trees III frames several trees overlaying one another. The colour palette too is different. The yellow ochre present in small amounts in I and already more in II is even more prominent in the golden winter leaves in III. Snowy Trees III was inspired by another look out of a (different) window – this time in the early evening twilight. Instead of a steel blue, the night sky has purple, blue and even brown undertones. See my video where I talk about the background of this painting here.
Snowy Trees IV draws upon all earlier Snow Trees, including the third, despite its closeness with the first two paintings in terms of isolated trees. Inspired by the evening sky and the effects of low lighting on snow, Snowy Trees IV continues my exploration of the twilight hours explored in Snowy Trees III. In this painting, the snow on the ground and on the branches is in shadow. Lavenders and shades of blue darken the bright white of the snow and the orange-yellow light from the window indicate that the sun’s gone down and the house is lit from within. The trees themselves are a deep shade of blue.
Finally, I am currently working on Snowy Trees V. This work in progress shows the same group of trees but in the morning sunshine with strong shadows on the side of the structure behind the trees. The trees themselves are brighter in the morning light and the snow has a scattering of shadows created by indentations. This painting is the result of closely looking at the shadows I was seeing outside my window. I noticed the colour and the angle and relationship of the shadows with the trees. A deep purple stands out against an olive-green background. Here is Snowy Trees V (work in progress).
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