Discover my Forest Series
There is something magical about the light shining through forest trees, creating patterns on the ground below. I am drawn to twisting and intertwining tree branches and the cozy or daunting depths that tree-lined paths create. Experimenting with light, shadow, and organic form, I paint the colours of the changing seasons inspired by walks I take in nature.
“Sunny Birches” (91 x 76 cm/36 x 30 in.) was a special commission, years in the making. The collector had a clear idea of the subject and colour scheme they wanted, but were searching for that perfect location in the home and thus considering and reconsidering size. Using different pictures in the home as a guideline, they settled on a sunny room in the entrance on the home. A large blank wall meant there were few limitations in terms of size.
The guideline for this piece was: birches and lots of sun! When I work on commissions, I ask many questions at the start of the process including if there is a certain mood, feeling, or emotion the collector wants to see in the work. In this case, my keywords to focus on were: hope, light, and happiness. I painted the sunlight shimmering through the birch trees with white, yellows, and greens. In contrast to this dancing light are the strong pillars of the birch trees, rendered in their typical crisp black and white. The pathway through the forest floor leads the eye toward the sunlight. Accents, including small yellow flowers of touches of light purples, greys, and browns, lend texture to the forest floor.
Vertical Sculptural Trees
“Vertical Sculptural Trees” (80 x 100 cm/31.5 x 39 in.) is the fifth painting in my Sculptural Trees collection, part of my Forest Series. The dark greens, purples, browns, and whites of this painting are consistent with the colour palette of the general collection. In this painting, in particular, a pale olive green colour runs along the tree branches and a bright red ochre makes a statement in the background.
A reference photograph taken during a walk along the Belgian coast is the inspiration for this painting. I was drawn to the twisting, interlacing trees and strong shadows of this scene. Because most of the tree branches extend from one side of the canvas to the other, the light forms of the trees fill the canvas and encourage visual movement across the work. The foliage in the background is largely abstracted yet tonal differences suggest depth.
Red Ochre Sculptural Trees
A cool colour palette of greens, blues, browns, light yellows and bright whites are balanced and unified with hints of red ochre. “Red Ochre Sculptural Trees” (100 x 80 cm/39.4 x 31.5 in.) is the fourth painting in my collection Sculptural Trees, part of my Forest Series. This painting continues my exploration of twisting and intertwining tree branches that are low to the forest floor. Flat colour patches indicate the relief of the ground and describe its highlights and shadowed areas. A horizontal sweeping from left to right is present and is carried over from the third work in the collection: “Horizontal Sculptural Trees”.
Horizontal Sculptural Trees
My fascination with twisting tree branches has evolved to a particular focus on low-to-the-ground intertwining tree branches and tree trunks. “Horizontal Sculptural trees” (90 x 70 cm/35.4 x 27.5 in.) is the third that focuses on what I am calling “sculptural trees”. The large branches in the foreground sweep the eye from left to right, with one of the main trees touching both sides of the canvas along its length. In this work, I explored combining a softer painterly technique of blending colours impressionistically with a bolder technique of colour blocking, wherein solid colours create hard edges.
Villers Abbey Forest
“Villers Abbey Forest”, acrylic on canvas, 50 x 70 cm/19.7 x 27.6 in., 2020, is part of my Forest Series. The painting is inspired by a tree I came across during a walk through the Villers-la-Ville forest, located in the Wallonia region of Belgium. I was struck by the long curve of the main tree from its stable rooting to the left and the tree behind it that curved more dramatically to the right. The intertwining of the trees and their place atop a slope in the land made for a dramatic scene. The light shining through the tree’s leaves on the right side in contrast to the darker area created by the curve of the main tree on the left side made for a nice contrast. This scene is a personal reminder of my autumnal stroll through this landscape.