Crabapple Tree / oil


Why did I paint this? Why does any artist do their own type of art?  The answer is this. The mind seeks balance.

Imagine all the different types of art. there’s the visual, music, literature, dance and all the crafts are an art too. Imagine all the artists of the world. every nationality has artists. They come in all personality types with all different types of backgrounds and beliefs. There’s no two alike. You might never find another like yourself. All these things shape how an artist reacts to their own life through their art so that each artist will give you a different interpretation of a subject, if left to their own judgement. If an artist is trying to learn from a teacher they will paint like the teacher, but as they go on and work on their own, their own personality will be reflected in their art.

If an artist works at a regular job to pay bills they don’t have as much time to devote to art as I do since I’m retired. Younger people have more stress than I do. They have more responsibilities and obligations. When I was working full time I didn’t do much art beyond pottery classes and things like that because I couldn’t keep up with the job, exercising, raising my daughter, cooking for my husband, housework, etc. I was too tired for art. Also I was depressed for years. Now I’m ok and I tell young artists who are depressed, Hang in there, stay alive, it gets better when you get older.

But, if an artist is pulled in a hundred directions. That artist would want to simplify their art. This is one of the reasons that a lot of modern art is simplistic, the artist needs to balance the chaos and frustrations of the fast paced world with their art. In my case, my life is so boring it would drive you INSANE in less than a week, I bet. But I’m ok because I get into these complicated studies of trees or whatever my next subject is. Plus, now that I feel better mentally, I think I might be immune to any more mental illness.  I’m not going to tell you how bad it was.

Even though I’m trying to copy the colors and values of nature and drawing from life and painting in plein air, my own strange life experiences show up in my paintings. I can see it in there. I read other artists saying they aren’t trying to copy nature, they’re giving their own interpretation of it. I’m trying to copy nature. I can’t imagine something more beautiful. But my painting doesn’t look like nature, exactly. There’s too much of my personality in there. What do you see about me in my painting? Do you see I have patience, persistence, attention to detail? Too much time on my hands? Can you see I’m capturing more than the camera can? I’m balancing the boredom and loneliness of a life with no meaning or purpose with art. And I feel better than I did in years! Isn’t that weird? I chalk it up to painting in plein air. It gets me outside in the fresh air and that’s good for your health, mental health too.IMG_2028

This is a photo of the crabapple tree. The painting took a long time to do and I worked on it at home a lot. I mixed my paint colors in plein air and checked my palette against what I see in real life then went home to do the more time consuming part of the painting. I don’t use a photo for reference, so that’s one reason my tree isn’t like the photo.


19 thoughts on “Crabapple Tree / oil”

  1. I’m going to assume you picked up the lovely shadow patterns on various trips to the site. I also love the strong green under the tree. Dirt as in the photo would not have been very interesting!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. you’ve conveyed a sense of life and movement in the growth of the tree, I like the shadow patterns too. Art and the outdoors and nature are definitely good for both physical and mental health. Best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for visiting. I’m very much fascinated by your thoughts and your honesty. The black hole is part of my life, it’s genetic. Getting a bit older means I have learned to live with it, respect it, more aware of the triggers and the remedies. Art nowadays is very much part of the remedy, and walking (nowadays combined with plein air sketches), even though we clearly paint in very different ways. Take care.

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    1. Thanks for your interest in my thoughts and honesty. Don’t get close enough to that black hole to look into it! As a wise man once said, the abyss will start looking back at you. As for myself, I feel ok and that’s a big improvement over depression. Your figure drawings are coming out beautiful. Keep up the good work!

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  4. Yes, you do leave your own imprint on your art, Chris. That is part of the beauty of your work. Thank you for these thoughtful words about your own lessons learned over a lifetime. I am delighted to know that you are in a good place emotionally now. When you write about your adventures in art, I get to live a little of that joy with you. That is a gift to me.

    You asked, “Do you see I have patience, persistence, attention to detail? ”
    YES, and so much more. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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