I’ve always loved painting trees from the outside in, but painting them from the “inside” out is just as exciting – maybe more so. After so many studies of trees, it’s the spirit of the tree that hypnotizes me, its life force, the way it can embrace the wind. I Hear October Singing is about that energy and flexibility. And about joy – my joy as well as the joy expressed by the trees. Details below. Enjoy.
Technical painting notes: I started the painting with a roll-up of dark umber and sienna oil paint, which I manipulated with mineral spirits and the roller (creating textures and “swishes” then re-rolling them to soften the effects). When the base layer was dry, I worked with watercolor brushes to lay in some of the brighter sky areas, applied colored glazes to the rest, then started rolling color on with smaller rollers. Letting the painting dry between layers of work and glaze, I interwove the brush and roller strokes. I found the mechanical roller strokes, with their sense of geometry, contrasted nicely with the strokes made using a brush, which produces a softer and more irregular edge. As the painting developed, I found I needed to go back and strengthen the darks as well as the lights.
I use Winsor Newton’s Alkyd impasto medium when mixing paint for roller application – it speeds the drying, adds luminosity, and keeps the viscosity of the paint suitable for rolling.