Do you love birch and aspen trees as much as I do? They are so darn gorgeous. These days, I’m happily immersed in autumnal birch tree forests.
Here are some details from my in-progress painting, Autumn Dance (48 x 36″) –
There’s something about them that seems to be universally appealing. For one thing, they are so darn gorgeous.
Birch and aspens look very similar to each other, so I had to look up what the differences are. If you’re curious, here are the highlights –
Birch are famous for having bark that peels back like paper; aspen bark does not peel.
Birch trees grow in the eastern US and Canada, while Aspens are found all over North America, Europe and Russia.
And, amazingly . . . each ‘colony’ of aspen trees actually shares a single large root system. The root system can be huge, covering multiple acres, and can be thousands of years old. As old trees die off, the root system sends up new trunks. Incredible!How about you . . . what are your favorite trees?
btw, here’s the completed painting –
And here’s the completed painting hanging on my living room wall (left) –
‘Autumn Dance’ ‘Summer Sparkle’ and ‘Amid the Scent of Roses’
These paintings are hanging in my living room, but they could be in yours 🙂
In “Top Fifty Questions”, I’ll answer the questions I’m most frequently asked as an artist (usually at cocktail parties and other fun social events).
What’s your work-day like as an artist?
Some of you have been curious about my work-day as an artist. Believe it or not, I’m working more hours per week now than I did in high tech. (I left a fun and fulfilling career in high tech for an even ‘funner’ career as a full-time artist.)
I have a home studio, and am in the studio painting every day from 8 am til 3 or 4pm. Every day. (Well, every weekday, and sometimes on the weekends.)
Chuck Close, a famous American painter, offers a great perspective on this. “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work. . . . All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself.”
I buy into that. Through the process of painting every day, I challenge myself to create my very best work. And to keep learning and experimenting.
An artist’s job is not done when the art is created. Part of the role is running your own art business, with your website, blog, marketing, galleries, exhibits, etc.
I try to dedicate my daytime to painting, and take care of the business stuff in the evenings. (When my sons are doing their homework, I’m doing mine!) This takes many hours, on most days. Having come from a long business career, I like this part of the job too.
Usually I’m brimming with ideas for paintings, and almost always have a few ideas that are competing for attention on any given day.
But on some days I’m just not feeling it. When that happens, I follow the advice of Chuck Close, an amazing and famous artist, who says “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work. . . . All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself.”
That’s my experience too. Once I pick up a pencil or paintbrush, ideas will often reveal themselves. Then I’m inspired all over again!
Great question. I like all artists who push the envelope in some exciting way.
Some of my favorite artistic influences include JMW Turner’s late expressionistic landscapes, Georgia O’Keeffe’s magnified images of nature, Mark Rothko’s color-fields, and Joan Mitchell’s huge abstract expressionist paintings. I’m also a huge fan of Walt Whitman, an American poet.