Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tree Study 10-A good study coming to grief

Tree Study 10, 6 x 8 in.

The next in line.....I don't feel my best effort came through in it. Too spotty--a pitfall with trees. A favorite quote of Scott Christensen's comes from John Carlson, and (sadly) relates directly to this study....but this is about learning for me, which is why I'm posting this.

Carlson says, "The big form is difficult to preserve because by he time we have modeled the smaller forms upon the big and added the necessary highlights and shadows, the chances are that we have overdone these so that our big form is cut up and spotty. These highlights and shadows belong there, but we may put too many brilliant highlights upon it; meaning that we may put lights upon the upright form that should possibly belong to the flat-lying plane. This passion for putting too many and too brilliant "lights" upon all the forms or planes is responsible for more good studies coming to grief than any other cause."

So, here the overdone highlights compete directly with my ground plane value, and lead to a tree that is "cut up and spotty," instead of being more of a mass. Even though I'd heard this and read it many times prior to doing this study, it still happened!

-julie davis


Tracey Mardon said...

Thanks so much for posting about that quote. I hadn't read that one! I think a person could practise a page of carlson a week and then start all over again. Speaking for myself of course :)

Kathy Cousart said...

Julie- How amazing and generous of you to share one of your paintings that you feel is not what you want. This is special in just that! Really helps show us that while you are still learning even your "not best efforts" are beautiful! I see an awful lot of gorgeous color and those darks are holding strong. Thanks for sharing. I think of you and what you are teaching every time I paint a tree now:)

Barbara Muir said...

Nonsense Julie,

It isn't true. Whatever you've read or heard, this painting is lovely, it feels like a tree. It reads as beautiful.

Love it.


Nancy B. Hartley said...

Julie, Thank you for this series of very helpful tree painting posts. So many great tips and explanations. Today's post was a terrific reminder of information that I had already read from Carlson. So good to hear that again. Your tree study is gorgeous. Your comment is also a reminder that we are sometimes too critical of our own work.

Kelley Carey MacDonald said...

I hear what you're saying, Julie, but I have to disagree... I think your solid values saved this little tree! I think this is just perfect. I also love, love, love the color of the distant ground. And the sky. OK. I think I am in love with this little painting!

julie davis said...

Thank you, Kelley! I've gotten so many responses on this series--and I'll have to say, I didn't expect so many to disagree with me on this one! I think the artist's self-doubt is what keeps us all in pursuit of "better," though. Even when we're wrong!

Pam Holnback said...

Julie, I don't think that you've gone too light. I think Carlson meant really, really light highlights. And, yours are just a bit lighter, so therefore do not make this too spotty.

Carol Schiff Daily Painting said...

We are our own worse critics. I know a gorgeous tree when I see it!

Stephen Parker said...

I don't know, Julie. I think Carlson was referring to someone else's work.

It's great you're so sensitive to the important distinctions he makes, but for anyone currently living in Central Texas, this tree must definitely say home, and on a personal level.

I also love the very briefly conveyed hint of the distant horizon. Beautiful.

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