Wednesday, 15 December 2010

The Tree of Life.

Artists' Interpretations of the tree.

Fallen Tree in Autumn Rain.

Born in 1948 in Derbyshire, Michael Porter would have been surrounded by nature growing up; rolling hills, vast woodlands and an abundance of wildlife. So it comes as no surprise that his choice subject for painting is nature. Porter's 'Fallen Tree in Autumn Rain' in my opinion, is a lovely subdued, ever so slightly textual painting. The application of the oil paint is reminiscent of twigs, bark and leaves. If I didn't know the title of the painting, I think the subject of trees and natural surroundings would still come to mind. My favourite aspect of the artwork is the colours. Deep chocolate browns reflect on strong tree-trunks; combined with dusky pinks, greys and lilacs, conjures up imagery of a wet, rainy woodland during dusk on an autumn evening.

Tree of Life.

American born John Hubbard lives and works in Dorset; an artist inspired by his natural surroundings. 'Tree of Life' is another oil on canvas painting. At about 1.5 metres square the scale is appropriately large for the subject and title. This is a busy and colourful piece of work, there doesn't appear to have a theme with the mixture of yellow, green, red, pink and purple. It is this lively and vibrant array of colour which creates the 'life' in the painting. The 'tree of life' is painted in a bright yellow, just as the sun is often portrayed in this colour, the sun being the provider of energy for all life on earth. The yellow tree is central with the many other colours - or the 'life' - around it or maybe coming from this providing tree.

Landscape No. 80.

'Landscape No. 80' by John Virtue is made up of 30 small images - all different - in rows of 6. 15 of the 30 images are split into 4, creating another further 60 different landscapes. All in black and white, and drawn using the same media, their only difference is the view they each hold. Each separate drawing is a flurry of black marks and scratches; busy, hectic and unpredictable in appearance. The landscapes Virtue imagines is a dark, dense woodland with thin branches obscuring and stretching across any paths there may be. The title 'Landscape No. 80' means this particular work could be part of a series; perhaps a series of undefinable landscapes from the British countryside, exploring all of the possible views from each individual area.

Beach Fruit (detritus).

This heavily textured painting by Terry Setch is made up of encaustic wax, paint, and what appears to be twigs and leaves. This use of actual part of the tree, in my opinion, counteracts the lack of any clear detail, as the viewer knows that twigs and leaves represent trees. Setch's 'Beach Fruit' is clearly highlighting a tree trunk form with white brush strokes. Reds, browns, yellows and olive green makes for a lush background; creating imagery of fruit and other plants and foliage. This work is made up of two canvases; the larger is of a Beach tree, and the smaller, thinner canvas seems to be of the fruit.

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