I had been looking at the work of artist-illustrator Gerard DuBois. His illustrations are amazing. Besides the obvious awesomeness of his problem solving and ideas, and I really enjoy the texture in his work.
I had this large canvas I had just bought and was going to try to incorporate elements of his style especially the texture. I’ve done a few painting of stylized trees and they’ve sold. So I decided to start with that in mind and go from there. If, as I went on this journey the tree no longer worked then it would be abandoned and I would go with what came to me.
I wanted subtle color, flat texture, which I achieved initially, but then I needed this painting to say something. What should I say? What should it say? I’ve been working on a series of paintings featuring stylized trees, with an object painted more realistically (ie: “Cardinal” 40”x30” oil and acrylic on canvas).
My kiddos built little wooden birdhouses and we had them hanging on a branch in the yard over the winter. When we came out to see them in the spring the snow and wind had taken its toll. One of the houses had crash down to the earth below and cracked it’s painted Crayola blue roof. This was on my mind as I was working so I added a realistic depiction of that birdhouse. With it contrasting rendering with the flat, textured, graphic, tree, sky and ground I feel it adds an interesting narrative.
The visual tension created by the birdhouse “resting” on the horizon is to make the viewer ask themselves, is the birdhouse attached to the tree or is it off in the distance resting on the horizon nowhere near the tree? If it is attached to the tree, is it hanging from the strong branch or the tiny twig just waiting to break?
Maybe this tree represents a family tree, or a family. Maybe the house symbolizes a home or someone’s heart. How close is their home to their immediate family in relationship to their extended family. Are they close? Is their home and family connected or are separated by miles of bitterness, resentment or just distance.