The past year has all been about happy trees. I started painting these bright, colourful intuitive paintings following a holiday in Majorca in June 2018. The style of painting that developed over the next year or so went from being a glorious travel memory to a series of trees that celebate colour and exude optimism. Two new paintings have just been added to the original pages here on the artistintheshed website.
The painting above ‘Happy Tree with Butterflies’ was a joy to paint. I loved layering the bright colours and introducing the abstract butterflies. The painting has for me a real sense of optimism, something that I am consciously integrating into the feel and the emotion that is poured into each artwork. The tree is as you can see, entirely imaginary – it has a tree shape but that is where any nod to representation ends.
For me making art is all about playing with the colours and introducing varation with a range of mark making tools. I use paint brushes but also anything I can find that will make an unusual or interesting mark on the surface. This way of working, I believe brings a dynamism to the final artwork.
In this painting I have decided to make the background more of a block of colour and I’m happy with the way this acts as a foil for the detailed marks in the tree bringing them into focus more effectively. Previous tree paintings have had more detail which is also something I enjoy because of the richness this gives to the painting however it’s always interesting to trial different styles.
In the second happy tree I have really gone to town with adding sparkle using dots applied with a spotter paint brush from Pro Arte brushes. I love these brushes because they are quite stiff and enable precision mark making easily. Although I often use cheap brushes in the first few layers in my paintings for the final details that will be on show I love to move to the better quality tools that enable good control over the kind of mark that gets made. That said for the very tiny dots I have also used an old favourite – a bamboo skewer. The randomness of the mark with the tiny imperfections on each dot made this way appeals to me.
The paintings are now available for sale on the Happy Tree Originals page here on the website. Feel free to send me a message if you are interested. Details about how to buy my art here