Saturday, 3 November 2007

Schiele's trees... beginnings

Whether trees in my paintings turn out ok or not is still largely determined by coincidence. I remember well how I - with my set of Unison landscape colours (15 greens!) - tried first to paint trees from life, and gloriously failed: it just ended up like a mess of colour - same colours, too little highlights and shadows, and no structure.

Having moved on a bit from that, it's painting loosely and sparsely with anything but green that seems to work well; also: if trees are in midground to background, that makes it easier, too. Yet, I figure it's time to have another go at more training on trees.

There is some greenery I want to put in my desert landscapes and currently it's not working: I know how to fix it by cropping and cutting it out, but that is a bit like cheating.

So, when my art calendar presented my with a previously unknown painting by Egon Schiele, I took it as a gentle push to look at his work again. I have been admiring his life studies for a long time, there is something haunting, unsettling and beautiful in his nudes: arms, legs and torsos in odd proportions, all looking out at the viewer and making it almost impossible to avert ones gaze.

In my previous office I inherited a poster with one of his melancholic autumn landscapes , which I since keep taking with me in every office move:
Egon Schiele Four Trees 1917
Oil on Canvas, Oesterreichische Galerie

As a start, here is a first little gallery of some of his trees - most of them are autumn trees - a few coloured leaves, a few left over fruits and above all those trunks and branches, reaching above into the sky, almost in mourning - again: simple lines, muted colours draw me in, don't want to let me go and almost give me goosebumps while keeping looking and looking and looking.
Egon Schiele, Autumn Sun and Trees, 1912
Oil on Canvas, Private Collection

Egon Schiele Autumn Trees, 1911
Oil on Canvas, Private Collection

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